"INTERVIEW WITH JEFF ASCOUGH" Resumes Today

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by jeffascough, May 17, 2007.

  1. Hi guys,
    Mary has asked if I would do a Q&A session on this forum for you all.
    I'm pretty much open to answer anything to do with wedding photography although I can't promise to answer all the questions posted.
    I know plenty of people already know me on here, but to give some of the newcomers to the industry a little insight into my photography and me?.
    I?m a pro wedding photographer from the UK. I've been shooting since 1989 and have covered over 1000 weddings in my time. I shoot exclusively as a documentary photographer on a wedding. 99% of my images are taken as they happen without any prompting or interference from me. I am also passionate about shooting by available light.
    I was featured in the first "Masters of Wedding Photography" DVD. American Photo has just voted me one of the ten best wedding photographers in the world. My work has also been featured in the Washington Post, Professional Photographer, the BJP etc.
    More info can be found on my blog at jeffascough.biz and on my website jeffascough.net
    I?m pretty sure Mary will chime in to let us all know how this is going to work. Please bear in mind that there is an 8 hour time difference between the US and UK so you may have to wait a bit for answers.
    Jeff
    Moderator note:
    PLEASE POST YOUR QUESTIONS UNTIL YOU SEE 4 QUESTIONS HAVE BEEN POSTED AND THEN WAIT ;-)
    Jeff will answer and after that have those questions and follow-ups ready to go we'll take another 4 questions and WAIT
    This is the only way I can see that this format can work. Otherwise we'll have a list of 15-20 questions before Jeff can come back and look things over and it will be overwhelming to answer everything. Furthermore, people will perhaps then post a follow-up and Jeff will be answering follow-ups as well as questions.. It could be a mess.
    Sometimes there may be 5 questions allowed when there is a case of multiple people posting at the same time which may be ok unless the grouping of questions are very involved. There will be times I will delete the question with an explination asking the poster to re-post the question later.
    Our Thanks to Jeff for giving us his time!
    One more thing. This is not a thread for debating raw vs jpeg. Jeff will tell us how he works and it is not relevant to post your images or argue with his methods. Look at this as an interview - not a debate or show and tell. Jeff, however, will/may post images to illustrate a point in response to a question.
    Mary Ball - Moderator
     
  2. What is the secret to capturing such wonderful images in a totally PJ style? Is it that you cature a huge number of images or you are better at anticipating the right moments or is it just finding a way (through composition) to make every shot count?
     
  3. My style is all about anticipation. Compared to others I shoot relatively few images at a wedding.

    I like to see a picture, set the composition, my angle to the light, and then wait for something to happen within that picture. Then I may take several frames to get the perfect shot. If something doesn't happen I go and look for another image. I'm very deliberate and controlled in what I do - most of the time anyway.

    If you ever get to see 'War Photographer' with James Nachtwey...the way he shoots is very similar to how I do things. Although I have less than 1/10th the talent that he has. What I mean is, he is very deliberate and takes his time over the image. I do the same.
     
  4. jml

    jml

    Hi Jeff. Thanks for taking the time to do this. When available light just isn't sufficient, how do you modify your shooting style and still get a natural look...or do you?
     
  5. Hi jan

    It depends what you mean by sufficient. In my world sufficient means enough light to get an image without too much subject movement. This could be 1/15th sec at 1.2 at 3200 iso for static subjects or 1/50th sec at 1.2 at 3200 for slightly moving subjects. However the light needs to be good as well.

    If I'm completely up against it, I will use flash to either clean up the light or to freeze movement. However this is usually a last resort. The flash is always balanced for the background. The only time I've used flash this year was for the first dance on two weddings. As we move into the summer I won't use it at all.
     
  6. Hello sir,
    I have followed your work with deep, deep admiration and iStrive to oneday, capture a portion of teh beauty you see! My question is, You seem to shoot in such grand venues/homes, with amazing lihting. What advice do you have for those of us you dont have that privilege yet??
    How should we "see' are veents to capture all the beauty you manage to freeze?
    thank you
    Ewurama Hayford
     
  7. Hi Ewurama

    Thanks for the comments.

    Most of my venues are grand from the outside but mostly they are small and dark on the inside.

    The lighting is there in any venue, you just have to find it.

    The best advice I can give is to get to the venue early, and go around with an assistant. Find the rooms where the wedding will take place and look for the main light source. Get your assistant to move around the light source while you see how the light plays on the person. Look at the angle of light, and how it changes as you also move in relation to the light and the person. You will then hopefully get an idea of where to be in relation to the subject to take your pictures at a given time.
     
  8. Jeff -- as usual for sure you do excellent work and very nice for you to take some of your time entertaining questions.

    I believe you are rather infamous for being a JPG Only shooter. Rightly and wrongly their is criticism of that approach. Obviously RAW gives you a little more exposure latitude and if you do Nail It on nearly every shot (98%?) you can still easly process the RAWs to JPG with simple automation.

    Do you shoot JPG only purely to save time, space, and/or post processing time+? Or are you MUCH BETTER with the camera than image processing software and just do not want to deal with RAWs? (I'd figure you'd have staff handle that)

    Also, do you ever use real woman as models to pose practice shoots or to teach? Pro models already know how to pose so they make a photog's life too easy. in any case, well done Jeff!
     
  9. Hi Jeff,

    Thanks for taking the time. I have two questions.

    1) Your brides all look lovely. Do you retouch your photos or is it just a careful selection of camera position/lens selection/lighting?

    2) What are most important to you when visualizing your shots? Events to tell the story, interaction/emotions like love, happiness, pride etc?

    Thanks,
    Peter
     
  10. Hi Jeff

    Great work. It is obvious that great lighting and composition are the keys to a great image. Given that, "processing" an image has become something we must now think about.

    There has been a lot of developments in this area over the last couple of years. What is popular now is the super-saturated, somewhat blown-out, kind of photo that "pops."

    What direction do you see image processing taking in the near future?
     
  11. Hi Ken

    I wondered how long this would take to come up.

    All I will say on the whole RAW/Jpeg thing is that you have to shoot what you think is right for you, your clients and your workflow.

    There are some really successful jpeg shooters in the world that deal with bigger clients than you or I ever will. There are also other photographers that are equally successful and shoot RAW.

    Shooting jpeg for me allows quicker post production.

    Never had models to practice with as my work is based on observation.
     
  12. Jeff,

    Again thanks for taking the time to do this interview.
    What do you do when you are faced with a location that has maybe two or three areas of acceptable light? Do you pick the area that would have the most traffic and options? Or do you still search around even in the ultra low light sections for potential shots?

    Jonathan Jones
     
  13. Hi Greg

    Digital allows more artistic expression through post processing. Far more than film ever did. Photographers that do something different with post, will inevitably be copied, and then the post becomes a style. This is what is happening now.

    For me, less is more. I personally like my colours to be real as I'm documenting reality.

    As for the future. I think as RAW software becomes better at skin tones, and camera resolutions become greater with better highlight detail, I think there will be more emphasis on subtlety and true colour rather than the heavily saturated stuff that we see now.
     
