It was a candid photograph, part of a collection I had taken at the wedding of a young couple who lived nearby. After processing, I sent the best to the couple. This image however, was not included.
I reviewed the whole collection a few days later to determine how I could make improvements. Some were blown out by the late afternoon sun, others were just poor compositions. I realized they were just candids and that there was an expectation that not all of them would be useful.
One that I had not chosen to send to the couple caught my eye. Blown-out areas on the bride’s arm and on the side of her face made this image very difficult to process. But while this image had technical issues the story that it portrayed was compelling.
Cropping brought the elements of the story front and centre. The bride of course was radiant. The groom was bursting with pride. He was a ‘car guy’. A year or so earlier he had acquired a Model T Ford. It was in fine working order and was to be their wedding car. It served as the backdrop to the photograph.
My first scan of all the images did not pick up the element of this photograph that I thought really made the composition – an older neighbour who had become quite close friends with the bride and groom. There she was, in the background carefully watching the newlyweds enjoy their moment.
I had to do something with this image. The big question was ‘What’? Try as I might I could not completely deal with the technical issues within the image. I put it aside for several weeks.
Out of the blue came a thought, ‘What about a photo painting’? It might work. My photo painting “Old Victoria” had been especially successful at Artwalk in Lake Country, B.C. in September. Why not try the same technique with “The Wedding Photo”?
For several months it was my main project. A specific series of steps involving Photoshop Elements 11, Nik’s plugins Viveza, Color Efex Pro 4, Topaz Lab’s Simplify and Adjust 5 brought me close to the look I had visualized.
Not until I had my Wacom Tablet and Pen was I able to finally complete the project. The tablet and pen enabled me to make the fine adjustments that had alluded me for so long. The final rendition was attained using Corel’s Painter Essentials 4.
Deep down I felt there was a way. How, was the problem. I’m glad I stuck with it.
Printed on canvas and mounted in a floating frame I delivered “The Wedding Photo” to the newlyweds on Christmas Eve. It now hangs prominently above their fireplace.