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DPChallenge Forums >> Individual Photograph Discussion >> Thoughts on Wedding shots - Newbie
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12/09/2004 05:33:49 PM · #1
Hey guys,
Last Friday my In-laws went to the courthouse for a short simple ceremony with only my husband and I attending. I asked if they'd like me to bring my camera to take a couple of shots to which they said "yes". I've NEVER done anything like this before and was very dissapointed when I saw the shots. I didn't want to use the flash and interrupt their vows so the photos came out very very dark. I've tried to fix them best I can and give them a little "Wedding" touch. Did I go too far? Any thoughts on these would be most appreciated. They haven't seen them yet as I wanted them to look as good as possible before they did. I've posted the originals and my processed ones. Thanks for looking! :-)

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Message edited by author 2004-12-09 17:40:15.
12/09/2004 05:39:03 PM · #2
Very nice!
I'm sure they appreciated the lack of retina-detaching mind-erasing flashes going off during their vows.
And the "Wedding" touch works really well with the high contrast pics.
These will make really good prints I'm sure.
12/09/2004 05:40:13 PM · #3
Looks like you did a great job to me. They look so different from the originals.

Maybe crop the bottom one so you get rid of that intrusion on the right?

Message edited by author 2004-12-09 17:42:30.
12/09/2004 05:43:30 PM · #4
I think you did a pretty good job with what you had. Can you tell me the steps.
12/09/2004 05:58:57 PM · #5
Originally posted by Mike0wens:

Looks like you did a great job to me. They look so different from the originals.

Maybe crop the bottom one so you get rid of that intrusion on the right?


Thanks guys!! I was afraid they might look a little too "blown out". I was debating about leaving that piece in or not. It's the minister/judge's book. I think I'll end up cloning it out as it doesn't really add to the impact like it does in the first photo.

As far as the steps I used, first I ran them through Neatimage as there was alot of noise cause I used a high ISO (800 I think). Then I adjusted the levels to lighten them up a lot in photoshop. Lastly I ran them through a Virtual Photographers filter, the diffuse option under black and white and aged the color a little. The Virtual Photographer plug-in can be found here Virtual photograher plug-in It was a lifesaver for me!! :-)

Glad you guys like them and thanks for the comments.
Jen
12/10/2004 07:48:37 AM · #6
Any thoughts from the morning folks before I let this thread die? :-)

Thanks
12/10/2004 08:44:54 AM · #7
I think they look fine, for what you had to work with. You did a good job editing to make them presentable.
12/10/2004 09:50:55 AM · #8
I think the results are OK given what you had to start with. You have hidden many of the flaws in the image with the soft focus type effects. If you had better exposure to begin with, you could have done much more. But, in the end, as long as they are happy, that's what really matters.
12/10/2004 10:12:48 AM · #9
Originally posted by Spazmo99:

I think the results are OK given what you had to start with. You have hidden many of the flaws in the image with the soft focus type effects. If you had better exposure to begin with, you could have done much more. But, in the end, as long as they are happy, that's what really matters.


Thanks, luckily I don't think they expecting much as it was a last minute suggestion on my part and more for the sake of just having a memory of the moment.

Any suggestions on proper settings for lowlight situations such as this where a flash cannot be used? I hate to have to manipulate a shot so much. Hopefully someday I'll have better photographic skills than I do photoshop skills. :-)
12/10/2004 10:29:08 AM · #10
To me they look very processed, which may look differently on a small image on the computer screen compared to how it will look printed out.

I would assume your in-laws will want a print or two, you might try printing out the original with just doing a levels adjustment, maybe a color cast adjustment

We at DPC get so used to looking at 640 sized images on the screen that sometime we forget that they may look very different when printed. I have noticed that many times what looks like it would have too much noise on the screen prints out looking much better then expected.
12/10/2004 10:29:52 AM · #11
Originally posted by jenesis:

Originally posted by Spazmo99:

I think the results are OK given what you had to start with. You have hidden many of the flaws in the image with the soft focus type effects. If you had better exposure to begin with, you could have done much more. But, in the end, as long as they are happy, that's what really matters.


Thanks, luckily I don't think they expecting much as it was a last minute suggestion on my part and more for the sake of just having a memory of the moment.

Any suggestions on proper settings for lowlight situations such as this where a flash cannot be used? I hate to have to manipulate a shot so much. Hopefully someday I'll have better photographic skills than I do photoshop skills. :-)


A fast lens, wide open. If you can't get a fast enough shutter speed to handhold, then bump the ISO until you can. A good recommendation for a fast lens, if you're on a budget is the 50mm f1.8, it's only about $70 or so.
12/10/2004 10:31:17 AM · #12
I love the look that you've achieved with the editing. You really did a good job. I prefer the composition of the first one because it shows what's going on...they're getting married! The second one could just be any couple in front of a tree. I think they will cherish this photo! and not because it's their only one...it has a very beautiful soft look
to it. You did great!
12/10/2004 10:32:34 AM · #13
Did you assume they wouldn't want a flash or did they tell you that? In low light if you don't have the right lens, a flash is a life saver. And really, it's a very important moment, if you can get just one 'safe' shot using a flash it's well worth it.

I think you've done a good job with what you had to work with but it does look really processed. Then again, they may just love it!
12/10/2004 10:46:37 AM · #14
Originally posted by Spazmo99:

A fast lens, wide open. If you can't get a fast enough shutter speed to handhold, then bump the ISO until you can. A good recommendation for a fast lens, if you're on a budget is the 50mm f1.8, it's only about $70 or so.