  14. Do you discuss with your clients the fact that you may be directing them to conduct their actions in a particular, "good lighting" area? If not, what do you tell them to get them into the good lighting area--how do you ask them?

    And, what if your ceremony takes place outside in blasting sunlight at high noon, as they often do here in California? How do you handle that, and if you go ahead and shoot it, do you then use fill flash?
     
  15. Hi Peter

    I retouch blemishes in close ups only. I do a fair amount of work through actions on each image though. This is to emphasise different parts of the image though rather than trying to polish a turd....:))

    Great light and composition is more important to me than anything else in a photograph. Cartier-Bresson (one of my heroes) always looked for the composition first and then waited for the decisive moment. He enjoyed the mathematics of composition. I'm the same. If we can get great composition and great light and we get something interesting within the image then I have the makings of a great picture. I always go for composition and light first.
     
  16. Wonderful work Jeff. Also delighted to see another Derbyshire based photographer here on p.net! I have to ask the inevitable question - what cameras / lenses do you use? I ask because selective focus & depth of field is a key part of so many of your images.

    Thanks, Simon.
     
  17. Hi Jonathan

    I go wherever the clients go. I simply look for the light within the environment they are in.

    In some cases they may never venture into the best light. That's the way it goes. I won't ever ask them to move into better light, I'm not there to interfere.
     
  18. Hi Jeff.

    I had the good fortune to attend a seminar by Jeff in Las Vegas a couple of years ago. The
    notion of anticipation and having patience for the right moment in the right light is
    difficult
    for some people to grasp given the hectic nature of wedding photography ... until you see
    just how he does it illustrated with specific images.

    If any of you ever get the chance to attend something like this with Jeff, it's a few hours
    well spent. It not only reinforced my own intuitive beliefs, it brought a new understanding
    of them
    .
     
  19. Hi Nadine

    See my previous post re the light.

    If we get full sun at high noon, I always work backlit for Caucasian skin and with the sun behind me for black skin. I don't work with fill flash at all. I go with what is available.
     
  20. Hi Simon

    Lenses are 24-70 2.8L as much as I can get away with. Then 50L, 35L, 85L if I get stuck inside where 2.8 won't cut it.
     
  21. OK guys I'm done for today. It's family time over here. So I'll see you all tomorrow. Keep the Q's coming.

    Cheers

    Jeff
     
  22. Jeff - Could you post two or three images that demonstrate a good example of the right light at the right time without flash and if
    you remember the shot - the sequence of events that led to the shot?

    Thanks Jeff!
     
  23. REMINDER -

    PLEASE ONLY POST 4 MORE QUESTIONS TODAY now that Jeff is off line.
    (in addition to mine). We'll resume tomorrow with those 4 questions
    and as Jeff graciously answers - you can keep posting.

    If you are in a time zone that makes it difficult to get a question
    in (West Coast) - Just pop me an email and I'll post it for you
    tomorrow.
     
  24. This is a great idea! Thank you Mary and thank you Jeff!


    Lou
     
  25. Mary, are we allowed a clarification on our question(s)? I am just trying to understand how Jeff might handle a bad lighting situation (such as the blasting sunlight at high noon) where one is forced to work with it and a) can't control subject placement and b) is of such dynamic range that the camera cannot handle detail on the extremes. If it is in post processing, such as using the highlight/shadow tool in Photoshop, then I would ask how Jeff exposes his frames--for the highlights? Because if photographing a processional, for instance, under bright sunlight at high noon, and if you exposed for the highlights and to keep white dresses from blowing, one would end up with dense black triangles for eye sockets. Again--just trying to understand the process...
     
  26. There are many photographers who take great photos, most are relative unknowns, what is the recommended marketing strategy to take your style and name to higher levels if not international status? Apart from the talent (not to belittle it!), how does one become a Jeff Ascough? Is it having been a pioneer on the cutting edge of PJ or is it as I suspect far more than just that? Marketing wise, how does one aspire to become the next Jeff?

    A history of how you became known would be great...
     
  27. I recall in some older thread that you gave somewhere around 130ish images to the client in the form of an album.

    In this era where some are shooting thousands and delivering hundreds of images, what, if anything, has changed in what you provide the customer since you switched to digital?
     
  28. Who are your idols and inspiration / or favorite book that helped you in some way? What piece of wisdom would you share w/ a new photographer in terms of becoming the best they can be? (btw - i've watched "war photographer" over & over...) thanks so much for sharing your knowledge...
     
  29. Yes - a clarification or follow up is fine - even a second or third ;-)

    Meg's question is the last one for today...

    NEW QUESTIONS ARE WELCOME TOMORROW AFTER JEFF ANSWERS THESE - Thanks
     
  30. Hi Nadine

    First of all there is nothing that says I am forced to work under any lighting conditions.
    That is just a wedding photographer thing. ie there is this unwritten rule that you must get
    certain images regardless of whether the light will make them look crap or not.
    Furthermore we don't do many outdoor ceremonies in the UK so the situation that you
    have highlighted doesn't happen very often.

    But to answer your question. If the light is really bad, I would shoot the image with a wide
    angle and make the subjects very small in the frame, but allow the rest of the frame to tell
    the story. That way the viewer would get their processional shot which would look great,
    and you wouldn't have to worry too much about the light on their faces.

    Regarding exposure and backlighting. I tend to overexpose by 1-2 stops to get detail in
    the faces. I then run my 'highlight paramedic' action to bring back detail in the highlights.
     
  31. Hi Ben

    Despite what many people actually think, I have never set out to be an international
    'name'. I don't think I have that status now. I hardly do any seminars. I don't have a list of
    sponsors. In fact I'm nothing more than a regular guy that makes his living shooting
    weddings.

    My introduction to the world stage was an article that was written in the Washington Post
    about my work. That's pretty much it. I thought there was a bit of curiosity about my use
    of rangefinder cameras at the time which helped, but honestly I've never thought to myself
    that I want to be a superstar. My friends will tell you that I'm actually quite uncomfortable
    with that sort of environment.

    Obviously the accolades are nice. But like I said I'm just a regular bloke, with a small
    business, making a living shooting weddings.
     
  32. Hi Robbie

    Digital has simply allowed me to make my product better. I have total control over everything
    now. Something which film never allowed me to do.

    My product is exactly the same as it was when I shot film. It's just more refined and truer to
    my own vision.
     
  33. Hi Meg

    I have loads of 'heroes' within photography. Cartier-Bresson, Erwitt, Salgado, Frank,
    Eugene Smith...

    Currently my biggest influence is Nachtwey. I would have to say his book 'Inferno' is one of
    my favourites. Although I would also say that I love the new Cartier-Bresson book
    'Scrapbook'.

    As for a piece of wisdom...I've always tried to stay away from copying others. The guys
    that are successful have developed their own style of shooting and this is absolutely
    essential to being successful. Many newbies make the mistake of trying to be like their
    heroes, and all they end up being is a copy. It's essential that you try and do your own
    thing and not just jump on the next fad that hits the industry.
     
