First time wedding photographer- help please...

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by summers_enemy, Aug 2, 2005.

  1. summers_enemy

    summers_enemy TPF Noob!

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    First off one word: Wow! After looking around this forum to be quite honest, I'm quite embarrassed of what I'm about to post! :blushing:

    Long story short, a friend's elder sister recently got married and asked me to shoot her wedding. I was extremely hesitant as the closest I'd ever come to a photography "job" before was doing another friend's senior pictures. I bit the bullet and went for it though. The bride and groom are absolutely thrilled with the results as are the families involved. Even my coworkers thought that most of the shots came out great. My problem: I think that 90% of them are crappy.

    I use the Panasonic Lumix FZ20 and never before did I realize that it had such grain issues at ISO 200. I can look at the vast majority of the shots I took and IMO see far too much grain. However, the church the wedding took place in was so dark I feel I didn't have much choice. I used Neat Image on the better shots to remove a lot of the grain, but I don't like the softish look it gives to pictures. It also makes them rather un-enlargeable.

    So grain is issue numero uno. Issue #2.... using the on board flash seems to have not only given me severe red eye issues (which were subsequently removed with the help of our friend Mr. Photoshop) but also a lot of funky shadows behind the people in the shots.

    If anyone has any suggestions on avoiding those two issues in the future I would love to hear them :)

    Also, I'm going to attach what I consider to be the best 4 shots out of 600. I would really appreciate a no holds barred critique if possible. I have a lot to learn and I'd appreciate anyone that can take the time to teach me a few things.

    Thanks so much,

    Tina (and thanks for reading a monster sized post ;))

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  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Congratulations on shooting your first wedding. I especially like the third shot...of the posed bride .

    It is much more the photographer than the camera that makes the photos. It looks as though you did a good job with what you had. I don't want to come off as a gear snob...but there are reasons that most pro wedding photographers use 'professional' gear.

    It seems that you have learned some of the limitations of your camera. A true DSLR with a larger sensor will usually give images will much less noise than a camera like yours...but low light with no flash will almost always bring noise/grain into play.

    As for flash/redeye...it seems you already know the answer. The on-board flash is just too close to the lens. Your camera has a hotshoe...you could use an accessory flash...even one that would allow you to bounce the flash. A lot of wedding photogs use a bracket to get the flash even farther way from the lens. Not only does this reduce/eliminate red eye...but the lighting looks much better on the subjects.

    If you plan to do this in the future...my suggestion would be to invest in some more appropriate gear. It's not to say that you can't take good photos with just about anything...but it makes it easier to take great photos if you have the right equipment.

    I look forward too seeing more.
     
  3. summers_enemy

    summers_enemy TPF Noob!

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    Thanks :)

    I understand what you mean about "pro gear"; trust me if I could afford it a D70 would be mine :D

    I would love to find an accessory flash for the Lumix. However, after some pretty thorough research (minus looking in the manual as I can't find mine :lol:) including emails to Panasonic, I cannot find out the trigger voltage on the camera therefore I am very worried about buying a flash for it. I'd hate to fry anything inside the camera :(

    Thanks for your help :wink:
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Ya, you definitely don't want to fry the camera by putting the wrong flash unit on it. Hopefully you will be able to find out what flash units would be safe. I used to have a link to a site that had a whole lot of flash units listed...with their trigger voltages. That doesn't help you to know what is safe for your camera though.

    You can get a safe sync...which is an insulator that goes between the camera and the flash. Although, they can be expensive.

    From a quick search.... http://www.zimfamilycockers.com/Panasonic_Lumix_DMC-FZ20.html#Sunpak 383 FZ20 demo
     
  5. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    I think your photos look pretty nice, especially considering the gear! :) I really like your formal bride ones, The second formal (B&W) being super pretty. I wish you could crop more off the top on the first one, but that would make it a panoramic almost, wouldn't it?
    And I like the gausian effect on wedding stuff, but there seems to be just a tad too much on the veil in that last one. Other than that, I think it's a wonderful spontaneous moment.
    I think until you get an upgrade in equipment, a program like Noise Ninja could be of great benefit. I just found out about it myself, and it does a wonderful job!
    All in all though, I can see why the family liked these. They are really nice and show realistic emotion, IMO.
     
  6. Alison

    Alison Swiss Army Friend Supporting Member

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    I really like the first one a lot. The colors are nice and it almost looks like the bride is looking at you out of the corner of her eye. I'm not crazy about the color accent in the second one, but that's just a personal preference. I also agree with Cindy that the effects on the last one appear a little overdone on this monitor. From what I see here you have a good eye for wedding photography and the more you do the easier it becomes. I look forward to seeing more of your work.
     
  7. summers_enemy

    summers_enemy TPF Noob!

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    Thanks so much everyone :) I agree, the effect on the dancing shot is almost a bit too much but I do still like it. I'll have a Google and find out about Noise Ninja; sounds like it might help me out a bit. And thanks to Mike for the link also.
     
  8. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I use a hand-held strobe as a second (main) light. I usually have someone helping me rather than using a stand. [Thanks again, Clark Kent]

    I've not tried using the on-camera flash as the fill, but I suppose it could work out. Just a thought.
     

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