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Thread: Crazy - A Wedding

  1. #1

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    Crazy - A Wedding

    I know many at CiC think it is crazy to do a wedding. Maybe I am a little CooCoo. Did this wedding on 05 April, the very first one I was paid to do. I must say I really enjoyed doing the shoot.

    What do you people think, do these shots work for you?

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    Crazy - A Wedding

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    Crazy - A Wedding

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    Crazy - A Wedding

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    Crazy - A Wedding
    Last edited by AB26; 10th April 2013 at 10:15 AM.

  2. #2

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    Re: Crazy - A Wedding

    Hi Andre,

    I'm usually "leading the charge" with the "crazy accusations"

    A couple of thoughts ...

    - I'm only seeing one image above - I think you might have forgotten to attach the 2nd. It's a nice shot - 10 out of 10 for composition and inspiration. 8 out of 10 for the execution (the bride's dress is pretty badly blown -- probably recoverable from a RAW exposure though, and the expressions on both look more like they're walking into a funeral (touch of irony there ).

    - My biggest "fear" with folks shooting weddings is that many don't seem to appreciate the difference between an amateur job, where "shooting all day and coming away with a few great shots" is perfectly acceptable -v- a professional job where the professional is expected to shoot all day and to have 95% of ALL shots both in-focus and correctly exposed (in a variety of lighting conditions ranging from inside a dark church - no flash allowed - with weird colour casts from light entering through stained glass windows to harsh light of full sun for the formals) - additionally, that 95% is also expected to be "reasonable" compositions.

    That's the basic difference in my opinion. If an amateur fires off 2000 frames and ends up with 20 great shots then - wohoo - that's 20 great shots! If a professional fires off 2000 frames and only gets 20 great shots he's basically dead in the water. The biggest problems thus occur when the B&G are expecting (and paying) for 2000 good shots and they only get 20.

    Hope you did well, but so far we've only seen one good shot.

  3. #3

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    Re: Crazy - A Wedding

    Hi Colin,

    Thanks for the response. I accept it as a compliment and it is sure encouragement for future projects.

    Sorry for the little blip with loading images. In SA we have all the technology but it does not always work the way it is supposed to.

    I cannot agree more on any Photographer using a camera like a machine gun, rattling off shots and only using 10% of the images. (Glamour Photographers excluded.) Then again, how many shots do you actually take and how many images are being used, no matter what you shoot?

    I do realize the wedding dress is “clipped”. However I will appreciate any advice form anybody with regard to doing a Maori, African American, Aborigine, or any dark skinned wedding with a bride in a white dress shot in the midday South African sun. Doing a photo shoot of Black Africans, getting perfect exposure, is perhaps one of Photography’s great challenges. Some are very dark whilst others are fairly light. It is almost like getting the wedding dress perfectly exposed whilst also getting the Groom’s black tux perfectly exposed, in direct sunlight. Is it possible?

    Got 3 more images posted, will probably post more in stages.

    PS.: Colin you will be delighted to hear that I realize, doing weddings and portraits good editing software seems to be a MUST HAVE.

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    Re: Crazy - A Wedding

    Hi Andre

    I don't have experience of weddings or dark skins, so may be way off the mark.

    However, I wonder if Joe's (jprzbyla) "white bird" technique may help. Underexpose enough to eliminate the blinkies, then bring up the exposure in pp whilst controlling the highlights in the dress? (RAW of course)

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    Re: Crazy - A Wedding

    Quote Originally Posted by AB26 View Post
    I cannot agree more on any Photographer using a camera like a machine gun, rattling off shots and only using 10% of the images. (Glamour Photographers excluded.) Then again, how many shots do you actually take and how many images are being used, no matter what you shoot?
    Photographers like David Ziser (who's been shooting weddings since the 1960s I believe and is generally considered to be one of the worlds best wedding photographers) fires around 2000 to 3000 frames per wedding. In a studio shoot I'll usually take 400 to 800 in around 2 to 4 hours (so probably similar rate per hour). In my case, around 50 to 80 shots per set, of which a portion will be out of focus - blinkers - "high on drugs expressions" etc, so we typically end up with around 30 shots per set for the customer to make their serious selections from. A lot of that comes from my style though; I'm known as someone who "connects" with their subject (I hate that grossly over-used word!), which basically translates to me getting them laughing - moving - having a good time and freezing the actions whilst guiding them with posing but without micromanaging them. Works well for me.