  34. Jeff,

    Hi there. Out of pure curiosity, about how many images do you shoot on average and more so, how much time do you find spending in post (ACR/Photoshop/actions/etc.) processing them? Not talking album design. Just processing the JPEGs from a day's event.

    Bogdan
     
  35. Also forgot to ask (maybe Mary can combine my 2 posts), what is your backup strategy short term and long term with digital?

    Bogdan
     
  36. Hi Jeff,

    I have another question for you. Most of the photos in your online portfolio are B&W. Shooting digital you obviously have the choice of going either way. What are the artistic, technical or maybe market reasons that drives your decision?
     
  37. Jeff,

    Could you elaborate a bit more on Nachtwey's influence on you? It seems an interesting influence for someone doing wedding photography for a living.

    thanks,

    Matt
     
  38. Hi Bogdan

    Are we talking frames or actual pictures? What I mean is I will take several frames of each
    picture to make sure I nail the decisive moment. Unfortunately I have to do this with SLR's
    as the VF goes blank at the point of exposure. With rangefinders you could see the
    moment as it happened so my actual frame rate was lower.

    Regarding actual pictures I take around 300. This translates to anywhere between 1000
    and 1200 actual presses of the shutter.

    Re the backup. All finished files and original images are backed up to external drives. All
    finished jpegs are backed up to Gold CD.
     
  39. Jeff,
    newbie question...when you mention looking for the 'good lighting', this refers to quality of light (hard, soft)and angle of light?? any resources out there you can personally recommend on the subject besides practice??
     
  40. Hi Peter

    I just love b/w images. It's what drew me to photography in the first place. Photography to
    me is b/w. It's all about light, shape and form. b/w allows you to strip away the distraction
    of colour and get right to the heart of the image.

    So with that in mind, I shoot most of my images knowing that they will end up being b/w. I
    rarely try a b/w conversion out on an image just to see what it will look like. I pretty much
    know which will be b/w even before I've downloaded the cards.
     
  41. Hi Matt

    I know we are at the polar opposites when it comes to the content of our images. He
    shoots the worst moments of human life, and I shoot the happiest. This is quite a paradox
    to be influenced by someone like Nachtwey.

    However, I am constantly drawn to the sheer aesthetic beauty of his images. Forget the
    content, and just look at the use of composition, the light and the moment. He is a genius
    with a camera. In many cases he has achieved fantastic images while being under intense
    stress. Far more than you or I will ever witness with a camera. That is what is so special
    about the guy.
     
  42. Hi Brian...bear with me and I'll post some examples of good light.... For me good light is about how the light lifts and gives a 3D effect to the image. The actual quantity of light is irrelevent.
    00LCBH-36578084.jpg
     
  43. Similar lighting pattern only outdoors
    00LCBL-36578184.jpg
     
  44. Side lighting with the bride's dress acting as a reflector
    00LCBP-36578284.jpg
     
  45. 3/4 lighting. As above but with the bride's face at 45 degrees to the light
    00LCBT-36578384.jpg
     
  46. Good old tungsten light in the reception...
    00LCBV-36578484.jpg
     
  47. Tungsten again....used as a back light
    00LCBZ-36578684.jpg
     
  48. Bright sunlight outdoors....light reflected off the building behind me to light the bride's face
    00LCBb-36578784.jpg
     
  49. Finally...bright sunlight used as a spotlight in church
    00LCBf-36578884.jpg
     
  50. As you can see, good light gives a great three dimensional quality to an image. It can be hard, soft, angular, whatever...as long as it lifts the image then I am happy.
    00LCBi-36578984.jpg
     
  51. Jeff,

    How do you choose what will be in B&W and what will end up in color? You prefer B&W as you say, but I found this a tad funny ;)

    "For me, less is more. I personally like my colours to be real as I'm documenting reality."

    But reality is color, no?

    Bogdan
     
  52. Bogdan, I believe the quote you taken was from a post about colour and trends in
    photography.

    I'm not entirely sure how you've made the connection from that to this post???

    Reality in the context of the quote has nothing to do with colour or b/w. It is to do with real
    moments rather than staged photographs.
     
  53. Hi Jeff,
    Great work there.

    Always wanted to know, since you choose to work with JPEG, how do you handle white balance when you shoot available light?
     
  54. Hi Iskandar

    WB is preset to daylight. I leave it on that all day unless I am in tungsten light. Then I'll switch
    it over to tungsten or do a custom WB if I get the time.

    TBH since CS3 and ACR4 have arrived, I could shoot AWB all day and do the WB correction in
    the software.
     
  55. jeff,

    i believe you mentioned how you used to use rangefinders for your wedding shoots. how has shooting with an slr style camera affected the way you shoot.

    have you given the digital rangefinders a chance?

    cheers
     
  56. Jeff,

    Earlier in your career did you ever second guess you approach/style to try to conform to the mainstream wedding photographers? Also when did you realize that you where ready to start doing weddings in your own true style.
     
  57. You said:
    I like to see a picture, set the composition, my angle to the light, and then wait for something to happen within that picture.


    What sort of angle to the light are you looking out for?

    Thanks, Darren.
     
  58. Hi Matt

    My work is more consistent with an SLR's. There was always a bit of compromise with
    rangefinders. I can also use longer lenses with a SLR, something which is very tricky with a
    RF.

    The downside is the weight, size and noise of an SLR. I could get away with a lot more with
    a RF. I also had to change the way I captured the moment. With a RF I could nail it by
    seeing it. With an SLR I have to anticipate it and shoot a couple of frames off to nail it.

    I've tried the M8. Unfortunately there are too many issues with it at the moment. Leica
    have done some really odd things with the design of the digital side of things. I still have
    all my Leica lenses though just in case they actually bring out a better model.
     
  59. Hi Jonathan

    About five years into my career (around 1994) I started to get disillusioned with traditional
    wedding photography. I'm glad I shot it as it taught me a lot about lighting, face position,
    camera heights etc. However, I just felt that I was being too intrusive on the day.

    Around this time I bought my first SLR. A Canon eos 100 and a cheap 28-80 lens. Between
    the formal images I took candids, mainly for my own pleasure just to keep my interest
    going. What I was really surprised with was the client reaction. They loved all these
    informal images. I knew then that I was onto something. I could satisfy my own artistic
    desires and also please my clients.
     
  60. Hi Darren

    I'll look at the picture and decide where I want the light direction to come from in relation
    to the composition. I just move my position in order to accommodate that light direction.

    Sometimes the light will be the most important thing about the picture and the original
    composition may be compromised as a result. Sometimes the composition may be the
    most important thing and the lighting may be compromised as a result. It's often a case of
    juggling light and composition to get the best picture.

    The killer pictures happen when I can get both light and composition bang on without
    compromise.
     
  61. Hi again Jeff,

    While the techniques you use and the results you are getting are certainly very interesting I was wondering a bit about your approach to the marketing and sales side of the business.

    Could you give us a brief description of what a typical client is interested in (why you?) and how you market yourself to them/how they find you?
     
