Benny Gettinger: Photo-Graphic Artist

Posts tagged “Kentucky

Doing Our Own Wedding Photos

My wife and I have been married for 5 years this summer, and it occurred to us that we still don’t have any of our wedding photos displayed in our house! As we looked back through our album we realized why. The photographer we had chosen was good, but very old fashioned. Each photo was flawless, but so boring! The color representation was perfectly true, everything looked exact. Perhaps that’s what inspired our philosophy as wedding photographers: people don’t want to see photos just to remember exactly how the event took place, but also to relive how it felt.

So we donned our wedding garb (my wife still fits in her wedding dress, and I rented a tux), and recruited our long-time friends Brad & Bethany Fitzpatrick to compose the shots for us.

Talon Winery has a beautiful little vineyard just outside of Lexington. We drove out there on a Monday evening with our friends. It was hot and sticky, but worth the effort!

We each imported the photos onto our computers, and will edit them individually. When we show them to each other, it will reveal one another’s own personal editing style. We’re still working on them, but I thought I’d give you a glimpse of what I’m working on.

3-exposure HDR

When we were finished posing, the sunset was so beautiful that I couldn’t resist taking a few shots of my own.

Kentucky Sunset

This scene was an emergency stop on the drive home.


Roaring Snapper

Jimmy & his catch

Yesterday afternoon I received one of those get-out-here-and-get-some-photos calls.  The heavy rainfall caused some major flooding in Frankfort, KY that brought our railroad to a halt.  When I got out there I met up with a man named Jimmy.  Jimmy has a company truck that is equipped with Hi-Rail gear, which means it can lower railroad wheels to travel on the rail so we could get to some places further down the line.  I was climbing into the bed of the truck when he said, “Watch out for the turtle!”  He had found a displaced snapper, and was planning on some turtle soup. We took it out of the truck and got some fun photos of it.  Jimmy was pretty proud.

Roaring Snapper

I can't tell... is that a smile?

Misty Hills

This morning I received a surprise call to travel via our company helicopter to Tennessee. We have a big construction project going on down there that involves a lot of earth-moving, so a few good photos will really help for marketing. From the helicopter’s high perspective I couldn’t help but notice how the Kentucky landscape looks so much like a big, fluffy quilt. Out the window I could see the beautiful rolling hills of the southern part of the state shrouded in misty clouds. I know my purpose is to document these industrial sites, but I just can’t help myself when I see something beautiful.

Southern Kentucky Landscape

Stone Fence

Yesterday was beautiful, so my wife and I decided to go for a drive in the countryside. One of the characteristics of the “Bluegrass State” is its historic stone (or “rock”) fences. I am told they were built by Irish/Scots in the 1800’s. Not just stone walls, these were used to fence in livestock. I think they’re charming – one of many nice little features of Kentucky. Being so young, we don’t have many “ruins” in the United States, so seeing something so old yet standing strong against the passage of time and the changing landscape makes me feel like we have some real roots.

Stone Fence

If you like this, make sure to check out the desktop wallpaper and the iPhone wallpaper in my newly-created FREEBIES section!

The RAW Format Cube Principle

Midway is a cute little town in Central Kentucky.  We have a railroad track that runs right through the middle of downtown, so it has been a popular location for train photo shoots.  This is a “Pseudo HDR” of a cute little building there.

Midway HDR

"Pseudo HDR" taken in Midway, KY

I took this photo in RAW format which means that the camera records all the image exposure data coming through the lens without compressing it to a JPEG.  I like to describe a RAW file as a cube of image data, whereas a JPEG is a plane within that cube.

RAW format as a cube

A RAW file is like a cube of exposure data, and a JPEG is a sample from that.

Photoshop and Lightroom are used to process RAW files.  When you adjust the exposure, you’re essentially moving that plane back and forth within the cube.

This principle relates to HDR photography techniques.  Traditionally, a photographer will shoot a scene in JPEG format at several different exposures to create this range of exposure data. Using special software like Photomatix the images can be blended together. But it can also be done using a single RAW file.  Essentially, for each pixel in the image the software will search the dynamic range for a midtone and use that exposure setting for that pixel.  So in other words, it’s adjusting the exposure for each pixel.  With this method, shaded areas are exposed properly and bright areas are exposed properly.

I always shoot in RAW format.  I don’t always make HDR images with them, but it’s very practical to be able to tweak exposure and contrast in a way that is more effective than just darkening/lightening pixels.  Shooting in RAW has saved my bacon on more than one occasion!