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Critic's CornerBridal #1

Wedding, receptions, parties, conferences and other celebrations and social group events.
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cyclohexane
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Bridal #1

Postby cyclohexane » Thu Jul 23, 2015 2:23 am

These days, I'm primarily working as an assistant, which means lots of acting as a voice-activated light stand, amateur psychologist for the bridal party, pinning flowers, and (most recently), feeding the bride...

I've also taken a more active role in styling since our usual style maven is taking some time off from our operation. Also, our very own Ed nailed us for poor styling two years ago.

I carry two crash bags on almost every job. One is filled with tools and grip equipment, tape, black wrap/cinefoil... anything you need to save your shoot. The other has a portable Jiffy steamer, travel iron, clothing brush, lint rollers, shoe polish. Sometimes these things get more use than my cameras, though if the grip bag gets opened a lot, the shoot has usually quietly gone sideways. 8):

I don't usually shoot much or at all during bridal party photos, family photos, etc. Anything set up usually involves me doing at least some of the setting up, and that tends to exclude me shooting at the same time.

Sometimes, however, I still get some shooting in as a B or C camera; here's a shot from one of last weekend's two weddings. Here, I managed to find time to grab one of my cameras and fire off a shot during bridal portraits and the like.

150718_JEWNOE_0500.jpg


Her left arm holding the bouquet could use some retouching, and I didn't notice a bit of her right arm growing out of her torso behind there. I feel like I'm a tad tight (did not get the entire bouquet), but I think I was already against the guardrail on the bridge we were standing on.

Lens is a Korean War era 8.5cm f/2.0 Nikkor-P in Leica screwmount. Quick and dirty export from Capture One 8, so just a bit of cropping and contrast adjustment.
-Michael
Find me on the web: Michael Chen Photo |Blog ("coming soon" since before the dinosaurs roamed the Earth)|SportsShooter | California Wildlife

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Didereaux
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Re: Bridal #1

Postby Didereaux » Thu Jul 23, 2015 8:39 am

cyclohexane wrote:These days, I'm primarily working as an assistant, which means lots of acting as a voice-activated light stand, amateur psychologist for the bridal party, pinning flowers, and (most recently), feeding the bride...

I've also taken a more active role in styling since our usual style maven is taking some time off from our operation. Also, our very own Ed nailed us for poor styling two years ago.

I carry two crash bags on almost every job. One is filled with tools and grip equipment, tape, black wrap/cinefoil... anything you need to save your shoot. The other has a portable Jiffy steamer, travel iron, clothing brush, lint rollers, shoe polish. Sometimes these things get more use than my cameras, though if the grip bag gets opened a lot, the shoot has usually quietly gone sideways. 8):

I don't usually shoot much or at all during bridal party photos, family photos, etc. Anything set up usually involves me doing at least some of the setting up, and that tends to exclude me shooting at the same time.

Sometimes, however, I still get some shooting in as a B or C camera; here's a shot from one of last weekend's two weddings. Here, I managed to find time to grab one of my cameras and fire off a shot during bridal portraits and the like.


Her left arm holding the bouquet could use some retouching, and I didn't notice a bit of her right arm growing out of her torso behind there. I feel like I'm a tad tight (did not get the entire bouquet), but I think I was already against the guardrail on the bridge we were standing on.

Lens is a Korean War era 8.5cm f/2.0 Nikkor-P in Leica screwmount. Quick and dirty export from Capture One 8, so just a bit of cropping and contrast adjustment.



Had you moved her just a wee bit to camera left that spot of light halfway down her hair would have moved up near the top and been an almost perfect hair light, and would more than likely have resulted in adding a bit of light to her face...which needs it. Nice pose and composition imo.
There are no banal subjects in photography, but an infinite number of banal ways to illustrate them.

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cyclohexane
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Re: Bridal #1

Postby cyclohexane » Thu Jul 23, 2015 4:07 pm

Thanks for looking, Very good point. :)
-Michael
Find me on the web: Michael Chen Photo |Blog ("coming soon" since before the dinosaurs roamed the Earth)|SportsShooter | California Wildlife

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Ed Shapiro
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Re: Bridal #1

Postby Ed Shapiro » Thu Jul 23, 2015 5:14 pm

Hey Micheal!

Nice use of selective focus resulting in good “bokeh”. There seems to be a bit of subject failure in that the exposure reading has favored the background rather than the subject- this has resulted in a muddy skin tones or a bit of underexposure in the subject This can be precluded by adding more fill light with a reflector or some gentle flash fill or off camera main lighting. A spot reading rather than an integrated one would also help to prevent this problem. Some post production editing can remedy this issue- with you permission, I will post the edit and explain the actions.