  62. do your clients have a traditional photographer on the day to get the 'typical posed shots' or are you 'the man'? do you find your clients are forgiving when it comes to high iso grain? i guess since it's not a mainstream way of shooting, seeing the noise of a high iso may come as a surprise to many.

    for what it's worth, i've toyed with the idea of shooting some documentary style weddings, and you've given me a bit of inspiration to 'maybe' go out and do that! :)

    cheers
     
  63. Hi Peter

    I'm sorry but I'm not prepared to talk about my business and marketing on an open forum.
    I'm more than happy to discuss my photography but not my business.
     
  64. Fair enough Jeff, I appreciate you honesty.

    Thanks,

    Peter
     
  65. Hi Matt

    No. My clients don't have a traditional photographer on the day. I have it in my contract
    that I am the sole photographer. TBH most of my clientele shudder with horror at the
    thought of having to pose for the camera.

    High ISO grain isn't an issue. You should have seen the 10" Tmax 3200 images I used to
    put into the albums :))

    I think many photographers worry way too much what the clients *might* think about the
    images in terms of resolution, quality etc etc etc. Clients just want to see great images. I
    certainly haven't had anyone comment about high iso noise on digital.
     
  66. Jeff,

    Stunning photos sir, incredible. All the ones you posted here, none of them have any flash involved right ? some obviously have no flash, but none of them ? Do you do any formals at all, you must get asked to do them, and how do you feel about the formal shots ?

    Tony.
     
  67. Ok, I should have read the post before, they are examples of shots without flish in available light, I'm sorry for jumping the gun.

    I'll ask another question instead, to clarify, so inside you mostly use your zoom and your primes at 2.8 and below, and mostly have the ISO set high ? do you shoot in Manual or Aperture Priority ?

    Tony.
     
  68. Tony...I shoot in a combination of manual and program at the moment. More info is on my
    blog. www.jeffascough.biz
     
  69. "In answer to the questions on formal images. These are the type of thing that I tend to take when asked. They are very simple and quick to do."
    00LCII-36582084.jpg
     
  70. As you can see, my formals are very simple. They are also very quick to do and the clients
    appreciate that.
     
  71. Jeff - never mind the color thing. I understand. My real question was how do you decide on which images to leave in color and which to make B&W? What are the percentages of B&W vs. color? And is this solely your thing, or do clients ask you for something in particular?

    Bogdan
     
  72. Thanks Jeff for all the knowledge you've shared with this fourm.

    For all those who may not know, Jeff has developed groups of his personal actions, specifically developed for black and white conversions with a few actions for color as well. I purchased these from Jeff about two months ago and i highly recommend them. I also swithched to shooting JPEG's only about 6 months ago and, for the past 6 weddings have processed them all soley with Jeff's actions and PSCS3. These actions in conjunction with shooting JPEG has dramatically changed the appearance of my finished presentations. The actions are certainly worth the price and can be downloaded directly from his site.
     
  73. Hi Jeff,

    In 'Side lighting' above you mention 3/4 lighting. Did you darken the edge in Post, and if not what did you use to darken the edge in camera/composition?

    And whats the trick to getting such deep rich blacks without the noise?

    --steve
     
  74. Jeff, I'll check out the blog, cheers.

    If you don't write a comment the photos turn up as links.

    Tony.
     
  75. Jeff is going out of town for a shoot so I don't think we'll hear any more from him today.

    We can take ONE OR TWO QUESTIONS ONLY AND THEN WAIT UNTIL JEFF RETURNS ON TUESDAY.

    After he answers those - we can start up again for a day or two more.
     
  76. Jeff, You are an inspiration. Regarding metering, you mentioned you have been shooting Manual and Program lately. With Manual, do you use an incident meter or meter through the camera?
     
  77. Pronounced? "As-kow" "Az-cough" (as in "cough")"Az-kew" ?

    Ken "Pappy"
     
  78. Jeff, you don't do 'formals' as such, limited to 6 family groups, etc as per your website. You use the light to work the composition, can you show us how you shoot the 'must haves' of the wedding, the ceremony, the ring shots, the walking up the isle, the cutting of the cake, etc? Do you take these shots and use them to provide a documentary of the day?

    p.s. I'm hoping that I can be included in the 2 questions, is asking for the pronounciation of Jeff's name included? :)
     
  79. Ok guys...catching up after a long weekend....

    Hi Steven

    All my work gets some form of vignetting in post. I have an action that does this for me.

    Again getting the blacks without noise is the result of another action that I use. It does
    things differently to the most popular actions. One of the things that I wanted was 'film
    like' b/w which means a deeper shadow than digital normally gives.
     
  80. H Matt

    Everything is metered through the camera. I like to use centre-weighted metering at the
    moment as it's more consistent than any other. Although I have used evaluative quite
    extensively in the past without any problems.
     
  81. Hi Ken

    It's pronounced Ass- coff

    And yeah I've heard all the jokes before....
     
  82. Hi Ben

    I don't have stock pictures that I take. I don't work to a list, and certain weddings won't
    have the same things as others. For example some weddings I won't be able to shoot the
    ring shots, ceremony, walking up the aisle. Other weddings I've shot haven't had cakes.

    I tend to turn up to a gig with no pre-conceived ideas of how things will happen, or which
    shots will materialise. I just shoot what happens in front of me. If I turned up with a shot
    list or a list of 'must haves' my natural reaction would be to follow those shots around
    trying to get them, and that would hinder me as a photographer. My clients are aware of
    this when they book me.

    Of course I always get the key moments of *their* day, but often they are different to the
    key moments that a lot of photographers think they should shoot week in - week out.

    There are plenty of examples of the images that you are after on my website.
     
  83. Hi Jeff

    Roughly how many shots do you take at a "standard" wedding, and do you edit yourself or do you have help. Also how do you present your albums eg gift wrapped, in person at their home or do they come to you?
     
  84. Hi Chris

    The number of shots question was answered earlier on in the thread.

    I do all the editing, post-processing etc.

    Albums get sent to the clients via DHL. I don't have many clients that I could deliver the
    album too. They are either too busy, or live too far away. The albums are presented in a
    standard Jorgensen box.
     
  85. "It's pronounced Ass- coff And yeah I've heard all the jokes before...."

    You need to partner with someone named Lipschitz.
     
  86. Just a question about rangefinder vs. DSLR ... one of the things that I don't like about currently available digital SLRs is the lack of small short lenses such as the 35/2 (equivalent) of old, or even smaller, the rangefinder lenses. I understand that the most important aspect of how people react to the photographer is the photographer and their behaviour ... but still, I sometimes feel more comfortable photographing people with a small camera instead of a DSLR+17-55/2.8+flash+diffuser.

    Do you think it matters at all? Will people react in a different way depending on the camera size.

    Sorry about the techie question :)
     
  87. Hi Jeff,

    Thanks for the great opportunity - I have another two questions for you.

    1) Looking at your images it looks like you prefer to use midrange lenses like 35mm, 50mm etc, and not go really wide or telephoto. What is your thinking behind this? Is it a result of "the look" you want or prefered working distance or maybe equipment considerations like weight/size?

