Benny Gettinger: Photo-Graphic Artist

Posts tagged “Sunset

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.


My Sick Obsession with Clouds

The cirrus clouds this morning.

I know, I know… clouds are just masses of gaseous water, but I am somehow fascinated by them. It understandably bothers my wife when I’m driving because I can’t help but look up at the sky when a formation catches my eye. Clouds are just so moody and packed with personality! There are stormy, angry mammatus clouds; epic, powerful pileus clouds, and light-hearted cirrus clouds (my favorite). In landscape photography, the types of clouds and their formations set a distinctive mood.

At work, I have taken up the practice of building a library of cloudy sky pictures. I do this so I can enhance my photos in a way that gives them a desired feel, or simply to add texture to an uninteresting sky.


Often, as I’m taking photos to build up my library, I come across a cloud pattern that I just fall in love with. Those become wallpapers for my computer screen. I can’t help being so interested in clouds because they’re constantly changing. On a windy day they change right before your eyes. Every day the sky looks different. It’s impossible to have the same clouds twice.

My love of clouds extends to sunsets and sunrises. Have you ever noticed that the things that make a sunrise or sunset incredible are the clouds? It’s the clouds reflecting and refracting the sunlight, not necessarily the sun itself. Often the sunset is even more vibrant when the sun is just out of view and it’s only the clouds in the sky.

I know, it’s a sickness.


Yesterday I set out on a 3-hour drive to one of our locations in Kentucky to try to capture next year’s calendar photo (2009 photo, 2010 photo). We had a very specific shot in mind for the late evening, so I had a bit of extra time to explore the countryside, and perhaps collect a few pretty pictures. But after the shoot was over and I was on my way back to the hotel, I passed a scene that was the prettiest I saw all day. A gorgeous sunset lightly illuminated a farm that was quite a distance from the road I was on. I did a U-turn and parked. Luckily I had the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 L plus a 1.4x teleconverter with me from the shoot. I knew that the sky, though not seeming very bright to my eyes, would overpower the dim farm. I took 5 photos from a tripod with different shutter speeds – dark to light. Today when I got home I merged them into an HDR photo, and did some split toning in Lightroom 3.

5-exposure HDR, then processed in Lightroom 3