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Thread: Just wondering.......

  1. #1

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    Just wondering.......

    I am a wedding photographer - about a year into my journey and about 20 weddings under my belt.
    Im for sure still trying to find my voice, and everyday getting a little closer.
    I shot a wedding this past weekend that made me feel like I really am starting to hit it - some off camera flash combined with some less 'over the top' edits that I - like just about every awesome photographer I know - got a little sucked into when they saw the possibilities of photo manipulation! Hah!

    So now this is where I am kind of feeling a bit stuck: Exposure.

    Sounds really.... REALLY basic.

    Yes I can expose a photo correctly - but in post production I am finding that with the contrast between a dark suit, a light dress and a lot of colour - I never am sure if exposing a little over, under, or dead on is best.

    Obviously by shooting in Raw, I can make some adjustments, and overall, I am finding that by ETTR the image is a little more satisfactory for my style. I like a little bit lower contrast, still vibrant colours and really crisp lines.

    I was wondering if anyone else has any suggestions on how to fine tune this? How best to edit with this in mind? How to maintain the clairity and contrast while keeping if bright and natural looking?

    I might be looking in the wrong area for an answer (I dont mean the forum - I mean my review of my shooting choices) and if so let me know!

    Any really experienced wedding photographers out there? Do you tend to ETTR or hit it bang on?



    Thanks again!

    S

  2. #2

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    Re: Just wondering.......

    Hi Samantha,

    I'm not a wedding photographer, but I can say that ETTR is the most accurate and exact way of exposing sensors in digital photography.

    There are two points here you should pay attention ... you should identify the real clipping point for your raw files ... and secondly, on-camera white balance should be correctly adjusted for protecting single channels from clipping as far as possible. Also check channel histograms when shooting.

    Best wishes ...

  3. #3
    pnodrog's Avatar
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    Re: Just wondering.......

    Quote Originally Posted by AltayHan View Post
    Hi Samantha,

    I'm not a wedding photographer, but I can say that ETTR is the most accurate and exact way of exposing sensors in digital photography.

    There are two points here you should pay attention ... you should identify the real clipping point for your raw files ... and secondly, on-camera white balance should be correctly adjusted for protecting single channels from clipping as far as possible. Also check channel histograms when shooting.

    Best wishes ...
    I am not as enthusiastic about ETTR as Altay but if you do his advise is worth adhering to. Wedding photography is something I try and avoid but occasionally get pressured into doing. Capturing detail in the brides dress is all I worry about. The dark suits for me are far less important. I certainly want to record a bit of texture and any pin stripes in the suit but it is the white dress detail I know I will be judged on so for my camera a -1/3 stop exposure compensation gives me the safety margin I want. Talking to other photographers I get the impression this is typical for Nikon users but Canon owners often do no compensation.

    As camera models are improving particularly in dynamic range you really need to just get to know your own gear. Because of my exposure preference in PP upping the shadow level a bit is often needed but I seldom need to tweak the highlights and that suits me.

    My camera definitely needs an upgrade and with the D800 I am hopefully going to get in the next few months I may well revise my approach.

  4. #4
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Just wondering.......

    I'm not a wedding photographer either, but know a few and remember have a discussion along this line. The comment they have made is that getting the bride right is more important that getting the groom 100%, because the brides tend to be less forgiving.

    One of the ones that I know in town finds that doing weddings that involve naval officers the most difficult because you have both the bride and the groom are both wearing white and that totally screws up the metering. It gets even worse when most of the men in the wedding party are also naval officers, wear their dress uniforms.

  5. #5

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    Re: Just wondering.......

    Like the others who have replied, I keep well away from weddings!

    But for similar circumstances, I try to spot meter off the brightest object which has to be correctly exposed; then shoot with manual settings based on that reading. But bear in mind, that may give a slightly off white so a little positive exposure compensation may need to be added to the original measurement for pure white.

    However, if in doubt, I would sooner slightly under expose than over expose.

    Thereafter it is mostly common sense. If the bride has a pale face but darker dress, you go for the face. Or the other way around for a dark face and pale dress.

    Don't forget to allow for men in dark suits and white shirts.

    It is always easier to recover dark shadows than blown highlights.

    Spot metering may be fine for those carefully posed shots but any quick casual snaps are a different matter so ETTL plus a little exposure compensation 'on the fly' may be your only option in those cases.

  6. #6

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    Re: Just wondering.......