    2) Obviously everybody has different taste and objectives but when you look at others, often less experienced photographers work, do you see any common areas or weaknesses that could be improved upon?

    Best Regards,

    Peter
     
  88. Hi Jeff,

    Thank you for taking the time to answer all the questions. A lot of the answers are actually in your blog and you are kind enough to repeat them here.

    My question relates more to actual execution of your journalism style - specifically how you physically position yourself.

    What I found is that if you are too close to your subject (bride, guests, whoever they might be) they will became very self conscious and will stop everything that they were doing and give you a blank face. If on the other hand, you try to stay away from your subject and use a telezoom lens (so that they don't know you are around), I found that 90% of the time, I'm shooting someone's back because there's more chances of someone moving in your way to where the action is.

    What is your key to getting those expressions without people realising you are there?
     
  89. Do you shoot to crop in PP or do you frame & shoot. I found cropping to be one of the more time-consuming tasks in post processing but I am still too dastardly to risk bad clipping.

    thank you.
     
  90. Hi Ilka

    I agree that a RF is great for people photography. It's not at all provocative. However, I do
    think that these days everyone at a wedding has a camera, whether it's in a phone or an all
    singing all dancing DSLR. So the camera shyness doesn't seem to exist anymore.

    I tend to remove my lens hoods when shooting to reduce the size of the lens down a bit. It
    makes the lenses less intimidating.
     
  91. Hi Peter

    I like my images to look 'normal' in perspective, so I don't go too much for extremes of
    focal length.

    I do use telephoto and wide lenses. But I always try and keep a certain 'look' to my images.
    The sense of space and the composition is pretty much the same whether I shoot with a
    24mm or a 200mm..

    My comfort zone is the 35-70 range though. I can pretty much shoot an entire wedding in
    this range.

    Most new photographers go for the moment, and very rarely see the picture. I often see a
    good moment captured but it's lost in the rest of the image which is usually quite poor.
    The other major thing is the over use of the telephoto. A lot of PJ images just tend to be
    head and shoulders of people shot from distance on a 200mm. The photographer doesn't
    add anything of the environment or story into the image.
     
  92. Hi b b

    If I'm honest, I have no idea. I just position myself for the picture I want to achieve and go for
    it. I don't move around too much, and I don't blast away with the camera as this is distracting
    to the subject. I'm also very quick. As soon as I have the shot I move.
     
  93. Hi Andreas

    I crop in PP very rarely. Over the past four weddings I think I've only cropped three pictures in
    total. I try to get the crop right in camera.
     
  94. Hi Jeff,

    As many have said earlier, thanks for your time responding for to these questions.

    As you deliver predominantly black and white images, my question is how do you ensure that
    there are no color cast to the monochrome prints? Do you have a particular workflow that you
    follow that removes this or special instructions that you give the printer? Are the files
    prepared in a special way?
     
  95. Hi Arnell

    I have a good lab!! Seriously, we are fully colour managed here. We use the lab's
    recommended colour space, and we assign their printing profile to the images. My actions
    also ensure that there is no colour cast in the images before we send them to the lab.

    The prints we get are perfectly neutral and consistent over the whole wedding.
     
  96. Hi Jeff,

    This is great, thanks!

    I've read that you don't shoot with assistants or second shooters, correct? How big is your
    office production team?

    -Zofia
     
  97. Hi Zofia

    No I don't shoot with second shooters. I sometimes have an assistant depending on the
    logistics of the wedding. I find second shooters far to intrusive on the day.

    My office production team consists of me and my wife.
     
  98. Jeff at that focal length 35-70mm how are you staying unobtrusive?
     
  99. Hi Jeff,

    no questions, just a note of appreciation for giving your time. Hope your plate is filled with cherries ;-)

    D.
     
  100. Hi Jonathan

    Not sure that I understand what you are asking.
     
  101. Jeff, do you build their album with or without their input? To Jonathan's question, if your only using a 35-70 lens you must be within a few feet of the subject(s)...Unobtrusive would tend to say you not right up on them but back some bit thus the need for a longer lens...like the 70-200!
     
  102. Hi Barry

    Album design is my sole responsibility. Clients don't have any input into it. It's part of the
    service that we provide.

    Unobtrusive is more a state of mind and how you behave. Hiding in the shadows can be more
    intrusive than standing within five feet of the subject. Simply because it is an odd thing to do
    and humans tend to pick up on odd behaviour.
     
  103. Jeff, thanks for taking your time to do this "interview." I also read your posts on the Digital Wedding Forum and always find them very thoughtful and helpful.

    I've been shooting weddings a long time -- longer than you, in fact, though not nearly as well. Except for the early years, when I had only a twin-lens reflex, camera handling has always been a problem for me. I would be interested to know how you work: do you work with one camera and lens at a time, or do you have two or more bodies with different lenses hanging on your person? Also, how do you keep your equipment close at hand? Do you use a conventional bag, or one of the belt systems?

    To expand the above question a bit, what do you take with you to a wedding, and what do you actually keep close at hand?

    Sometimes I miss the simplicity of the TLR days. Whenever I picked up the Rollei it always had the right lens mounted. (Or the wrong one, depending on how you look at it!)

    Thanks in advance for your answer.

    Dave Jenkins
     
  104. Hi Jeff,
    I know you mentioned that you prefer B&W, but I must say, your color images are superb. When working with color, do you have your camera set to saturate the image or is it on more of a "natural" setting? If natural, what are you doing in Post?

    Thanks.
     
  105. Hi Dave

    Great to hear from you.

    I've actually had to change the way that I work because I pulled a muscle in my back a
    couple of months ago. It's fine, but my doctor advised me to not keep aggravating it. So I
    use two camera bodies with a lens on each and a small Lowepro bag around my waist that
    takes two lenses.

    Usually I will have a 24-70 on one body and a fast prime (usually 50L) on the other. In the
    pouch I have a 35L and sometimes an 80L. That's pretty much it for how I work. If I need
    more lenses I use a small satchel type bag. It's featured on my blog. I try not to work with
    it though as it causes pressure on my back.

    During the summer I'll ditch all the primes and just use one body with a 24-70. That's my
    most prefered way of working, but I need a good sunny day to do that.

    I've ditched the 70-200 as it's too heavy. I did ditch the 24-70 for a while but I can't live
    without it :))
     
  106. Hi Scott

    My camera is set to neutral (1DMKIIN) and the contrast is backed off by one click. The
    images come out of camera pretty flat. I use one of my actions to boost the colour and
    contrast. Most people use curves to do this but I find it blocks up the shadows too easily.
    My colour actions are set so that the shadows don't block up.

    I like my colour images to look like film, so I'm not into heavily saturated colours or too
    much contrast. I also like my flesh tones to be on the warm side, so I usually boost the WB
    a little to get this.

    It's basically a couple of actions that I use to get the tones that I want.
     
  107. Jefs thanks so much for your time and insight I have two questions:

    1. Could you get into a little detail on what you touched on above regarding the light "lifting" to get the 3d effect. As if you were teaching a class how can newer shooters recognize that and position ourselves correctly?