Another “trick”, when shooting into bright backgrounds, is employing an old skylight filter with a thin strip of black drafting tape of black automotive pin-stripe tape applied diagonally across the format. This will absorb some of the light in the background and further scramble that part of the image. At wide apertures, of course, the tape will not show- it will remain entirely out of focus. Shooting through out of focus twigs, tall grass, foliage or other natural or existing elements will have a similar romantic effect.

Posing wise, the brides body weight is not distributed gracefully- the should start with the position of the feet and legs- even where a close-up or ¾ pose is concerned. The proper stances transfer to good position of the hips, torso and shoulder lines for a more dynamic pose. The straight line of the arm, again, is not as graceful as more of an angular position but not as far as a 90° angle. The position of the arms should lead the viewer's eye to the subject's face- a pose that creates an S-curve pattern works well. It is best to feature the flowers in the bouquet and hide the stems, handles or grips that the flouriest provides. In a frontal face view, like this one, it is better if the subject's eyes are centered to enable or establish eye contact with the viewer. In this particular case, the off center crop, serves no purpose as it would in a 2/3 or profile view where negative space in the direction that the subject is facing or gazing into makes for better composition.

Please let me know if you will find the edit helpful!

Ed Images to follow.

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Re: Bridal #1

Postby cyclohexane » Thu Jul 23, 2015 6:37 pm

Ed, please go ahead and edit. :)

The exposure is more or less entirely my fault. My camera essentially doesn't have autoexposure (insert me making a sideways glance towards Germany here).

I think one of the problems here is that I'm firing off a few snaps here and there while assisting. When I'm in charge (not often these days), I try and light the hell out of everything... Almost to the point where the bride doesn't want to see a strobe ever again.

That usually requires my own assistants instead of me being the assistant though. :D

That said, I'm still trying to be a much better B or C camera. No real excuses! 8):

Oh, and thanks in advance, Ed. :thumbup:
-Michael
Find me on the web: Michael Chen Photo |Blog ("coming soon" since before the dinosaurs roamed the Earth)|SportsShooter | California Wildlife

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Ed Shapiro
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Re: Bridal #1

Postby Ed Shapiro » Thu Jul 23, 2015 6:55 pm

Here's more about my last post about Michael's image. There is a shot of that filter with the pin-stripe tape on it and an example of a brade and groom at a "retro-theme" wedding where the bride decided to dress in her mom's wedding dress and the ebtire bridal part went retro- back o the 70s. This is the result of useing foreground objects to shot through and creat enough interference to influence the background bokeh and creat more remantic effects. No post processing- image righ out of camera.

OK- Michael - Just got your OK on the edit- It will follow soon! Thanks!
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B&G SOFT FOCUS.jpg
Stripe on filter.jpg
Stripe on filter.jpg (30.02 KiB) Viewed 784 times
Little Sarah- Bokeh.jpg
Little Sarah- Bokeh.jpg (46.87 KiB) Viewed 784 times

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Ed Shapiro
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RE: Bridal #1

Postby Ed Shapiro » Thu Jul 23, 2015 8:04 pm

Thus is a very quick and dirty edit that is mainly concerned with tonal range, balance and some corrections. Rather than burn and dodge extensively or depending upon contrast and brightness controls to darken the background and brighten the subject, I went to LEVELS in PhotoShop. This setting enables you to adjust contrast and brightness levels without out sacrificing highlight or shadow detail. Just making BRIGHTNESS and CONTRAST adjustments or burning and dodging adjustments alone will oftentimes lead to graying down of the whites rather than restoring some detail or blocking up the blacks while attempting to increase contrast in the middle tones. Once decent levels are established, very slight BURN, DODGE, CONTRAST, BRIGHTNESS and VIBRENCE controls will easily tweak the image.

On this image I brightened the eyes slightly and tried to intensify the catch lights by DODGING.

I then used the RUBBER STAME CLONE tool to get rid of some of the hot spots in the background.

As for composition, if you wish, you can clone in some more background for better centering.

In the olden days of analog printing, many really nice images were affected by poor printing techniques. A good custom print could make the difference between a mediocre print and a decent one and even turn a good image into a real prizewinner. It's pretty well the same story nowadays, especially with all the great tools we have in out post production bag of tricks.

By the way- the expressions and spontaneity in your candid shots are great!

Regards, Ed
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Edt sample Michael.jpg
Edt sample Michael.jpg (307.48 KiB) Viewed 781 times

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cyclohexane
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Re: RE: Bridal #1

Postby cyclohexane » Thu Jul 23, 2015 9:00 pm

Thanks, Ed. Really appreciate you taking the time. :)

Ed Shapiro wrote: By the way- the expressions and spontaneity in your candid shots are great!


Thanks! That's where I usually make my money, so to speak.
-Michael
Find me on the web: Michael Chen Photo |Blog ("coming soon" since before the dinosaurs roamed the Earth)|SportsShooter | California Wildlife


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