I'm not a member of many photographic societies or directories. The majority of them promise to only market the very best photographers and yet, after not so long, their listings become saturated with poor quality wedding photography. I suppose, ultimately, they are a business and therefore look to sell as many subscriptions as possible but it does mean that now more than ever, letters after your name or an association's logo on your website really means exceptionally little. It's what's in your customer's albums and your portfolio that really count.
Achieving membership with both is tough, the ISPWP particularly so. ISPWP was created by professional photographers to raise the standards of the wedding photography industry by representing only the most professional and most talented wedding photographers in the world.
In their own words they're 'picky' and will never compromise standards.
I cannot stress enough how good wedding photography can be, there are many good photographers in ISPWP, the majority from north America but having so many good photographers under one roof means that the quarterly competitions are quite hard and I'm delighted when I get just one result but this time, to my delight, I got six!
Congratulations to all the other photographers that qualified, especially the UK folk as we're a little outnumbered and possibly outshone by the slick industry from across the pond.
For the photographers that follow me on Twitter or via this blog and have been interested in my Canon to Nikon switch, this last image was the trigger.
It was shot with a 5D MK2 on the very limits of the camera: 5000 ISO at F 1.6 on a F 1.4 lens. The digital noise on the original RAW file was quite high and I've since switched to a Nikon setup that can comfortably shoot at a much higher ISO and still get less digital noise - the noise that I do get is much more similar to traditional film grain. So the judges comments were perfectly justified but the image still did quite well, all things considered.
Ultimately, I need to have the right tool for the job and my style tends to use just natural and available light. The Canon would be perfectly fit for the majority of the time but it’s these infrequent occasions when you’re required, and expected, to produce professional quality images in very tricky and dark situations – which creates issues for equipment with poor noise quality at very high ISO, it also played havoc with the 5D MK2 AF system.
I have a duty to my customers to have the most suitable camera for my style and in incredibly low light, the Nikon system can produce very natural looking results, more importantly, I can recreate what I see, even in very demanding, low light conditions.