Thanks for that advice. I was just using the 18-55mm kit lens and was really unprepared when it came to setting the camera. (still trying to figure it all out) here's the exif info for the first shot. I'm sure it's all wrong.... :-)
Shooting Mode
Program AE
Tv( Shutter Speed )
1/15
Av( Aperture Value )
5.6
Metering Mode
Evaluative
Exposure Compensation
-1 2/3
ISO Speed
800
Lens
18.0 - 55.0 mm
Focal Length
55.0 mm

@Goldberry - I just assumed. As I wasn't there as a "photographer" just a guest. We did take some shots in front of the tree afterwards with the flash but still came out very dark, I might even say darker but I was shooting in auto mode as opposed to using one of the manual modes with the flash. I was a bit nervous.... Oh well, I learned one thing though, don't think I'd ever volunteer to take wedding photos again. Too much pressure to get "the shot". As it is I missed the kiss cause I couldn't get the camera to focus on time.... DOH!

@Scottwilson - I know, I hate that they are so over processed. I have regular shots with just a levels and color adjustment for them as well, but they just seemed very flat and dull. Photoshop to the rescue!! Ha ha. Like I said earlier, someday I'll get this photography thing down. :-) Thanks for the comments.

Thanks for all the feedback everyone.
12/10/2004 10:49:30 AM · #15
Originally posted by GoldBerry:

Did you assume they wouldn't want a flash or did they tell you that? In low light if you don't have the right lens, a flash is a life saver. And really, it's a very important moment, if you can get just one 'safe' shot using a flash it's well worth it.

I think you've done a good job with what you had to work with but it does look really processed. Then again, they may just love it!


This sounds a bit harsh to me. She already stated in her title that she's a newbie to wedding photography and it was a spur of the moment decision to take her camera. While her original isn't great, her editing skills have created a beautiful original photo.
12/10/2004 10:56:54 AM · #16
It's strange that even in auto your shots were dark(er).
The rebel is designed to be an auto point-and-shoot as well as a manual slr so that's definetly odd. Ah well, tinker around with the thing till smoke starts coming from it. Personally, using M works best for me. But hand-held, less than 1/60 shutter speed is iffy.

Good luck!
12/10/2004 10:57:43 AM · #17
Originally posted by Marjo:


This sounds a bit harsh to me. She already stated in her title that she's a newbie to wedding photography and it was a spur of the moment decision to take her camera. While her original isn't great, her editing skills have created a beautiful original photo.


if it sounds harsh you took it the wrong way.

12/10/2004 11:01:56 AM · #18
Yeah, you're probably right. Bad morning. :(
12/10/2004 11:05:44 AM · #19
I think you did a great job pulling these photos out of some really dark originals. The filtering is appropriate for a wedding photo, and hides the grain well. I'm sure they'll be proud.

Originally posted by Spazmo99:

A good recommendation for a fast lens, if you're on a budget is the 50mm f1.8, it's only about $70 or so.


Jenesis, buy that lens! You just can't beat it for the price in low light. This shot was taken last night with the 50mm f/1.8 in very low light, handheld at ISO400.

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12/10/2004 11:14:44 AM · #20
wow scalvert, looks great! I'm hoping to pick it up next week sometime..
12/10/2004 11:20:26 AM · #21
Yes, the 50 1.8 is great. Take the photo wide open handheld (maybe at 200 or 400 ISO). Take it RAW so you can fix the white balance and boost the exposure in computer. The kit lens isn't very good for weddings, especially if you aren't using flash.
12/10/2004 11:41:10 AM · #22
Scalvert, that's a beautiful photo!! I'll definetly make that my next purchase.

@plexxoid - I've tried shooting in RAW once but for some reason I wasn't able to open them in photoshop to edit them. I just couldn't figure it out so I've given up on it. I'd love to as it would be very nice to be able to adjust the white balance and such. Maybe someday I'll have enough time to sit down and deal with it.

@ Marjo - I really like the first one myself also for the same reasons. I just wish I was able to get more than just 2 or 3 decent ones. As it is, most of them came out to blurry to fix.
12/10/2004 11:48:51 AM · #23
Jenesis, if you don't have Photoshop CS with the RAW updates, use the FileViewer that came with the DRebel, or download the Digital Photo Professional update from canon, both of those will open, tweak and convert the raw file.
12/10/2004 11:51:33 AM · #24
Originally posted by vontom:

Jenesis, if you don't have Photoshop CS with the RAW updates, use the FileViewer that came with the DRebel, or download the Digital Photo Professional update from canon, both of those will open, tweak and convert the raw file.


I use Photoshop 7. I'll try downloading the update from Canon and see if I can figure it out. Thanks for that!!
12/10/2004 12:15:12 PM · #25
Originally posted by jenesis:

Scalvert, that's a beautiful photo!! I'll definetly make that my next purchase.


Thanks, Jennifer. I posted another photo in my portfolio that gives you a better idea of the sharpness and shallow DOF on this lens. The photo is just cropped and sharpened while resizing for web- no levels or other color adjustment.

If you do pick up the 50mm, I suggest you also get a macro coupler to go with it (about $8). This will allow you to reverse the lens for excellent macros.
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