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Indeed, black and white is beautiful. Since the introduction of Kodacolor in 1948, there has been an inexorable shift to color prints for the masses. Monochrome is really very artistic for many views, this one in particular. B & W also has the benefit that it is more forgiving of underexposure and high lighting contrast often found in a natural setting such as this scene. This shot really lends itself to a square format; unfortunately, this is the full frame and its impossible to create more image now. Ideally, I would have thought to use the horizontal camera position and crop to square, even though intuitively, this was a vertical shot, which I made as such.  More area in front of Melanie would not make it appear as though she is looking out of the picture, a compositional error. A most important technique is introduced with this exposure: available light. Available light photography uses only the ambient light present in the scene with no flash or other artificial light except that which is normally used in the setting. In this case, window light within a open-air church provided sufficient and the best light possible. With available light, you have the best chance to get the background properly lit, without the use of complex multiple slave flashes. Photography was originally what-you-see-what-you-get and it still can be that way. A walk around with an incident light meter in hand is a good way to check the ambient light. If it is reasonably even, you are in business, if you have a fast lens. Try black and white for a change. Its great!


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