B&W edit for C&C

crimbfighter

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This was a first dance at a wedding I attended with my Fiance. They didn't have a photographer for the reception, so I snapped a few photos when I could to send to them later. I feel like my B&W edits are my weakest, so I'd appreciate some feedback on this one.

68mm, f/5.6, ISO 640, 1/60, SB700 w/bounce card
9433897704_02bfac33cb_b.jpg
 

Tedski

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Crop much tighter. Make it "up close and personal."

Tedski

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside a dog, it's too dark to read."-- G. Marx
 

The_Traveler

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Sharpness and exposure look good.
Conversion is a bit flat and cold but acceptable.
There are a couple of things that hurt this picture in the long run, imo.
His face is turned away, she has a simper rather than a smile and his white shirt takes up sooooo much space in whatever crop you decide on.

Maybe a sepia tone to warm this up and take off the curse of the white areas.

9433897704_02bfac33cb_blll.jpg~original
 
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Thank you both for the feedback! I'll play with a tighter crop and see which one they want.

The_Traveler - Believe it or not, that was the MOST expressive face I got out of her. She's a very shy person and I think all the attention of the wedding caused her to really shut down and shy away from the camera.. Though I don't personally care for sepia, I see what you're going for with the edit. I'll play with selectively editing the highlights on his shirt to see if I can achieve a similar end result. When you refer to the image being flat and cold, do you think that's more a result of lighting at the time of capture, or do you think it's my edit? I found if I bumped contrast very much, I didn't really like the result..

Thanks again!
 

The_Traveler

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When you refer to the image being flat and cold, do you think that's more a result of lighting at the time of capture, or do you think it's my edit? I found if I bumped contrast very much, I didn't really like the result..

The first rule is get the shot in focus, exposed well and framed well.
(Actually that's the second and third rule too)
So you got the shot.
The flatness has to do with the relatively small available surface that can show variation in tone. The wall, his shirt and her dress take up the greatest proportion of the space and they are very evenly illuminated.
The only real shadows are around his and her face and thus darkening the blacks makes them look odd.
The suggestions I made were only some possible ways to deal with the situation - and make them happy.
 

Benco

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Sharpness and exposure look good.
Conversion is a bit flat and cold but acceptable.
There are a couple of things that hurt this picture in the long run, imo.
His face is turned away, she has a simper rather than a smile and his white shirt takes up sooooo much space in whatever crop you decide on.

Maybe a sepia tone to warm this up and take off the curse of the white areas.

9433897704_02bfac33cb_blll.jpg~original

You could use a graduated filter to tone down the whiteness of the shirt, graduate it from the bottom left with a decrease in brightness, increase in contrast.
 
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crimbfighter

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The flatness has to do with the relatively small available surface that can show variation in tone. The wall, his shirt and her dress take up the greatest proportion of the space and they are very evenly illuminated.
The only real shadows are around his and her face and thus darkening the blacks makes them look odd.
The suggestions I made were only some possible ways to deal with the situation - and make them happy.

I see what you mean. This was actually very helpful. I often don't understand all the elements at play that lead up to certain compositional issues. Those are elements I never would have been able to dissect, relate, and articulate critiquing my own photo. Keeping that in mind, it makes complete sense as to why I didn't like the effect of bumping contrast or darkening shadows with a tone curve adjustment. Thanks much!

You could use a graduated filter to tone down the whiteness of the shirt, graduate it from the bottom left with a decrease in brightness, increase in contrast.

That's a good idea, I'll see what it looks like. Thanks!
 

The_Traveler

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I see what you mean. This was actually very helpful. I often don't understand all the elements at play that lead up to certain compositional issues. Those are elements I never would have been able to dissect, relate, and articulate critiquing my own photo. Keeping that in mind, it makes complete sense as to why I didn't like the effect of bumping contrast or darkening shadows with a tone curve adjustment. Thanks much!

To get better at 'seeing' and understanding the elements of an image, you need to look at hundreds, if not thousands, of them, try editing the ones you can't understand right away and then you will become skillful at dissecting images. For the last 5 or 6 years I have worked really hard at trying to understand the elements of images, what makes them successful or not, difficult or easy, looking at 50 or 60 each day. Lots of times, even if I don't comment, I will download an image and try a few edits to parse out the issues.
So I am faster at seeing what I see.
That doesn't make my opinion perfect or even good, it just means that I can dis-assemble the issues that are important to me.
If you have the time and inclination, you might read this blog piece; it gives a basic framework for looking at images and parsing out what you think is right or wrong.
 
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Thanks for the link. I liked what the blogger had to say, especially about walking away from your "final" edit for a day or two in order to approach it again with a fresh mindset. I find myself doing that, though inadvertently because my work schedule usually interrupts my editing for a few days at a time.. I also see value in taking others images apart. I know I've gotten significant value in giving C&C as well as getting it, so perhaps it would be helpful to put some more time into evaluating and analyzing other photos.

Using the suggestions, I went back and did some selective editing on his shirt, and brought the exposure down almost 3/4 of a stop, reduced the highlights a touch, and did a global tone curve adjustment to bring only the brightest of the bright highlights down. I then boosted the mid tones a tad to bring the right tones back to their faces. I also tightened the crop a bit. Honestly, I keep going back to the wider crop, though. I don't know why, I feel like when I crop it in too tight, it looses the essence that their dancing. Anywho, here's two more reflecting the changes. An improvement?

9438606277_dd8b8c92cf_b.jpg


And the tighter crop
9438647899_b9be7b0f4c_b.jpg
 

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