    2. Your quote above: "Most new photographers go for the moment, and very rarely see the picture. I often see a good moment captured but it's lost in the rest of the image which is usually quite poor". What is your thought process as you are expecting a moment or if it happens very fast what is your thought process to get more impact and meaning out of capturing that moment.

    Thanks for your time.

    -Steve
     
  108. Jeff regarding the 24-70mm what I was asking is at 24-70mm you must be up close to the subject close enough to be noticed. I was wondering how do you stay out of the way and still get such candid shots with out the subject catching on to you?
     
  109. Hi Jeff.

    Thanks for your time with this. I understand you don't pose generally, and shoot moments as you see/plan for them. In the weddings I shoot (I have never been to UK), there is generally 1-2hrs for photos after the ceremony.

    I'm curious if there is an equivalent time period in the weddings you shoot which is time dedicated for photography after the ceremony - and if so how you deal with it if you are not a fan of posed shots.

    For my part I try to get a lot of shots of the couple interacting together (if you look at my photos you'll see what I mean), along with quite a few posed shots (which a lot of people mistake as being candids). There are times however during this period that I struggle for ideas for the next series of poses/shots and was hoping you might have some tips for that.

    cheers

    Gav
     
  110. Jeff, while you're shooting a wedding are you entirely focused on providing your client with a
    product, or do you sometimes take a photo for your own photojournalistic/documentary
    interest?
     
  111. Hi Steve

    I'm not sure I can answer your question without showing you in a practical demonstration.
    The best thing to do is to practice with a model. Take images in different lighting
    conditions and see which give you the best images. That's how I started out. You should
    be looking for how the light moulds the subject. Sometimes it's best to squint when
    looking at the light as this gives you a better indication of the light direction.

    One of the differences that separates the men from the boys in photography, is the
    photographers ability to see light direction and quality.

    Regarding capturing the moment. I try and second guess what is going to happen. It might
    sound weird but I have almost a sixth sense when it comes to shooting. I can see the shot
    in my minds eye before it happens. I suspect that this is a result of many years of
    experience though, rather than me having any special ability :))

    I know how and when to position myself for a shot even before I bring the camera up to
    my eye. Once the camera is up to my eye, I then refine the shot and decide on what to
    leave in and leave out of the image. Then I wait for the shot to happen. If all hell is
    breaking loose around me, say the dancing shots in the evening, then I'll go with my
    instincts and react to things happening. I do find this way of shooting to be more
    haphazard though, and my success rate is a lot lower.
     
  112. Hi Jonathan

    Like I said earlier. Unobtrusiveness is in the mind. You can be unobtrusive and be less than
    three feet from the subject. It's all about how you behave when shooting. If you
    permanently have a camera up to your eye, firing off hundreds of images, the client is
    going to be very aware of you. If you simply have the camera down at your side and just
    quietly observe, then they will relax and start to ignore you.

    Unobtrusiveness doesn't mean you can't be seen. That's a mistake many people make. For
    many clients unobtrusiveness means that you are letting them get on with their day
    without making them stop for photographs.
     
  113. Hi Gav

    Can't help you on the posing tips I'm afraid :))

    Most of my weddings have a drinks reception directly after the ceremony. This takes around
    90 mins. I'll need 10 mins of that 90 to do the formals. For the rest of the time I shoot
    images of people having a good time, dining room details, that sort of thing.
     
  114. Hi Aizan

    I take pictures firstly for my clients. However, I also have to satisfy my own artistic needs so I
    do take images to please me as well. But the emphasis is on providing the clients with a great
    set of pictures that they will enjoy looking at.
     
  115. Jeff, is it possible to see one of your completed albums. Your website has been very helpful and I love the shots, I was just curious how you put it all together. For me, the album is the medium that expresses all the collective artistic work that we do. Blessings to you and your family.
     
  116. Hi Barry

    Sorry I haven't got a completed album that I can share on here. If you email me, I'll see what I
    can do.
     
  117. In addition to the above question by Barry Davis, I would like to know a little about your workflow when it comes to the albums.

    Do you use any special software?
    Do you use any standard layouts?
    Do you have any preferences as to the number of pages and type of album you deliver?

    thank you in advance!
     
  118. Hi Sune

    I use Jorgensen album designer software and Yervant's Page Gallery 4 for designing the
    albums.

    My albums are Jorgensen exclusively. The number of pages and album shape/design varies
    according to client's taste.
     
  119. Can you tell me what the name of the song that plays on your web site? One of the girls in my office loves it!
     
  120. I ask again if that is ok - Jeff I know you don't want to get in to your business side but I thought I would ask a general question.

    Is their a large high end market (including destinations) that you and some of your fellow pros shoot for? Do you generally get referals or actually market to that clientel or does it come down to just producing top notch work that gets recognized? So many top pros claim to make in excess of 10k and I was wondering do they they really shoot a large volume of weddings?

    Do you find your work appreciated by the higher end clientel or are you sometimes hired because they want and can afford the best? Whatever your comfortable with sharing is appreciated, it is interesting to gain insight on someone at your established level
     
  121. Hey Jeff, Just wondering how photomechanic compares to noise filters like noise ninja and noiseware professional (imagenomic). Does yours work faster being it's own program than having to work within photoshop?
    Thanks!
     
  122. Hi John

    My web designer sourced the music for me. I have no idea what the piece is called, or who it's
    written by.
     
  123. Hi Steve

    My clients tend to come from different socio-economic backgrounds. Most of them are in
    the professional sector - doctors, lawyers, bankers etc. I also shoot weddings for the
    English Aristocracy, sports stars and celebrities. However I will only do a handful of these
    gigs a year as the magazines tend to pick them up first.

    My work comes in from a variety of different sources. Recommendation, internet
    placement, magazine ads etc. The one thing that all my clients have in common is that
    they understand good photography, and want good photography on their wedding day.
     
  124. Hi Ariel

    Photomechanic is a piece of software that I use for selecting pictures. It's not a noise
    reduction app.
     
  125. Hi, earlier you said: "If the light is really bad, I would shoot the image with a wide angle and make the subjects very small in the frame, but allow the rest of the frame to tell the story."

    Can you post a sample or 2 of this? If the light is really bad throughout the wedding, do you end up resorting to flash for some tighter shots or would the whole shoot be wide angle?
     
  126. Hi Glenn

    I'm struggling a bit to find some shots that were relevent to the original question about the
    processional in full sun. We don't have that situation over here :)) So I've got some shots that
    show how I deal with poor light....
     
