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© Copyright 2009 Ryan Aldrich/Aldrich Imaging.

(Un)Tying the Knot


55mm, f/8, 1/200 sec., ISO 200.


© Copyright 2009 Ryan Aldrich/Aldrich Imaging.

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I enjoy these ring shots, but getting one that stands out can be a

challenge. What do you think of this?


As always, constructive comments, positive and negative, are welcome

and appreciated. Ratings can be fun, but comments help us all improve.

Thank you for looking!



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I'm not sure what you wish to convey here: tying the knot or untying it. Can't have both; they're opposites of each other. You could make it optional. Possibly that's what your nomenclature (Un)Tying suggests.


Anyway's let's take the photograph first. We have two rings invested with what appear to be diamonds and one of them has a cross embedded in some white metal(?). There's a white ribbon or ribbons linking them. Above one of the rings appears to be a clasp or something... I really have no idea what it could be...rings don't need any other fixtures other than fingers to go into. These items are set-off against a white background. The clasp or whatever seems to have some satiny material for a bed.


Diamonds are sort of translucent white things, gold is well...gold. Both look best in lighter softer shades. Gold can have lustre and diamonds sparkle. Here the diamonds don't and the gold has perhaps too little of it. The whites appear to be invading the gold. Both gold and diamonds would reflect light, diamonds of course more so, hence their sparkle. The way the rings are placed the diamonds have no chance. The gold seems fine in that respect. But that I'd say is because there's so much more of it. The white ribbon has good texture and lustre and if anything has more appeal than the diamonds, except for where they end up bottom-right. The white background, because its white, fails to set-off the rings. You may need a darker background -- perhaps black silk or satin.


If you've had enough of this bilge, Ryan, don't respond to my crap. I don't wear rings and certainly have no idea what I'm talking about.

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Yes, the title is a double meaning. "Tying the Knot" referring to the celebration of marriage, and the fact that you need to untie the knot on the pillow in order to "tie the knot" and get married. Hence (Un) Tying the Knot.


I probably should have dug deeper into the source of this photo. This is from a wedding. Outdoors. The ring bearer was holding the pillow in his hand. There was absolutely no opportunity for studio lighting or darker fabric or even time to reposition them, as these came out not even five minutes before the ceremony was to begin fifty yards away, where I had to be to catch the groom awaiting his bride.


So what does a photographer do in this situation? Make what you can of it. I wanted to see if I could make a high-key type image showing off the gold. I knew the stones were going to take a hit, and making stones sparkle post-processing is something I need to learn. I did not use flash, as it would have completely blown out the already blinding white in the very bright sun.


In my OP, I stated that I wanted to see if this "stood out" at all, both in terms of a beautiful image, but also as somewhat of a rule breaker. Aside from the lack of stone sparkle, did this image stand out to you?


Weddings can be tough. We try to gather as much info as we can before the big day, and then we see if our expectations are matched. I wanted another go at capturing the rings settled in some bouquet flowers, hopefully prettier ones than I have in the current portfolio image of rings in flowers. I arrived to find out the couple went with cheap, disposable silk/plastic flowers that didn't even look real from 50 feet away. You get what you get. That and people running late means I may only have 10 seconds to get shots like this and go.


So I guess my question to you, Rajat, and to anyone else that may stop by, is: Now that I've stated the backstory of how this shot came to be (which I guess I should have included in the request itself, but that's a lot to put there), does this image stand out to you in any positive or negative way? Is it unique to you? What could I have done differently, given the time I had?


As always, thank you, Rajat, for commenting, and please don't refer to your feedback as a bilge. Brutal is good, positive or negative. "This sucks" with an explanation as to why is much better than "Very pretty rings!"



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The knot first. Do the bride and/or bridegroom have to untie this knot to get at the rings? If, as I suspect, it's a third party's job to perform this task then this aspect of untying the knot does not hold great significance for the to-be-marrieds.


Writing my comments I had assumed it was a studio shot. As it's not, and I suppose seldom is, you'll just have to make the best with what you get. Post-processing can often do wonders.


Now to this particular image. No, this image does not stand out in a positive way. I would not say that it stands out negatively either. Its an image which I would glance at and pass by.


At the time of the shot I don't think you could have anything really. If you have to take such shots on a fairly regular basis you should work on post-development processes...

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The act of untying the knot is up to whoever is designated for the task, and at this wedding the groom did it. At my wedding, I did not have a ring bearer (usually a 4-6 year old boy), so my best man hung onto the rings, which were not on a pillow like this. Regardless of who is untying the knot, it has to be untied in order to access the rings to put on the fingers of the bride and groom.


Yes, post-processing is quite important. I stated prior that I need to seek out a method to brighten stones in rings. I'm not sure I've posted my preferences anywhere in my bio or on my images, but I know I have on some others. Unless skin tones are involved, I'm a BIG fan of BIG saturation. I love color, as in "BAM! COLORS!" The only color in this shot really, is gold. That was the focus, high-key type and gold. But I understand that I lost the stones in the process.



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I think that for a ring shot this is well composed and looks pretty good. Is there a third ring here for a child? or am I seeing a reflection behind the brides band? I think you are right about wanting to develop a technique for making stones shiny. Overall I like this shot and I think the newlyweds will be pleased.
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