Bride at Watershed Winery

by Michelle Perkins

Tony Hewitt

February 01, 2011 — Acclaimed photographer Tony Hewitt created this arresting bridal portrait during a wedding at Watershed Winery in the southwest region of Western Australia. “We were waiting in an adjacent room with the bridal party before they entered the reception to be received by the guests,” recalls Tony. “As the bride was moving toward the door, she passed under a small halogen ‘downlight’ and in front of a painting of yellow light shining through a window onto a red wall. The bride was gentle and quite reserved, so I asked for a few minutes of her time, as I felt I could capture a warm, intimate and yet strong, iconic shot of her.”

With time for only a half-dozen shots and no extra source of light available, Tony exposed for the ambient light (metering for the highlights in the veil) and asked the bride to hold her hands out in a way that would reflect the cross shape behind her. “Having her hold the veil out in her hands highlighted it and allowed it to act as a diffuser for the light that fell on her face,” Tony says. “I also asked the bride to look down and close her eyes, because the overhead light would not have been flattering on her face if her eyes were open and looking at the camera.” The white balance was set to allow the warmth of the light to come through in the image.

In postproduction, the whites were cleaned up and some vignetting around the bride was added to create more impact and isolate her from the background. “Selective increases in density, together with blending of the black into the painting, added to the final spotlight effect. I also did some selective sharpening to enhance the texture of the veil,” Tony says.

“I am always looking for a unique shot for each bride, something a little different both in her eyes and in mine,” Tony says. “This image reminds me that in only a few minutes and with minimal equipment, there are often great images to be found. By remaining alert and observant we can sometimes come across something unexpected or recognize the elements of an interesting image requiring a new perspective. Learning to see the things that others miss is often the signature of the good professional photographer, so trust your eyes.”
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Tony Hewitt will be presenting a two-day WPPI Plus class on Thursday and Friday, Feb. 17 and 18, entitled “Creatively Simple—Simply Creative.” Although Plus classes only accommodate 25 students, there are still seats available in Tony’s class.

Michelle Perkins is a professional writer, designer and image retoucher. She has written for PCPhoto and is a regular contributor to Rangefinder and AfterCapture magazines. She is also the author of 14 books on professional photography, all published by Amherst Media. One of her latest books is Professional Portrait Lighting: Techniques and Images from Master Photographers.

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