In need of professional opinions!!!!!!!

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by photo-kno-it-all, Sep 25, 2006.

  1. photo-kno-it-all

    photo-kno-it-all TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2006
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    HI, my name is Allison, and I'm brand new to this forum. I currently work at a small professional photography studio as the sole Photo Editor and Digital Album designer. I myself am not employed as a photographer as I am more interested in stock photography and commercial photography, and the company I work for deals mainly in weddings and portraiture. I am having a bit of a disagreement with our lead photographer though, and I need a third-party opinion. Our lead photographer uses a Fuji S3 Pro 12 megapizel camera. She bought the "fuji approved" flash, and the "fuji approved" cord that connects the flash to the camera. I believe the place she purchased these items from told her that with those accesories, she would never have to meter again, and that she could just set her camera to "Auto" and shoot away. Well, following their advice, for the past couple years, the photographer has shot on "auto" and most of the time her photos come out pretty good, not great, but pretty good. There are a lot of problems with overexposure in certain situations, and underexposure in others, severe enough that they cannot be repaired in photoshop. Most images also come out with very little depth, it seems that the flash overpowers any good natural lighting there may be. I have expressed my opinion that the pictures come out far from the potential quality they could have because she shoots on "auto". She has pretty much told me that I dont know what I'm talking about, considering I'm not even a photographer, she's the professional afterall. Can someone please give me their input on this matter, preferrably a professional who also deals in portrait photography. This for one would make my job easier, and make the customers happier:)
     
  2. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    Messages:
    1,204
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Dearborn, MI
    Even with TTL flash and all of the goodies, I would still think you need to be shooting in a mode other than auto (for me, thats Apeture Priority) and she should be metering perferably with a hand held meter. You need to have control over the camera. Depth of field makes a big difference in how a photo looks.

    I personally think (alot will disagree) that most flashes still need to be diffused. I recently got a Lightsphere and am loving the diffused light it gives off.

    I am guessing you can't but I would love to see some examples of what you are talking about.
     
  3. Big Mike

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

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,817
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Different cameras control their flash exposure differently...and it's usually a bit of a mystery to everyone but the engineers at the Canon/Nikon/Fuji etc.

    Canon for example will often use the flash as a main light when in Auto...but will only use the flash as fill when in Av or Tv. Even that may depend on how much ambient light is there in the first place.

    It sounds like this 'photographer' is being defensive because she doesn't really know what her camera & flash are doing...or how to control them. Sometimes, you don't need to...to make great images...but as you know...Auto isn't always the best for every situation.

    If you are both 'employees' at this place...take it up with someone higher up in the chain. It's the final product that matters most.
     
  4. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Messages:
    3,019
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Pittsburgh PA
    If you are the one doing the post-processing of her images it might be a good idea to give her some examples of what you have to do to them before they become acceptable images to be presented to clients. Another thing all flashes need to be diffused if you are trying to make quality portraits.
     
  5. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2003
    Messages:
    5,600
    Likes Received:
    20
    Location:
    Hermosa Beach, CA U.S.A
    I agree with showing her examples. A dear friend of mine is in your position and he goes out of his way to point out bad exposure habits.
     
  6. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2004
    Messages:
    4,237
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Rochester, NY Velocity: Unknown
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I agree with that. Flashes are small light sources, so they produce harsh light. Even with diffusion it's hard to overcome that, because the diffuser is often small, but it helps. I personally think most flashes are best suited for fill, not main lights, but sometimes you have to make do. They are meant to be portable.

    Since this is a studio, I'd recommend invested in a set of strobes with softboxes, umbrellas, etc. and learning how to use them. It would be a world of difference from a single camera-based flash. And yeah, that would require getting a flash meter and learning how to use that.
     
  7. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2005
    Messages:
    7,006
    Likes Received:
    67
    Location:
    Kankakee, IL

    and I doubt there's anything YOU can say to her that will get her to change. Mike is right... it will have to come from someone else.

    Good luck!

    Pete
     
  8. Philip Weir

    Philip Weir TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Messages:
    506
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia. The land of peace and sunshine.
    "Auto" is generally a good way to go, but no professional worth his/her salt would always use "auto" If it was suitable for all situations, why would camera makers put a "manual" setting. The reason simply is, in so many situations, you need "manual" I could go into more detail, but am very busy at the moment. Will try and add more later.

    www.philipweirphotography.com
     
  9. photo-kno-it-all

    photo-kno-it-all TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2006
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you all so much for your input. I have since pointed some things out to the photographer, and offered some suggestions such as bracketing, and trying to switch to manual when she knows she's encountering problems. For example, she has problems with early day sun mixed with the flash getting too hot on outdoor shots of the groom's pre-wedding candids. She said she was aware of them being over. I asked what she did to try to remedy that, and she said she took a few literal steps backward. I suggested she try going in manual and bracketing, and she acted like it was a hassle to do that. I have come to the conclusion that if I keep going with this, I will be fighting an up-hill battle, and will just learn to shut up and put up. I consider the woman my friend, and she has some great ideas, and loads of creativity, but she just does not get the execution of the whole "picture". The boss is far from helpful, and before anyone gives me advice to find another job, (which loads of people on another forum I posted this message on have) I am also a full time student working at a graphic design degree. I was hoping that I could make a difference in this studio, building it from mediocre to the best, but that is a task that is beyond my grasp. Thank you again!!!!!
     
  10. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Messages:
    3,019
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Pittsburgh PA
    I guess theres a reason some studios charge $4-$10,000 a wedding and others are stuck under a couple of grand if that.
     
  11. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2006
    Messages:
    6,071
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    in the middle of north carolina
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Judging the quality of the work by the price is a dangerous thing....
     
  12. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Messages:
    3,019
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Pittsburgh PA
    No i'm not saying that it's just high end studios wouldn't last very long with that kind of attitude shooting on auto and saying anything let alone shooting manual and some bracketing is "too much of a hsssle" anyone can put out s hingle and call themselves a photographer but to have longevity and sustain you need to put out good work.
     

Share This Page