    Thanks for all the help!
    Its kind of fun being a wedding photographer because I can actually apply all above advise because during groom prep I can shoot differently than bride prep.

    I will probably continue to slightly ETTR but really would like to learn more about how this impacts colour saturation / clipping. I will be doing some more reading tonight! I've cruised the forums a bit but have still had a bit of trouble when it comes to REALLY getting it in a way I understand.


    Out of curiosity - what is the hugest deterent for everyone with weddings? I've tried everything else and simply LOVE shooting weddings. Everyone is pumped and excited, there are awesome colours - and always new challenges (from people to lighting etc) - And of course, the food rocks.

    Thanks for the replies by the way - and if anyone has their own version of the clipping / colour saturation explanation - Im all ears.
    S

  7. #7

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    Re: Just wondering.......

    Quote Originally Posted by SomedayMyPrintsWillCome View Post
    I will probably continue to slightly ETTR but really would like to learn more about how this impacts colour saturation / clipping.
    Do you mean LCD image on camera or ... about raw file post-processing?

  8. #8

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    Re: Just wondering.......

    Quote Originally Posted by AltayHan View Post
    Do you mean LCD image on camera or ... about raw file post-processing?
    Raw file post processing

  9. #9

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    Re: Just wondering.......

    Let me try to explain as far as my English allows me ... and of course as far as I know.

    I would be very happied to answer if you have any specific question about the clipping issue.

    And, about saturation ... by overexposing, there is always a loss in color saturation ... after correcting the exposure, you may add some saturation during post processing, but of course, it depends on the degree of overexposing and the taste of the photographer.

  10. #10
    pnodrog's Avatar
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    Re: Just wondering.......

    Quote Originally Posted by SomedayMyPrintsWillCome View Post
    Thanks for all the help!
    Its kind of fun being a wedding photographer because I can actually apply all above advise because during groom prep I can shoot differently than bride prep.

    I will probably continue to slightly ETTR but really would like to learn more about how this impacts colour saturation / clipping. I will be doing some more reading tonight! I've cruised the forums a bit but have still had a bit of trouble when it comes to REALLY getting it in a way I understand.


    Out of curiosity - what is the hugest deterent for everyone with weddings? I've tried everything else and simply LOVE shooting weddings. Everyone is pumped and excited, there are awesome colours - and always new challenges (from people to lighting etc) - And of course, the food rocks.

    Thanks for the replies by the way - and if anyone has their own version of the clipping / colour saturation explanation - Im all ears.
    S
    The first weddings I did were in B&W film and the time needed to process to my satisfaction versus the reward simply meant I could earn far more doing something else. Even with digital and PP using photoshop it could still be fairly time consuming especially if you are forced to shoot on a clear sunny day with very harsh lighting. However now days it is a little bit (a lot really) better in that the clients expectations on pricing are more realistic and the batch editing via lightroom and presets etc is far simpler and faster.

    I have always enjoyed the shoots, it has just been that in the past the PP time made the financial reward marginal.

  11. #11

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    Re: Just wondering.......

    Quote Originally Posted by AltayHan View Post
    Let me try to explain as far as my English allows me ... and of course as far as I know.

    I would be very happied to answer if you have any specific question about the clipping issue.

    And, about saturation ... by overexposing, there is always a loss in color saturation ... after correcting the exposure, you may add some saturation during post processing, but of course, it depends on the degree of overexposing and the taste of the photographer.
    I guess where I am confused or finding it hard to find consistency - is with ISO.

    Sometimes I take a photo at iso 200 - and just by raising it a half stop in PP I get a TON of noise.
    Then I take a photo at iso 1000 - and by leaving it - get minimal amounts.

    I have hypothesized that the photo at 1000 maybe just had more light parts in it to begin with and thus noise is less noticable... but frankly... I have no clue! haha

    :S

  12. #12

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    Re: Just wondering.......

    Indeed, ETTR is a method mainly for increasing signal-to-noise ratio ... that is, it means less noise. An image with ETTR will show less noise than the same image exposed, for example, with the camera standard exposure, if we have more room for highlights at the standard exposure given.

    But, I don't have any opinion for the case you mention. Shooting some frames with a reference object and under same lighting conditions may give a more clear opinion about the case.

  13. #13

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    Re: Just wondering.......

    yup.. Very true... LOL now to get off my lazy ass and do it hahaha
    Just being a potatoe and looking for the easy way out incase someone else had already done it!
    S

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