Tina & Gary: I do…..SNEAK PEAK of Heritage Park Wedding

OK, So I’ve had Tina and Gary on my mind all week. Preparing their wedding pictures from last Saturdays wedding, it just seemed so much more important to deliver them something extra special.  So…. I just had to devote this blog entry to their pictures as I wait out the many hours for Pictage to upload all those images.

It was a wedding planned from out of State  that, lets just say…threw us a few more curve balls than we had hoped for. It’s easy to get those dreamy, magical pictures, when you have several hours of shoot time, the fortune of gorgeous weather, stunning private locations, or mansions and cathedrals as your backdrop….but what about the rest of the time, when mother nature isn’t so co-operative, the clock isn’t so patient, and the location is not all that was promised??

We had a beautiful young couple to shoot…, trapped inside a modest gazebo, on a cloudy, rainy day….BUT…wait for it…

…surrounded by a thousand people, hundreds of bright tents, noisy bouncy houses and a DJ!   Gasp!  The wedding was to take place (unexpectedly of course) during a 24 hour relay for life race, at Heritage park, in Taylor, MI.

We had 30 minutes with the Groom, and his possy, a  sunny break in the rain,…. and a park filled with hundreds of people walking through the shoot.  That’s when you pull out the exotic lens, get in close, look up, and think outside the box..

Who cares about scenery, when you have these eyes…does anything else really matter? Got to love those ‘test’ shots, before that “say cheese” look,… just in time to catch that peaceful stoic gaze. The pic at left below was post processed very ‘hot’ to isolate those stunning blues. When there’s a lot of traffic on the ground, “look up” I always say, for something interesting and a fresh point of view. Look, a patch of blue sky, and a true moment…complete with a time stamp (top right). The bottom pic, proves the worth of  the Canon 85mm F1.2L, prime lens…Voila, no tents! PRICELESS!!

We spent a lot of time cropping in tight, and blurring out backgrounds with our magic lens. But there’s nothing like post processing to bring out the depth of the moment, from a pretty picture to a breathless moment!.

Sometimes the best shots happen, in between the poses…when a duck catches a toddlers eye (right), or a mommy moves in for a little kiss (bottom). Some more examples of the fun use of shallow depth of field (above, and below left).

Reception lighting is always a tough one. Here’s a fun use of colored ceiling lights, a flash light bounced off the brides back for an improv’d rim light, and a fun use of selective focus to tell a story.

Below are the parents blurred in the back ground looking on, as their child dances with his bride, …the couple in turn, are looking at their child. As well, bottom right, the father of the bride dances in the background with his daughter, as the groom dances with his daughter in the foreground.

So….back to preparing Tina & Gary’s wedding pictures.  I can’t wait for them to see the full set!

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St. Lazarus – Serbian Orthodox Midnight Easter Ceremony 2010

If you want to experience living history then make sure you attend the Midnight Easter Ceremony at St. Lazarus Serbian Orthodox Cathedral next year.  The rituals and practices are richly symbolic and unchanged for 2,000 years.  My family looks forward to this timeless ceremony every year, and as in years past we attempted to capture glimpses of the beautiful service, church and most importantly the people.  (If you would like to see more pictures from the service then go to www.serbianphotography.com)

Orthodox Easter consists of a series of celebrations commemorating the resurrection of the Lord, Jesus Christ.

We believe this is the most beautiful cathedral in South East Michigan and it is our favorite location for Wedding photography (as members of the church we may be biased).  Every corner of the church is full of details that are not only beautiful, but deeply symbolic.  A ceremony that has been unaltered for 2,000 years in a Cathedral with symbolism that dates back as far is a great start for marriage!

As you first enter the church you are presented with the “tomb” of Christ body where you pay respect as you come into the Cathedral.

Shortly before Midnight, the Resurrection Nocturns is sung and all of the lights are extinguished.  The faithful wait in silence for the moment when the Priests will come out of the Altar with a lit candle, symbolizing the Light of the Risen Christ and the beginning of the Holy Pasha of the Lord the Feasts of Feasts.

