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my clumsy first attempt

Discussion in 'People' started by okcandids, Jul 15, 2008.

  1. okcandids


    Jan 12, 2008
    Southern NH
    A few months ago I was asked by someone working at my kids' daycare, who have seen my pictures, if I'd be interested in being her wedding photographer. I was a bit apprehensive, considering the pressure of "getting it right", but ended up saying I would, as I've been very excited about the experience.

    A little later I volunteered to get them a decent photo that they could use for their Save The Date card, and they liked the results. Last week I caught up with them and was told that the mom liked the picture so much she was going to have it framed to have at the signing book table, so I offered to go out with them somewhere and get something nicer than the previous picture---something more romantic, natural, etc.

    So, this past Sunday we met up. I brought my gear, a light stand (to which I attached an SB-800), and shoot thru umbrela. Admittedly, I was clumsy about the whole thing but after doing it, I'm over the first-time jitters and will already meet up with them again to shoot some more.

    So, to make a long story even longer, when I got back I wasn't sure what I was going to have---lots of dark pictures, my SB-800 batteries ran out, which messed up the exposure on many. At one point the light stand crashed down. I was hoping to have at least a couple of keepers. With a bit of PP, I am happy to say that there were at least a handful that I think came out very well with some PP (NX: auto-levels, advanced to remove color cast, levels adjustments to darken, light->d-lighting. PS-CS2: noise reduction (on some), resizing, usm 50/1/0). I know the colors are off on some, but overall I'm happy with the results, the experience. All the credit in the world goes to them for putting up with me "learning on the job", to a degree.

    So, here are my favorites:



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  2. chandler


    Oct 21, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    I liked the poses. Relaxed and natural.
  3. Great shots and very good posing. I would remove all the text though.
  4. JessP7


    May 3, 2005
    North MS, USA
    I think you did well for a first attempt. As mentioned, the posing looks very relaxed. They must have been comfortable with you, which I can see as being a priority. Keep up the good work.
  5. leahp26


    Apr 28, 2008
    Southern NH
    Great job - they look pretty relaxed. The poses look really good and you can see the closeness between them. I like the framing with the tree especially on #3

    I am sure they will be happy with these or you may want to do a tiny retouching on the last one (shadows under her eyes, a little skin smoothing) for a slightly more glamorous effect - I only mention this if it's going to be on display at the wedding. Just my 2c!
  6. gnet158

    gnet158 Guest

    Not bad at all, you do need to work on your lighting but that will come with time. I too am venturing into the portrait arena. Try using a soft box or umbrella to diffuse the light, the first shot was a bit to harsh. And try shooting at ISO 100 when using the flash, and meter on the background first and then meter on the couple second to see which ones you liked.
  7. CougarWilbur

    CougarWilbur Guest

    Do you use a grey card to set WB? I agree some diffusion of your strobe would soften things up a little. Buy your batteries in the 24 pack or use a couple 3 sets of the rechargable NiMH's so you don't wind up out on a shoot wth no juice for the strobe.

    I think the groom is very photogenic and would consider shooting him by himself to add to (or start) your portrait portfolio.
  8. JMontes


    Jun 22, 2007
    Edgartown, MA
    Oren, what did you do about your white balance? It seems to be different in each image. My guess is their natural color is either 3 or 4, or somewhere inbetween.

    Other than that, these images look great and you did well!
  9. nice shots
    i like the 2nd one best
    but... i'd fix the color cast a bit, though

    well done
  10. okcandids


    Jan 12, 2008
    Southern NH
    Thanks, Raj.

    Thanks, Arcinio. Yeah, I'd never put the text on their actual pictures---they have been "given" (read: directed to their space on my website) access to higher resolution versions of these without the text. I only put that on there because they aren't my family and I figured that this is something I may want to consider as "professional" and should have the proper creds in there, even if it detracts a bit from the image (though obviously I didn't want an actual watermark that's "part" of the important parts of the image). They can do as they wish with their copy, which is password protected.

    Thanks, Jessica. They seem really happy to model for me, and I'm all too happy to use'em as models. :biggrin:

    Thanks, Leah. Absolutely. These have not been retouched "at all" other than the PP done to get them to this stage. With the image they'll actually use I can add in any blemish correction (if they want), teeth whitening, and anything else they may want.

    Thanks, gnet158. Absolutely. This was my first time using the lighting outdoors. I was hampered by lack of experience and some equipment malfunction (read: battery issues). I have to get better at positioning the lightstand, the height, the angle in which it points into the shoot-thru umbrella. Tried using the flash in TTL mode and then was playing with (M) and seeing what I was getting at 1/32, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, etc. Also should have added the diffusing dome onto the flash to increase the diffusion even further.

    Thanks for the comments, Keith. I did not use a grey card :frown:, but that's certainly on my "list" for next time (going to get a WhiBal). Won't make the same battery mistake next time. The whole thing was a bit rushed because I/we were having so much fun I actually ran late to an errand I had close to when we were doing this. So, with that, I didn't get to check on which set I grabbed and got bitten by it.

    I'll have to tell the groom what you said. I'm sure he'd get a kick out of it! :biggrin:

    Thanks for the comments, John. I used Auto-WB on the D200, but I think the malfunctioning flash had a lot to do with the messed up WB as it underexposed by a lot thinking there was more light there than ended up being when the shot was taken. Here's a couple of them (which are a couple of my favorites) and the progression from the original shot to what I ended up with:

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    I think "by themselves" the images are better than when viewed collectively, simply because you notice the WB differences so much more. But it is DEFINITELY an issue, and one I knew I would have. I hope that the grey card will help with that even when I screw up.

    Thanks for the comments, Greg. I'm sure they can all use some "extra" TLC. I really like the "mood" of the shot, though the color leaves me wanting. Hopefully the next set will be even better.

    Thanks again everyone for looking and commenting.
  11. JMontes


    Jun 22, 2007
    Edgartown, MA
    Oren, so you shot RAW? Try white balance off of HIS eyes...they are pretty white....see if that gets the color in the ballpark.
  12. nicktak


    Jul 30, 2006
    I quite like the first shot, and the poses and smiles are good (that can be the hard part sometimes!).

    On the landscape orientation shots it looks like you could re-compose the shot so that their heads aren't in the middle of the shot. I feel, in general, that people's heads should be in the top third of the frame, as you have done in the portrait-oriented shots.

    Hope that helps.
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