Recently I shot a bridal session in downtown Bryan in which we focused on the vintage aspect of the bride’s dress. A good friend of mine who is also a wonderful esthetician and massage therapist, Sheree Boegner of Sassy Sheree got permission for us to use a portion of The Haswell House in downtown Bryan located at 300 W. 24th Street. The house is probably circa 1920 and has beautiful wood floors and staircase and a gorgeous room in the front of the house. It was a perfect place to start the session. Here are a few images from inside the house.
The first image was shot with the client in mind but when I was working on editing the images I remembered something I had learned a long time ago as a film shooter about cross-processing. It is done digitally now but the history of it is quite interesting to learn. So here goes, I’m going to incorporate a little history into this blog post about the history of cross-processing. Cross-processing is exactly what its name suggests..the procedure of deliberately processing photographic film in a chemical solution intended for a different type of film. In the beginning it was often the result of a mistake on the part of the photographer when developing their own work and they used the wrong chemicals when developing color negative prints. Cross processing usually involved one of the two following methods:
▪ Processing positive color reversal film in C-41 chemicals, resulting in a negative image on a colorless base
▪ Processing negative color print film in E-6 chemicals, resulting in a positive image but with the orange base of a normally processed color negative.
But in fact there are many ways photographers found to explore cross processing by using different mixtures in the chemical baths to get the desired effect.
Cross processing images are readily recognized by their unnatural colors and high contrast. They can differ from case to case, as the results are determined by many factors such as the make and type of the film used, the amount of light exposed onto the film and the chemicals used to develop the film. Some images may have more subtle results taken on pastel hues and lending itself to be used more often in fashion photography.
Of course, many of us aren’t in the darkroom anymore so we have learned that there are a number of techniques that can be employed to manipulate the contrast, brightness, hue and saturation of an image. The image of Christine on the above right is an image where cross-processing was used. I was able to replicate the process by using a filter that simulates taken an image from C-41 to E-6. I kind of like the results since our goal here was to get a vintage feel for her session.
The next two sets of images are strictly shot for the client. I love the detail in her dress and wanted to frame her in the window with the leaded paned glass. The two images directly below where shot with window light from the huge window behind me and I loved the beautiful
The next image of Christine was processed in Lightroom with a Cross Processing preset. I love the warm, peach tones that are applied to the entire scene. The pastel color gives a softness to the delicate lace and layering in her gorgeous dress.
The next set of images were taken in downtown Bryan between The Brazos Cotton Exchange and The LaSalle Hotel. I had talk to a friend who had a friend who works at a body shop in Bryan but who is also a antique car enthusiast. I have wanted to do something like this since we were involved with shooting the Spring 2011 cover and bridal gown issue of The Brazos Valley Bride. So, I had to do something totally out of character for me and call a total stranger to ask him if we could borrow his 1932 Studebaker for Christina’s session. Now mind you, I would have loved to have posed her in it and all sorts of other cool and fun things but this car belonged to someone who didn’t know me and was kind enough to bring it for us to photograph for 30 minutes. The only problem that we had was that the sun was still really high in that ol’ western sky at the time of the day that the gentleman could loan us his car. So we dealt with it as best we could. I’m telling you, despite the wind and the heat Christina looks as cool as a cucumber in her very heavy dress and awesomely beautiful.
Here is another shot from that portion of her session. I cloned out anything that I thought would make the image look too modern and then came in tight on the car. The antique tone of the image lends itself to photography from days past. Again, Christina makes the entire portrait work with her glowing smile.
And just because we had to do it and she was willing-I had her turn into the sun which was still pretty strong (as evidenced by the sharp shadow behind her), had her shut her eyes and on the count of three open them and get the shot. I just wish the car had had an old license plate on it but I will take care of that later in another post. (Refer to image directly below) BTW, as much as I like old cars I don’t know makes and models for a lot of them-it’s probably a girl thing so if a guy reads this post-I looked through a bunch of images of Studebakers and it looks most like a Studebaker Coupe. from the early ’30s.
After we finished up with the car, it was time to take in a few more places around downtown Bryan. I love this column at The Carnegie Library downtown (btw, if you are into genealogy this is a wonderful library to do some research at upstairs) I only wish we hadn’t have had such a harsh winter with the really hard freeze. A lot of the plants around town were either dead or dying due to the freeze and then the drought we have been having. No matter, Christina more than enough brings beauty to the images we shot and that’s what counts in the end. Then if was over to the Revolution Bar with its very cool mural and hand chair that Christina wanted to sit in. In fact, not posted in this blog post but on Facebook, the image Christina picked for her bridal portrait was one taken in front of the mural. Now that is fun!
Our last images are on our way back over to the car-the very cool alleyway and Texas Star iron door is always a cool place to shoot images of either a bride or a couple…..
and then it was back to the courtyard of The LaSalle Hotel to finish up at the fountain. The lighting by this time was awesome and with just a kiss of light from our off-camera lighting we have another gorgeous image of Christina. I hope you all enjoy a little history with this blog post and I look forward to posting new sessions soon. Feel free to give us a call at 979-690-9105, if you are getting married and want to have Classic. Modern. and Romantic portraits.