50th Wedding Anniversary Party

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by Lacey Anne, May 20, 2008.

  1. Lacey Anne

    Lacey Anne TPF Noob!

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    Ok, I'm posting these in the professional gallery not because I think they're professional but rather so I can get professional critiques. Fair enough? I have some very pointed questions, not just "how are these?"

    #1 This is the bride. Just a candid as she was greeting guests as they arrived. I found it's very hard to get good candids. People are constantly turning away.:grumpy: I have a great new respect for people who can get amazing candids at receptions. It's something I need to work on. I softened her skin so the wrinkles would be less noticeable. The background simply can't be helped since it was at a grange.
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    #2 The cake and a boquet. I really like how this turned out. Since it was a 50th anny and not a wedding, I desaturated the photo and tried to give it an older feel. The topper is their original wedding cake topper.:heart:
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    #3 A close-up of the topper:
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    #4 A candid of the groom. I'm really pleased with this one.
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    #5 Cutting the cake.
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    #6 Last one, the kiss. How do you approach other people clicking their crappy little P&S on-camera flashes at the important moments and ruining your lighting? I was SO frustrated with this. I got so many weird shadows and this is the only one of the two them that I would even call salvageable. I'm going to do an outdoor couple session for them to get more worthy shots, but my question remains. Do you say no other cameras? Do you make them redo all the special moments? Do you make an announcement that once you're done getting shots then everyone else is welcome to take a photo?
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    I had so much fun. I need to work a lot on my candids, lighting and just general stuff for an event like this but I want to do more. So any HHCC is welcome. If you're going to put something like "Hope this wasn't paid" don't bother. I have an internal ignore button as well as one on here. ;) The grain also looks even worse on here. I was shooting at 800 ISO. The light was really low. Can anyone recommend a really good nise removing software?
     
  2. butterflygirl

    butterflygirl TPF Noob!

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    I think you caught some really great moments here.

    I think when you softened a few of them it was taken a little far - they almost look out of focus or soft focus. It may just be my personal taste :wink: But with number one you could always make a layer, soften her face, then erase the filter from the important parts like her eyes, lips, hair, etc.

    #2 is also a good shot, but it could have benefited from a larger DOF. It seems the top of the cake and the topper is in focus, but the lowest layer of the cake is soft.

    #3 could have used a little bit more light. For shots like these I use Gary Fong's light sphere - they're like $50 and help a BUNCH on these type of detail shots. You don't get so many harsh shadows.

    #4 I like a lot! He has a great expression. I would probably just lighten it up some.

    #5 another good shot, I would just try and burn in or darken the cake and the cutter. Your eye always goes to the lightest point of every picture and these points seem pretty light. Did you shoot in RAW? You could easily bring it back with a little tweaking.

    #6 great moment to capture! I know how you feel with everyone else snapping pictures - it's hard, but unavoidable I think. Basically I just have to go for it! For this photo I would again suggest burning or darkening her shirt. It's very light. Sometimes shadows are unavoidable also - maybe someone else has a suggestion for this - I basically try to lighten shadows a bit, but I don't take them out. I always looks goofy when I do.

    As far as noise software, I use a surface blur almost all the way down on a new layer. I think I use it at like 1 pixel and radius of 7. Or the reverse I can't remember right now and I don't have photoshop on this comp! :lol: Then I erase it on the eyes, lips etc. That seems to help a bit with grain.

    Overall I think you caught some really great moments! It's so hard to do with low lighting etc. I know how you feel! :) Hopefully this will help you a little bit. I'm no expert, but I try to give advice when I can :)
     
  3. Lacey Anne

    Lacey Anne TPF Noob!

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    Wow! This is such an awesome critique! I've read it three times now. Thank you so much! I really appreciate all the advice. Believe me, it is all taken to heart!
     
  4. NJMAN

    NJMAN TPF Noob!

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    Hi Lacey,

    Just a few quick crits from me...

    #1, the white balance could be adjusted so that she doesnt have so much red on her skin. Flourescent and tungsten lighting gives off a nasty color cast.

    #2 and #3, lacks color, brightness, and sharpness. I know you said you wanted to give an older feel to thse, but in my opinion, these just look dull. If it was me, I would adjust the levels, boost the color, and use some micro sharpening with usm.

    #4, nice detail in his face, but it appears a bit dark and the light is coming down from above. Some fill flash or bounced flash would have helped in this situation. Also, white balance could be adjusted in this one as well for more natural looking skin tone.

    #5 and #6, The lighting seems flat and one dimensional. Again, some bounced flash would result in nice diffused shadows.

    If you were paid to shoot these, I would definitely announce to the crowd before and during the shoot that other flashes are not allowed. Ive heard wedding photographers say to P&S users, "I would ask that you refrain from using your cameras until after I'm done. Other flashes throw off my light readings." It can be tricky to say this correctly without offending people. But if you are polite and smile while saying it, it works.

    Regarding noise control, you can run these through the Reduce Noise filter in PS. I often use the settings 8, 25, 0, 25. The first number can be adjusted to taste. Neat Image and Noise Ninja are also good products for noise control.

    Hope this helps.
     
  5. Lacey Anne

    Lacey Anne TPF Noob!

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    Thank, NJ. It does help. A lot.
     

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