Stay Grouped !
These two photos were shot at the Varennes château, during Helen’s and Mark’s marriage. Using flashes on each side of the group helped to make the image much more graphic..
The difficulty with a group photo resides in the contrasting luminosity between the back of the image (the château and the sky) and the group in front. If the sky is blue, then the group suffers of under-exposure (not enough light). If the group is shot with the good exposure (adequate light), the sky comes out too pale and looses its magnificent, deep colour. Only by using flashes can one compensate.
I like the mix of natural and artificial light for group photos. It gives an exceptional dimension to the classical, posed photo sessions. Here is an example of group photos made during Arélie’s and Bernt’s marriage in the Swiss Jura.
Say “Yes” to retouch
Retouching photos has always existed. Before digital photography, it was done with a brush, as was the case with this beautiful portrait of the Windsors. The desire to improve the image, but not the reality, is not a new one. Contrary to what some people believe, the photographic image is not a copy of reality. Using artificial light for example accentuates a face’s defects. A delicate retouching recreates what the eye perceives.
1. Eliminating the shiny zones
Using a flash has an advantage and an inconvenient. A flash creates a strong light that accentuates the features of a face, making them more graphic and visible. The inconvenience is that it also creates ugly shiny areas. In this case, I become a « digital make-up artist ». I open the image in photoshop and apply softly the stamp tool on the skin.
2. Adding, eliminating
To create a great image begins when one makes the photo and imagining how it can bee sublimated. I took this photo during my friends Andrea and Gregory’s marriage. The perspective of the Champ de Mars was superb but the barriers at the end weren’t pleasing. When editing the photo, I eliminated them and extended the grassy area.
3. Changing the heads
Group photos are difficult ones ! To get everyone to make their best smile at the same time is practically impossible. For the souvenir to be perfect, I select the best heads from a batch of previous views : I don’t hesitate to « mix » heads !
4.Obtaining the most beautiful Black and white
Contrary to what one thinks, nothing is more difficult than creating a beautiful Black and White. Converting a colour image into a monochrome one squashes the delicate details. Conversion has the advantage of being quick but it makes the image flat and dull. To give more depth to a photo, one must open it into photoshop and apply various local adjustments. It’s a long and meticulous operation.
To look at my retouching work : see more.
Butzi : Magically yours
Listen to this interview and see behind the scenery of a talented magician. Butzi, young craftsman of illusion speaks passionately about his craft.
If love endured
As I get older, I am more and more conscious of the beauty of the photos made by my mother. As a photographer during the Sixties, she had a keen eye able to seize moments of our family life.
Here I am on my father’s shoulders, during a walk in a forest in Normandy. I appreciate especially the scrutinizing look of my older sister, Stella. She is certainly wondering what I did to merit this royal place. The art of photography is to seize these instant and vanishing moments.
The fascination that photography exerts on me comes certainly from its power of transmission. An image needs no words to express a feeling. No words are needed to express the love between the members of a family. I invite you to look at my family photos :