    I do realize the wedding dress is “clipped”. However I will appreciate any advice form anybody with regard to doing a Maori, African American, Aborigine, or any dark skinned wedding with a bride in a white dress shot in the midday South African sun. Doing a photo shoot of Black Africans, getting perfect exposure, is perhaps one of Photography’s great challenges. Some are very dark whilst others are fairly light. It is almost like getting the wedding dress perfectly exposed whilst also getting the Groom’s black tux perfectly exposed, in direct sunlight. Is it possible?
    It's easily doable - you just need to push/pull the tones in post-production. The brightest thing will be the dress and the darkest thing will be a black suit - and there's only 4 stops between them - and your camera will capture up to about 12 - so plenty of safety margin there - so just use some fill light to reveal suit / dark skin detail and expose for the dress (normally a camera will give a 2-stop safety margin above the highlights anyway, but if it's looking too bright, just use the highlight recovery slider) (I can recover 2/3 of the detail in the dress of your JPEG shot, without touching skintones, so a RAW shot should be completely recoverable). will probably post more in stages.

    PS.: Colin you will be delighted to hear that I realize, doing weddings and portraits good editing software seems to be a MUST HAVE.
    Generally, programs like Lightroom or the Bridge/ACR combination from Photoshop are needed for efficiency due to the sheer number of shots. Generally they're only processed with mostly global adjustments though -- very much a case of "the closer you can get it at the time, the less work you'll need to do afterwards".

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    Re: Crazy - A Wedding

    Colin, sorry to interject, but you must be THE most helpful person I have ever seen... Also handy with a camera...

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    Re: Crazy - A Wedding

    Quote Originally Posted by AB26 View Post
    I know many at CiC think it is crazy to do a wedding. Maybe I am a little CooCoo.
    As recently as a few months ago, I would have agreed with you. But weddings are probably the easiest way to support yourself through photography. Still not sure my skills are up to it yet (and my gear definitely isn't), but I suspect I'll wind up covering them eventually.

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    Re: Crazy - A Wedding

    Thank you Dave, you got a very valid point.
    One thing to remember about Black Africans, never ever underexpose a face. Rule No 1 like Rule not like guideline. You will notice I mention Black African because I consider myself to be a White African.

    Thank you Colin, appreciate the valuable time you spend on this.
    Wonder how David Zeiser manages to work through the images after a shoot. Took me a day to work through 340 images. I can understand the machine gun in glamour. A fraction of a smile might make a world of difference to the end result.
    Does Lightroom do that thing of push and pull?
    It was shot in RAW, converted to Jpeg in Nikon ViewNX2.
    I am so glad we can agree on getting it as close to right, as possible, in camera, to reduce PP.

    Tyler you are not going to score many brownie points. A guy using a Canon 1Dx should be handy with a camera.
    No reason for any member of CiC not to appreciate any help from anybody here. Have a look and see how much time other members spend in giving advice. People like Grumpy Diver, rpcrowe, jprazbyla and what about Donald and all the others – we need to sing the praises of all dedicated CiC members spending time in helping each other.

    Lex, you must also have a few screws loose. Beware the day you actually start enjoying it. It is not about the money, it is about the people and the challenge. The constantly changing opportunities and most of all the satisfaction when someone else appreciate the work you have done. Seeing a face light up when you show the bride the first proofs, no money can buy that.
    I do not think I am qualified to be a Wedding Photographer, I do not even think of myself as a good Photographer.
    I am just a dedicated amateur with a passion. Driving back home after this shoot I experienced a gratification that lead me to believe I would love to do this thing as often as I might be given the opportunity.
    A retirement career, could be – you never know. In the meantime I still have lots to learn. I am learning lots from people like you and all the others that respond to my posts.

    Thank you to all for the responses, you people give me the courage to go more Coo Coo.

