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His mother's wedding...
© Not to be reproduced without written consent

His mother's wedding...


Handheld.Available light.Pentax LX. 40mm. Probably 1/15 f5.6. Tri-x


© Not to be reproduced without written consent


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This is intriguing. The mirrored poses of the men...the baby bottles...the bride and baby...I could stare at this for hours and imagine the possible scenarios being conveyed. Is this candid or posed? Great work!
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This is a candid, I was sitting next to the son, the guy on the left. I'm a friend of the family and have photographed several of them getting married, always candid.

This was one of my best pictures from the time, taken around 1990...I was really studying the traditional English Documentary style, so this was a big success for me.

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I've been watching you add pictures for a while, and I have to say that I enjoy this piece a lot. I think it is because this is a style that I don't get to see much outside of old photo books. There really isn't much distracting in the photo, and everything is used well to set the scene. This is a very successful portrait, with my attention drawn to the two men more than anything else. Keep them comming, I enjoy seeing your photos.
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Brilliant!!! I love the feel of this image. This is social documentary, the feelings conveyed by the looks eg. groom (I think) looks frustrated, are great. I love the glasses of wine and beer being infiltrated by the two babies bottles. Great work Chris.
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As someone else commented, Chris, please cut back on the commercial work and use that time to make your own art. These are all extraordinary pictures, as good and often better than the work in Doubletake and the like. Thanks very much for posting them. LF
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I thought I had a steady hand--and I do! But if you can produce this at 1/15th hand held then I've just met the king of available-light work.


Provocative composition, portions of the image almost beckon me into a conversation at the table.


It's good to see Tri-X at work as well. Very nice, this one.





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I come across work as stunning as what Chris puts out and then see grades of 4-4 and 3-5 and all that. Well, to each his own, but I'm here to tell anyone who's interested that this site is chock full of people without anything resembling a clue.


That's all.


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Well I guess I am one of those many who dont have a clue but like you said Tris, to each their own and I dont fancy this shot. It is a fact that the window is blown way out and it deprives both the bride and groom from contrast and detail. There might not have been a way to remedy this but it stands to reason that we would all be Masters if we could simply choose to ignore deficiencies in our own work.


I agree that if it wasnt for the window, this would be a great shot, but I dont have selective ignorance.


You are entiteled to your opinion Tris but to say that people who dont agree with you dont have a clue is the same as saying you know better, and that is what I call a SMART-ASS!


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This is so good, it looks like it's set-up. But it isn't, so where do we start?


First of all the geometric composition and balance is just right. To my eye, there isn't one line or curve out of place, nothing that throws me off. I feel like I can look at any part of the picture and be equally entertained and equally relaxed about composition. The expressions are fascinating: what IS going on between these two guys. Who's the father? Who's the mother-in-law? What the hell is going on here?


It's witty and curious and, as far as I can see, exceptionally well done. It looks like a shot from one of those Ealing working-class dramas from the late 50s, early 60s, but it was taken on the spur of the moment with no great amount of planning or direction.


I disagree with the flared-out window comments above. Film has a great range, but not this great. I'm surprised Chris got any detail at all in some of the shadow areas. The flared window seems to evoke memories of too much cheap champagne too early in the afternoon at too many functions such as this (that I've attended, at least)..


A mad, story-telling picture in the grand tradition. Well executed and delightfully candid.

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I am beginning to like the elves. This POW is the best answer they could give to the stormy comments on the last POW. I almost heard the slap.
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At a first glance i didn't liked the picture. My attention was "jumping" between the persons without any order searching for "the message". The man in the centre obviously grabs the attention of the viewer but not enough to stop for a while.

Then i read the title. This cleared everything and gave proper roles to the persons, which were otherwise ambiguous (the roles). I like the composition and the perfect moment selection. I would try to dodge the window, it is too distracting, but otherwise responsible for fine bride lighting.

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Never mind picture of the week, how about picture of the year.

This photo could stand beside any of Henri Cartier-Bresson or Robert Frank (many less than technically perfect masterpieces having being created by Frank).

What an insightful eye...Bravo!

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I don't see much interaction occurring on an emotional level. Seems like some activity going on, but noone's conversing, smiling, etc. Looks kinda static.
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This is wonderful. Techically perfect. The window really makes this photo. I can't imagine this with a dull even lighting.


This is the least static photo I have seen in my life - photos are always static, you must use your imagination! There is so much going on. It is one of those pictures that you can look at for a very long time and keep on discovering new details.


