The Making of a "Masterpiece 1923 Signature Art" Print

As many of you know I do a lot of Photoshop work to my images.  Some of them get an extra dose of creative treatments.  Those prints are called my Masterpiece 1923 Signature Art prints.  These shots usually derive as a priceless moment, creative pose, unique situation, or whatever is visually and emotionally important.   The example I’m choosing to use here is what I call a quintessential shot that has the heavy burden of being an emotional climax to an entire wedding day.  Now, in a perfect world, such an amazing moment should be choreographed for the maximum visual appeal…  Yeah, right.  I’ve been at weddings where the couple is so nervous they forget to kiss!  Things NEVER work out the way they are supposed to in this scenario and only rarely, can that shot be so perfect it would need no attention.   Not everyone agrees with me on what constitutes a perfect photo, nor should they.

To me the perfect photo should do one thing.  Draw the viewer DIRECTLY into what it is that you intended to capture in the first place.  So for the example below.  It’s the kiss.

What’s wrong with this shot?  Many would say NOTHING.  Leave it as is.  It’s real life.  It’s meant to look like this.

Masterpiece 1923 Signature Art

The first thing that drove me nuts here and took my attention from the couple’s first kiss as husband and wife; was grandma’s blue jacket, draped over her wheelchair.  The second thing was that the priest took off running.  So he’s in motion in the shot.  (you can see below as hey walks away)  The third thing was the symmetry of the who shot is off just a pinch because the groom walked towards the bride for the kiss.. (which he should  So clearly they kissed off to the left just a bit.

Masterpiece 1923 Signature Art

What I set out to do was remove the distractions as I saw them.  Like the best man, clapping; only to see his nose and hands…

Here is a markup of what I did in the final print.

Masterpiece 1923 Signature Art

Call it a little anal, but the end result is undoubtedly more powerful at drawing our eyes towards the bride and groom and their kiss among the sea of poinsettias.

Masterpiece 1923 Signature Art

Comments are welcome!

Jules - March 1, 2009 - 5:42 pm

Excellent work and description, you truly are a master at this,


Andy - March 1, 2009 - 6:10 pm

Awesome! love the how, why & what of the creative design. including the ‘markup’ is great also. This is just one more example of why you are a master of your craft!

Keep up the great work and inspiration! 🙂

Jacob Bergmeier - March 1, 2009 - 7:48 pm

Never anything less than incredibly impressive!!!

Naomi - March 1, 2009 - 8:32 pm

It’s amazing the amount of work that goes into producing natural looking photos!

Eric Foley - March 1, 2009 - 9:50 pm

What the??? Dude you got mad skilz!

Jessica - March 1, 2009 - 10:27 pm

Very impressive!

Grandma - March 2, 2009 - 8:26 am

Great help with awareness of what it takes to get the perfect shot

Robin Dini - March 2, 2009 - 11:02 am

Wow!!! You love your photoshop 🙂 great job on the master piece.

Val McCormick - March 2, 2009 - 1:09 pm

Wow, You did an amazing job on that image. What a great idea to blog this so everyone can see how much time, effort and skills are put into beautiful photography. You Rock!!!

robert Norman - March 2, 2009 - 2:52 pm!