A joyous and festive procession circles the church three times while singing a hymn.

The Clergy and faithful gather outside the entrance to the church as they await the resurrection of the Lord, Jesus Christ.

The great Easter sermon, first delivered by St. John Chrysostom, is proclaimed during Matins on Pascha morning (shortly after midnight), while all the faithful stand in attendance.  At many points during the Service the Clergy exclaim, Christ is risen! and the faithful respond , Indeed, He is risen!

At the conclusion of the ceremony the congregation visits the priests to pay their respect to the Lord.

This Easter service was presided over by Protojerej Stavrofor Zivan Urosev (on the right) and Protojerej Rade Obsenica (on the left).

If you would like to attend next years service, find out more about Saint Lazarus Cathedral, or are looking for a beautiful Cathedral for your wedding you can visit their website at www.ravanica.com.  The cathedral is located at 4575 East Outer Drive, Detroit, MI and their office number is (313) 893-6025.

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Hockey Town – The Hockey Look

If you live in the Detroit Metro Area then you know why we call ourselves “Hockey Town”.  Being a transplant from North Carolina I did not appreciate hockey until my oldest son HAD TO PLAY.  Be Aware of those “free” hockey clinics, we took our son to one when he was 6 and since then we have spent most of our free time and money supporting his hockey addiction.  My wife and I have become quite the fans and I feel a little cheated that I didn’t get a chance to play hockey as a kid.  Sure is a good thing we have 3 boys to relive our childhood with;-), oh yah…photography.  I took pictures of all his teammates as they accomplish their great hockey feats (while my wife took video..they will have well documented childhoods ;-), but my son (and wife) complain that I am always taking pictures of everyone but my own son.  So this weekend I had to pull out the studio lights and give the kid what he wanted.  How would you feel if he was lined up across from you on a drop?

If you want to learn more about getting a shot like this then look below.

This is a 3 light set-up using 2 Alien Bee 800 strobe lights positioned slightly behind him on both sides.  These strobes are aimed directly at the side of his face and are using 7in reflectors.  The front light is an Alien Bee Ring Flash shooting through the supplied diffuser and reflector (no moon unit).  The trick is to get the ratio between the side lights and ring flash.  In this image my side lights act as the key light so I adjust them to get the highlights on each side of his face  at my chosen aperture of F8 (ISO100).  I then dialed up the ring flash until I got the desired look (no meter was used on this shot).  The real magic is in the post processing for this image where I kicked in some of my homegrown photoshop actions to add that edgy, shall we say menacing look.

For comparison I have included an image I took of him using more natural portraiture light.  In this case I was using a constant light source diffused through a 24x36in softbox.  As you can see from the catch light in his eyes it was positioned camera left and slightly above.

Gary Seraphinoff - Wow!! What a great image! I bet that guy has shown his photo to everybody.

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Civil War Reenactment – Greenfield Village

Wow….We just got our blog up and running and find ourselves thinking of things we can post….this could become an addiction.

With Memorial Day weekend just around the corner we are looking forward to the Civil War reenactment at Greenfield Village.  Last year, our 8 year old son wanted to learn more about the Civil War so when we learned the Greenfield Village had a reenactment we packed the family up and headed over to Dearborn.  We learned so much the first day that we ended up going back all three days!  If you have not been it is a must.  The participants set up camps at the village and step back in time 150 years for 3 days and of course we had to bring our cameras.   Below is an image of Captain Smith charging ahead, we loved this image so much that we tracked him down the next day for a model release and are now selling this image as stock through iStock Photo.

The volunteers put on a full show complete with Calvary, Canons (that they fire) and  an Infantry war reenactments.  All three of our boys enlisted that day and went through basic training during their stay at the village.

We caught the muzzle blast from the Canon!  Check out the size of that blast…and they are only using 1/4 of the black powder that would have been used!

Check out these two! Classic old school rivalry between the Confederates and the Union…do you think we should tell them the war is over?

If you would like to see more of the images we captured over the memorial day weekend last year check out my gallery .  If you would like to check out the reenactment you can find more info at the Greenfield Village Website.

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