  127. Shot 1. Really poor shadowy lighting. Some dodging has been done in Photoshop to lighten her face. The eyes are still quite dark, but the expression and the fact that I am not on top of them allow me to get away with it.
    00LGgy-36659384.jpg
     
  128. Shot 2. Really strong full sun. This shot wasn't possible when the bride looked up, so I waited until she looked down. That way the poor light doesn't affect her face.
    00LGh0-36659484.jpg
     
  129. Shot 3. Full sun again. This time I've included a lot of the environment in order to 'hide' the poor lighting on their faces
    00LGh2-36659584.jpg
     
  130. Finally some really, really strong backlighting. The rim light is fine on the groom's face. I had to wait for the expression from the bride. However the lighting isn't the greatest on her face. So by including more of the environment, I've hidden the poor light on her face. Besides which the expression more than makes up for it.
    00LGh4-36659684.jpg
     
  131. Hi Jeff, First of all let me thank you! This has been wonderful! I have a question about your use of available light. When I tend to photograph with only available light when the lighting conditions are dim, I have a lot more pictures that are technically "missed" for these reasons. My shutter was too slow to hand hold, or I could hand hold it but the subject was moving to fast for the shutter speed and created motion blur. The DOF is so narrow, that in a photojournalism style people are moving in and out of focus, because they are not holding still. You already talked about the high ISO, so I won't go into that. But, the other two problems I mentioned are things I struggle with the most when using all natural light when the lighting is not very bright.

    Can you give some guidlines of how you acheive sharp pictures, and what you do to ensure them? Do you try to say within a certain guidline of shutter speed for certain situations? Or do you try to stay within a certain F stop for certain situations knowing that there is a possibility of them to move out of the focus range?
     
  132. Hi Kari The two things that you have to consider when shooting in dim light are your focus and your shutter speed. Focus is fine as long as you can confirm it, and the camera has some help. To this end I use a Canon EC-A microprism screen in all my cameras. It allows me to judge whether or not the subject is sharp in low light. It also allows me to manually focus if needs be. In really low light I use a Canon ST-E2 speedlite transmitter on its own. This throws out a beam of light that helps the camera to focus. I don't try to shoot subjects that are moving about in dim light. That I'm afraid is the domain of the flashgun. If I can get a shutter speed of 1/30th of a sec I'm ok. I can handhold a 35mm down to 1/8th sec without issue, but there will always be subject movement. I always squeeze off three frames at a time. I can guarantee the second one will be sharper as I relax momentarily. This shot was 1/40 sec @ 1.2 at 1600 iso. It has a little softness to it, but I think that is part of the charm.
    00LGru-36663584.jpg
     
  133. Forgot to add. The lens is an 85mm. I'm braced against a wall, and this was the third shot in
    a quick fire sequence.
     
  134. Jeff,

    When you say you always fire off 3 shots in succession, do you mean you quickly press the shutter 3 times, or that you keep you camera on burst mode...

    Thank you, Lee.
     
  135. Hi Lee

    I press the shutter three times in quick succession. I don't use continuous drive mode at all in my photography.
     
  136. if this takes to long to answer then I understand and disregard. Your style is probably what most of us want to do, but it seems the bride/grooms still are very traditional with some candid moments captured between our formal photography...pre shots of br and mommma/whomever (posed)...switch to groom same thing..then Ceremony,,then formals afterward,,,maybe a park after that and the the drunk fest! Do you sorta help them plan their sequence or do just totally let it all happen. Most of us have a time sequence with even key shots needed, but how do you plan, if you do plan (respectively I ask) for the days events.
     
  137. Hi Barry

    I tend to let it all happen. I like them to know when I expect to do the formal images (if there are any) but that's about it.

    I do get a schedule of the day from the event organiser or the bride, so that I know roughly where I need to be to get certain parts of the day, but like I said I just tend to go with the flow.
     
  138. still looking forward to that Album? :)
     
  139. Looks like this interview has caused a bit of a stir on DPReview...and the RAW v jpeg debate has raised its ugly head again...LOL

    I'm going to give my reasons for shooting jpeg. There is also a bit on my blog concerning shooting RAW and jpeg

    http://jeffascough.typepad.com/wpj_resource/2007/02/if_you_shoot_ra.html

    OK a bit of background first of all. I shot RAW for the first year of being a wedding photographer. I've tried every RAW processing software on the market in that time. I understand how to get the best from a RAW file, and I understand the technical aspects of 8 bit vs 16 bit files.

    I still shoot the odd job in RAW and process it in the latest software to see if there is any advantage *to me* in shooting RAW.

    I prefer to shoot jpeg. I shoot the highest level jpeg my camera will give me. I use preset WB and back the contrast off in camera. I use no sharpening in camera.

    Now then, the reasons behind what some people have said as being 'irresponsible' behavior for a pro photographer....:))

    I do a lot of work on my images. I run a lot of actions on the files. The end result is nothing like what comes out of camera. All my images are seen as album ready images. I don't do proofs. The clients only see finished images.

    So if I shot RAW I would have to do the corrections for WB, density etc. I would then have to convert those images to jpeg in order to take them into Photoshop to do my thing with the files. Err...hold on...I'm enhancing jpegs....so why not skip the RAW conversions and get straight on with enhancing the jpegs??

    Ahh...I hear you say...but you can convert RAW files to 16-Bit Tiffs. You can...except processing tiffs is like walking in mud. It's sloooowwww. Everything takes too long.

    But...you will get a higher quality image as you won't be throwing away all that extra data that RAW gives you. Well if that's true, its only on a theoretical level. In practice there is no 'real world' difference between a print from a jpeg and a print from a RAW file that has been converted to jpeg and then has undergone the same post processing.

    I can't emphasise this enough. Because of the amount of post that I apply to my images, it makes no sense whatsoever to shoot in RAW to add three to four hours to my workflow in order to end up with the same quality of print as I would get from jpeg.

    Hopefully that has cleared a few things up....
     
  140. Jeff

    When you were burning film, I heard that you used Neopan 400CN. I too, love & use that film for my B/W wedding work. I was just curious as to why you chose it over Ilfords XP-2 or Kodaks B/W C-41 version?

    Thanks
    Russ
     
  141. Hi Jeff,

    Have you had any resistance to your album only wedding services from clients?

    I assume that most clients are sold before they book you, but what are the most common
    concerns that your clients have regarding the album as the first and final product that they
    receive from you?

    Thanks in advance, this has been a great thread.

    Don
     
  142. Hey Jeff,

    1st off, Many thanks for taking the time to give us your feedback.
    I am curious if you ever run into weddings where lack of emotion and opportunity present themselves. If so, do you feel tempted to choreograph the moment in those situations as to ensure at least somewhat of decent turnout? I have been to a only a few where this existed but it will make me cringe. What do you do to look for moments went they aren't obvious? Thank you much Jeff.

    -Scott
     
  143. Hi Jeff,

    Thanks for your time again. In my previous post I did not mean to sound like I was asking for posing ideas - rather I was trying to ask - how do you keep a photographic flow going the whole time? i.e. if there is really not an awful lot happening do you try to seek out things or do you just wait for the moment(s) to eventuate? How do you keep the creative juices flowing the whole time?

    Also with the jorgensen album - do you sharpen your images *after* they have been resized to their intended print output or do you sharpen in photoshop, and then just let the jorgensen software resize for you and leave it at that? The reason I ask is at the moment I export my print selection as 5x7.5" sized jpegs from aperture, then use photoshop with a plugin called 'nik sharpener pro' which sharpens each image as it sees fit. I'm unsure where this type of step of sharpening for the intended print output fits into your workflow.

    many thanks once again.

