Entries in photojournalism (1)


The Shootout

I am a Nikon shooter while one of my dearest photographer-friends shoots Canon. While Nikon and Canon users often riff on each other on everything from lenses to color rendering to the crispness of the shutter click, the “joke” most of us understand is that the quality of images depends on the photographer, not the equipment.

Which is why, a couple weeks ago, my heart started pounding when my friend and I had an informal shootout at our mutual friends’ wedding. We both had as much gear as we dared carry to a wedding that we weren’t shooting. He sported his new 5D Mark III and what I’m guessing was an 85mm f/1.2L-series (showing my Canon ignorance here), while I clung onto my D700 and 50mm f/1.4.

We had several couples hungry to model for us outside the Grand Rapids Art Museum in Michigan. “Choose a spot,” he instructed to me as they scattered, waiting for further direction.

I surveyed my options: concrete building, concrete plaza, and strong, setting sun. My friend quickly staked out a spot at which he had taken a photo of my husband and me just minutes ago, where the light was soft, subjects backlit, and landscape verdant. I sighed and directed a couple in the opposite direction: a concrete wall with sunlight reflecting off the pavement—and spontaneity—as my only hope.

In the end, our images illustrated that we shot what we each knew best. He captured softly-lit images of couples standing in formal poses. I shot the couples in more risky lighting, semi-photojournalist style. The images aren’t my best work, but the experience helped me start thinking faster on my feet, decked out in a pair of 3-in. high heels.

 Aptly Noted wedding photograph  Aptly Noted wedding photograph