Help with exposure...

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by roxysmom, Jun 10, 2009.

  1. roxysmom

    roxysmom TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2007
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Dayton, Ohio
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I have been dabbling in wedding photography for about 18 months now. I've done about 7 weddings with help and a few on my own. I have had very happy customers. Overall I set up expetations ahead of time that I'm still new in the world of photography. My clients are generally people with limited budgets so they have been very happy with the quality and quantity of pictures for the price. They also say I am very nice to work with. All compliments! However...

    I know I need help with exposure. I'm just not sure what I'm doing wrong. I'm using an expodisc for white balance and I always use a fixed lens. Normally a 50mm 1.4 and I rent a 70-200mm fixed. I also take all pictures manually and in RAW.

    I put a link to my most recent wedding below for feedback. I still have all the originals in RAW so whatever they order or want in their album I can still go back and do more adjustments.

    I am looking for exposure help and of course opinions are always appreciated. The downfall with this wedding over my other one's is that she wanted outside photos but it was raining and very black/cloudy. We got in a few shots but not how I'd normally like them to look. In addition they were supposed to get married outside but had to find a church at the last minute. The church is ugly...point blank. However ugly it is my exposure should still be dead on and I just don't feel that it is.
    http://justinemily.weddingherald.com/index.php/view_event.php


     
  2. Big Mike

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

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,822
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    It would help a lot if you could show us some specific examples...rather than asking us to look though hundreds of images and comment on something as specific as exposure.

    One thing I did notice, is that many of them seem to be lacking contrast, especially on the low/dark end. I'm not sure if the suits were actually black, but in many shots they looks like a washed out greyish tone.

    Also, do you use a lot of on-camera flash? That can tend to make things look 'flat', especially when it's the primary light source.
     
  3. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Messages:
    4,820
    Likes Received:
    285
    Location:
    Montreal
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Looking at the first picture, it does seem a bit underexposed but it mostly just seems flat.

    Do you use photoshop? I levels correction would definatly help make the colours pop more.

    How are you metering? Are you using an Evaluative metering or a spot metering? It seems like you are meterring right in the middle, which is making her white dress a bit grey and his black suit a bit grey.

    I am not a wedding photographer, I am not a professional. I have heard that if you have to chose to meter one or the other, meter on the bride's dress as she probably spent alot of money on it while the grooms tux is normally a rental. So aim to get the dress a normal white.
     
  4. roxysmom

    roxysmom TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2007
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Dayton, Ohio
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I will gladly post specific photos. I thought I could not because I'm not a member yet. I will download a few tonight and repost.

    I think the "flat" comment i& lacking contrast is very true of these photos. I never use the on-camera flash I have a Nikon speedlight and I put a diffuser on top of it for the indoor shots.

    I use photoshop exclusively but I'm not familiar with i levels. What is that?

    The only metering I use is in the camera. I'll have to check if it's set on spot or not. Could that be a problem?
     
  5. Big Mike

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

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,822
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Levels is one of the most basic adjustment tools in Photoshop. If you are not familiar with that, I'd suggest you take some time to learn more about photo editing. You certainly don't need to become a photoshop expert and try to learn it all, but a little more knowledge will certainly help.

    There are plenty of good books, or you might even take a class.
    There are, of course, plenty of good web sites as well.
    I'd suggest doing some reading HERE, starting with the Understanding Series and the tutorials.
     
  6. farmerj

    farmerj TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2009
    Messages:
    589
    Likes Received:
    3
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    WOW.....

    444 images? I would be cross-eyed trying to edit that many images at one event.


    without the exif information, it's hard to see what you're doing.

    unsharpen mask, level, histogram adjust are just some of the regular tools I use in the pictures I edit.
     
  7. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Messages:
    4,820
    Likes Received:
    285
    Location:
    Montreal
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Most of my images go through unsharp mask, levels, colour saturation (slightly). I also use the black and white conversion layer in CS3 and love the layer mask tool. Cloning, healing and such for more major work, but this is all basic stuff when I talk to someone who knows the software pretty well.

    These are basic tools I learned in 1 photoshop course I took (20 hours total). They have 9 more levels I can take. Its a huge software.
     
  8. ShotGunNik

    ShotGunNik TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Messages:
    130
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NorCal Bay Area
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    LOL damn 9 more levels of photoshop to learn after 1 course? Sounds like fun though, I'd like to gain experience in photoshop as well....
     
  9. roxysmom

    roxysmom TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2007
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Dayton, Ohio
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    What can I do when I take the photo so I don't have as much time post processing in Photoshop afterwards? What skills can I work on?
     
  10. farmerj

    farmerj TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2009
    Messages:
    589
    Likes Received:
    3
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I have been looking at what I do on a regular basis in Paintshop Pro and then see what I can do in the camera settings to make it "permanent".

    I can get the sharpness and saturation close. WB I can custom set with the WhiBal card if I am going to be in an area for a long time and take lots of pictures.

    But in the end, I have learned here on this forum and a couple others.

    dSLR camera's are putting more and more control back into the user. As such, your Post-processing is becoming the darkroom of film.

    You can't get out of PP with an SLR. At least not if you want more than just a snapshot.
     
  11. atbawrps

    atbawrps TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2009
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    From everything that I've learned about you in this thread, you shouldn't be shooting anyones wedding at this point. You should a) learn about exposure and b) learn how to use Photoshop or some other post processing software.

    The photos in your gallery look ok, but nothing spectacular. They even look like they could have been taken in auto mode.
     
  12. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Messages:
    4,820
    Likes Received:
    285
    Location:
    Montreal
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    When you open the image in photoshop, click on the lower right button to add a new adjustment layer and select to add a Levels layer.

    This will open a window with a histogram. If the blacks don't reach to the left of the histogram, there is a little triangular button at the bottom of the histogram you can drag to the right to compensate. Same for the whites.

    There is a third triangular button in the middle that allows you to adjust as well.

    You can probably youtube a video that will explain better.

    Doing this should not take very long. crop + levels + saturation + unsharp mask takes a minute or two, if even that.
     

Share This Page