    Gav
     
  144. Hi Russ

    I tended to use whatever my lab preferred to print. They were a Fuji lab and Fuji set them up
    properly with the printer profiles for the Frontier system. So it made sense to shoot Fuji.

    Before that I shot Kodak TCN for years but it was always a little flat in the midtones. Fuji had
    more of a traditional film tonal range which suited me.
     
  145. Hi Don

    Some people have objected to having a completed album, but in all honesty they are very
    few and far between. Once I explain my philosophy behind my approach they are quite
    happy with it.

    I shoot for the album, not to sell pictures after the event. The album is the vehicle for my
    work and I shoot pictures accordingly. It makes a difference to me as an artist to have that
    freedom, without having to work within the constraints of taking pictures which I have to
    sell afterwards.

    The clients get their albums within 6 weeks of the wedding and they don't need to visit
    me, choose pictures, or even have to contact me again. With my client's busy lifestyles, I
    think most of them appreciate this hassle free approach.

    I also refer to the videographer. He has carte blanche to put together a DVD of the
    wedding day as he sees fit, so why should photographers be any different?

    Finally, if you proof your images you are saying to the client "I can't decide which are the
    best pictures from your wedding. So I'm going to let you decide even though you haven't
    any experience of looking at wedding photographs."

    Furthermore, if a client has to choose a set number of images - how will she do it? Simple.
    She'll look out for the pictures she doesn't like. That immediately says to the client that
    there are pictures in the set that aren't very good. That's too negative a standpoint to take,
    for me anyway.
     
  146. Hi Scott

    We do get some weddings that lack any kind of emotion, but there are always loads of
    picture opportunities. There is so much going on at a wedding that it's impossible not to
    get any pictures.

    I think many photographers are too hung up on getting certain shots and if they don't
    materialise, they panic into trying to stage them. For me, if something isn't happening I go
    and look for something else to photograph. I don't come into a wedding with any pre-
    conceived ideas on what to shoot. I tend to go with the flow. I think that attitude helps.
     
  147. Hi Gavin

    I think I've covered your first point in response to Scott's post.

    Interestingly I have just changed the way I do the sharpening with Jorgensen pages.
    Previously I always sharpened the images, then imported them into the software, designed
    the album and exported the pages. Now I leave the files unsharpened until the pages are
    exported, and then sharpen the whole page.
     
  148. Hi Jeff. Thanks for taking the time to do this.

    I think you philosophy with the albums is brilliant, but I have a question. Do you offer a CD or online proofing? What if the parents want an 8x10 or something?

    Thanks.

    Scott.
     
  149. Hi Scott

    We have a Skooks shopping Kart available for clients to see their wedding pictures while the
    album is being made. It also allows guests to order prints after the wedding.
     
  150. Hi Jeff,

    Do you use other lighting equipment (like umbrella, soft bank) for your formals or are they also just available light?
     
  151. Hello Jeff,

    Your B&W images are simply delicious!
    Are you setting your in-camera B&W mode or are you doing all these in post-processing on your desktop computer?
     
  152. HI Arthur

    I don't own any lighting equipment other than a 580EX and a beat up 550EX. :)) I certainly
    wouldn't be interested in bringing out any sort of large light modifier just to do two or three
    formal shots.

    **Shameless Plug**

    The b/w is done via my actions. More info at http://www.ascoughactions.com
     
  153. matt or glossy?

    merci d'avance
     
  154. Hi Yuri

    Both. Depending on the album.
     
  155. Hi Jeff, fo you ever do formals with the subjects at the altar in church? If so, I'm wondering
    how you handle the lighting. That's the situation in which I would likely set up a lightstand
    and umbrella to use off-camera flash (580ex), assuming there's enough time to do so. It
    means carrying an extra gear bag and it takes time to set up. Lighting at the altar is usually
    not very pretty for portraits, and on-camera flash looks, well, like on-camera flash.
    Sometimes the weather doesn't permit outdoor photography, or it's dark out when the formal
    portraits are being done. Thanks very much for all of your insights here and for the
    continuing inspiration.
     
  156. Sorry for the typo. That was "do", not "fo".
     
  157. HI Zlatko

    Alter returns are something that I have never done. It breaks up the flow of the day too much
    for me.

    If I get stuck inside trying to do portraits and I can't use a window for whatever reason, I'll
    resort to the 'F' word and bounce a little flash into the subject. I certainly wouldn't use
    anything other than a 580 on top of the camera.
     
  158. >I certainly wouldn't use anything other than a 580 on top of the camera.

    But, cathedral ceilings are sometimes impossible to bounce light. By the time the light returns to the bride, it has already lost so much of its intensity --- it's almost no flash at all. How do you handle this? Do you bounce it off a reflector carried by your assistant on the side?
     
  159. Hi Arthur,

    I wouldn't shoot formals anywhere that I couldn't control the light. So if the ceiling is too
    high or dark, I would move the couple to an area with a lower, whiter ceiling. Even if it
    means sacrificing a slightly better background.

    If I've got to shoot PJ in a high ceiling environment, and I needed to use flash (my mind
    goes back to a 5pm winter wedding in a barn last year where part of the drinks reception
    was taken in zero light) then I'll flip out the white diffuser thingy on the top of the 580,
    stick the flash head upright and bounce into that.
     
  160. I'm sure you have thought of giving us a lovely discount on your action set! 60.00 GBP = 119.054 USD We'll call it the photonet-maryball coupon! LOL! What say you?
     
  161. OK guys...it's now time for me to sign off.

    I hope you have enjoyed this thread. I've certainly enjoyed responding to all the questions.
    Hopefully I've given you all an insight into my work.

    One thing I should mention is that there is a post that has been deleted just before the
    formal images. It actually makes sense of the formal images. I'm sure Mary will fix that.
    For those that didn't see the original post, I was simply giving examples of the kind of
    formal images that I take on a wedding when I have to. Sorry if there was any confusion. I
    know one or two on DPreview were definately confused over it. :))

    Anyway, thanks for the interest in my work.

    Cheers

    Jeff
     
  162. Thanks, Jeff. It was an excellent discussion --- very effective meeting!
     
  163. I have a ? for you Jeff.. I am a naturalist lighting lover too and try to do so when shooting a wedding also.. what is your advice or tech specs for shooting at night.. with little or no lighting around.. I ran into this very thing unexpected.. The wedding was postponed for almost 2 hours and my strobes would not reach out with cords to the ceremony site.. what should I have done to get the most excellent shots..??? Being a natural lighting person, I am not used to working with all the hot shot lighting equipment and allthough I have done some major studio shoots with un-natural light, I still don't get how to use them in an enviroment outdoors..
    Thanks.
     
  164. Hello Jeff
    I would like to know how do you get rid of the obtrusive videographers?
    Thank you
     
  165. Way off topic
    Hey Jeff - when you are next in Nottingham, come and have a beer

    Richard King
     
  166. Hello!!! What equipment do you use? how do you deal with harsh sunlight if there is no shade around? Do you use reflectors? Do you have an assistant? What do they do? How has your style changed over the years?
     

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