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    Re: Crazy - A Wedding

    Quote Originally Posted by bowneracing99 View Post
    Colin, sorry to interject, but you must be THE most helpful person I have ever seen... Also handy with a camera...
    Shhhhhhhhhh

    (but thanks!).

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    Re: Crazy - A Wedding

    Quote Originally Posted by RustBeltRaw View Post
    But weddings are probably the easiest way to support yourself through photography.
    Lol. First time I've seen the words "easiest" and "weddings" used in the same sentence. I would suggest that wedding photography is about as demanding as it gets. Many jump in the deep end whilst being unprepared. Many sink.

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    Re: Crazy - A Wedding

    Quote Originally Posted by AB26 View Post
    One thing to remember about Black Africans, never ever underexpose a face.
    If you're shooting RAW and metering normally, it's pretty hard to do. The shot may initially look under-exposed, but a RAW capture has enough information for those flesh tones to be forced all the way to a blown highlight, without losing detail (although that would make for an interesting looking shot).

    Wonder how David Zeiser manages to work through the images after a shoot. Took me a day to work through 340 images. I can understand the machine gun in glamour. A fraction of a smile might make a world of difference to the end result.
    Does Lightroom do that thing of push and pull?
    It was shot in RAW, converted to Jpeg in Nikon ViewNX2.
    I am so glad we can agree on getting it as close to right, as possible, in camera, to reduce PP.
    He uses Lightroom.

    The key to all of this is batch processing. What I do is preview the images in Adobe Bridge - make one pass through deleting frames where the flash didn't fire - the camera didn't focus - the subject looks like they're stoned because I caught them mid-blink - or some other clearly disqualifying issue. Then I open them in ACR (Adobe Camera RAW) - apply the correct camera/lens profile - apply the correct white balance - adjust exposure / brightness / blacks etc - AND THEN RIPPLE THOSE CHANGES THROUGH ALL THE IMAGES THEY APPLY TO (usually an entire set of 50 to 80 images). That phase only takes a couple of minutes.

    Next stage I'll go through and apply individual crops and GND filters (to target the lighting) - then export those as JPEGs - JOB DONE (for that phase anyway -- after the customer makes their selections then the actual retouching of selected images is done in Photoshop).

    Sounds to me like you're very much doing things the hard way in terms of workflow.

  12. #12
    RustBeltRaw's Avatar
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    Re: Crazy - A Wedding

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Lol. First time I've seen the words "easiest" and "weddings" used in the same sentence. I would suggest that wedding photography is about as demanding as it gets. Many jump in the deep end whilst being unprepared. Many sink.
    I should clarify that statement. As a photographer, weddings are probably the easiest place to find paying work. That does not mean they're a walk in the park.

  13. #13

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    Re: Crazy - A Wedding

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Sounds to me like you're very much doing things the hard way in terms of workflow.
    Thank you Colin. I have decided to upgrade one of my computers and load Lightroom on it and then use it for Photography only. Though the RAW files are only 15-18MB each the computer I am using at the moment is sometimes a bit slow processing 250 - 300 images in batches.

    At the moment I think I do things the hard way. Maybe I am a sucker for punishment.

    I am learning, slowly but surely.

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    Re: Crazy - A Wedding

    Quote Originally Posted by AB26 View Post
    Thank you Colin. I have decided to upgrade one of my computers and load Lightroom on it and then use it for Photography only. Though the RAW files are only 15-18MB each the computer I am using at the moment is sometimes a bit slow processing 250 - 300 images in batches.

    At the moment I think I do things the hard way. Maybe I am a sucker for punishment.

    I am learning, slowly but surely.
    Be sure to give it at least 8GB RAM - preferably an i7 CPU - and if you can squeeze a 240GB solid state hard drive in there as well then that'll make a huge difference to performance.

    Not a great Lightroom fan myself (I prefer the no-frills interface of Bridge + ACR), but if you do go that way, be sure to change the default saving behaviour so that image edits aren't solely kept in the lightroom database (my personal recommendation is to convert all files to DNG and have LR store the edits in the DNG files).

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