If it hadn't been for Chris' comments, this could have been the party in which the elves choose the POW ;-)

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I think the blown-out highlight in the window helps to balance the darker tones, particularly the black sleeve of the man in the foreground. Excellent shot, excellent portfolio.
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The composition is very dinamic and the whole scene definitely intriguing. But, most of all, I just keep staring at the two guys overlooking each other with similar posture and gesture. Excellent shot, definitely a POW. Was this one shoot in color I would definitely see it published in a world-class magazine as part of a reportage. Send it to an editor and get some serious feedback. Congratulations.


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Beautifully composed. The two men and their link across the table via their postures and how the man across the table draws your eye to the man in the foreground then his gaze draws you to someone just off the right edge, barely visible by that thing just hanging on the right edge at the woman's shoulder that looks like another person's fingers just really creates a wonderful path through the picture. Then the men's seeming detachment from the bride with the baby while the two otehr women assist creates a second level of interaction that draws you down another path.


The sublime expression on the son's face with his dominating suit and his graceful profile posture just really makes it for me.


This shot just seems so well done.



The only nit I have is with the face of the bride and how it seems fairly heavily dodged. I'm not sure if it is an artifact of the bright window. It doesn't necessarily detract as technical perfection is not a necessity for a wonderful shot, and in this case one may consider it an additive effect of helping create a true sense of casualness or detachment so that it doesn't look too polished and as a result lose its subtle appeal.


I don't mean to fawn. I do not think this is necessarily masterful, and while I have visited Chris' folder before, this one never jumped out at me in the thumbnail version.

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How funny to make picture of the week.


Thanks for your comments, I'm a dyed in the wool Documentary Photographer and this was a 'break through picture' for me.


You know when your young and keen as mustard, when you look at all the Masters convinced that you could almost pull it off, if your hands could react as fast as your eye.

Well I was like that.


The Story.


My best friends Mum was getting remarried.

We, the lads, we're all about 18 and I was the only one who skipped the Factories and stole away to Art school, so when the wedding came I was of course invited.


I was at the time heavily influenced by Koudelka and Doisneau, but nothing I did ever came close to that sense of looking into another world, watching something going on in another community.

The real 'Family of Man' thing.


So, when Ruth got remarried I was invited as a guest. I was always very shy as a young Photographer, using the camera to get into places,

but with this wedding I was as much a part of the scene as everybody else, and the picture suddenly worked as I was sitting at the table.


Why I think it works.

This scene has an almost nostalgic feel to it, although it's only 10 years or so ago, it could be 1956 as much as 1990.

It has an idealized sense of the romantic, and I know from the time I would have loved to have been sitting around with Gypsies in Europe, rather than sinking Ale in a Pub up north, so I must have looked for something similar in my home town.


It was shot on Tri-x, handheld with a 40mm lens.

And yes that window did blow it out.

I was obsessed with shadow detail, even to the point of metering from under my arm, so it was a difficult one to print.


Thanks again for you comments, and feel free to ask away.



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Well this POW certainly went to the right address! All your work is superb, Chris! It stands out in professional quality against most of the wannabe-photos. While a photo like this isn't aesthetically what you'd call "eye-candy", it's an excellent shot - brilliant documentation. It's a photo not likely to get very high marks at photo.net, but it's something that really proves the skill of the photographer. It's a very interesting picture with all its detail and the surrounding story that inevitably builds up in the viewer's head.


I'm not sure if I'd pick this one as my favourite from Chris' portfolio - simply because they're all so darn good. But it's a great choice for POW, so give the elves a break for once, will ya? If the POW is supposed to raise discussion and show different aspects of photography, then the elves are actually doing a decent job. The last POWs have certainly been representing various genres, and discussion has certainly followed. A stronger focus on top quality photos might be desired, but hey, this is an excellent start. Congrats, Chris!

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Can't argue with the elves this week: this has been one of my favorites on photo.net almost since I've been hanging out here. I could congratulate Chris on the honor of being chosen for POW (and I do), but with a picture like this it is almost the other way round. The other POW's will gain lustre by being in the company of this one.


To the picture. I don't find the window being burned out to be a problem at all: the detail there isn't important, and Chris has managed the light in the significant areas like a master. The block of white that is the window does not disturb the composition, either. Sometimes when managing a high contrast scene the only solution is to place a larger area than you would prefer as black or white. Generally, we make something black, because this usually seems more acceptable to the eye. But the opposite choice, as this picture shows, can also be valid.


As others have said the relationships between the people are the subject of this photograph, and they are reinforced by a wealth of details. The mirrored expressions and postures of the two young men, and the baby bottles that have infiltrated the beer glasses are my favorite elements.


Tony said the photo is so perfect, it almost looks like a setup; but I don't quite agree. You know that a picture like this is a masterpiece when it would require greater imagination than anyone could have, and better acting than anyone could do, to set it up. This is real.


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