Image of the Week #385 – How To Use Compression To Make The Best Of Your Background

Brideen was careful in her choice of lens for this shoot as she didn’t want to have too much compression of the background. After all, the cranes are the stars, after the couple that is. This isn’t a shot where you want to diminish the background – instead you want to celebrate it.

The cranes at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast may no longer be operational but they still dominate the landscape. The locals feel very affectionate towards them and they have been nick-named Samson and Goliath. They are iconic and symbolise the city in the way that the Eiffel Tower does with Paris.

I love that people now want to have their weddings photos there but I imagine it isn’t too simple a task, to get a shot that really shows them off whilst also not compromising your subjects in the process.

It’s a testament to Brideen’s skilful eye that the couple do not get lost in the frame. They have been very carefully placed to make the best of the scene and of that water reflection which brings a satisfying balance to the lower part of the composition.

Sony A7III | Sony 55mm f1.8 | f/2.2 | 1/1600| ISO 100

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What Brideen Said…

There was a time, not long ago, when those iconic Harland and Wolf cranes in Belfast’s titanic quarter were easier to photograph. In the last few years, however, they’ve been fenced off from us pesky wedding photographers, so getting a good shot always involves a bit of creativity. As well as working with some peculiar angles to frame out buildings and fences, we couldn’t resist grabbing some puddle reflections. There’s perhaps only one thing that’s more Belfast than the yellow cranes… rain.

We always think it’s important to take into account the couple’s tastes when choosing locations. Stephanie and Richard’s cool, alternative style really suited the grungey look of the docks – I mean, not every bride wears a leather jacket over a dress that’s been hand-made from a vintage table cloth… stunning!

From a technical perspective, we had them look to the right side of the frame to provide balance with the direction of the cranes – when photos aren’t balanced it makes our brains itch. Also, shooting with a 55mm lens gave a nice amount of compression, making the cranes appear bigger than they would on a wider lens, like a 35mm.”