WEDDING CRITIQUE OF THE WEEK 10/19/09

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by picturesque, Oct 21, 2009.

  1. This week's image was taken by Stephania Whitfield.

    This is Part 2 of Wedding Photo of the Week. You can see all submissions in the thread with that title.
    In your critiques - include what you would do to improve the shot or why the shot is perfect as it is. Remember that this is not a contest. Sometimes an image will be a winning image and sometimes an image that needs some help. Try not to just say "great shot" but explain why it works. Or - "Doesn't do it for me" without explaining why.

    The photographer up for critique for this week should remember that the comments expressed each week are simply "opinions" and the effort and focus of these threads are to learn and to take images to another level. There will be times where the critique is simply members pointing out why the shot works which is also a way for others to learn about what aspects contribute to a good wedding photo. In reading all critiques -- you may agree or disagree with some points of view - but remember that there are varying approaches and often no right or wrong answer.
    Stephania's comments: Shot with Nikon D80, 50mm, f/2.0, 1/125 shutter speed.
    00UnzW-182289584.jpg
     
  2. It's not a wedding photo though. You should have a seperate contest for "Engagement picture of the week".
     
  3. This is a quick rendition of my basic touchup....
    00Uo0R-182296184.jpg
     
  4. Missy, this isn't a contest and occassionally, being selected is something of a "left-handed" compliment. Also, the photo techniques used for engagement photos are not very different than what is shot at the actual wedding.
    BTW, I love this image. Her eye contact with the camera and the moment is captured nicely. Good focus, DOF, and composition. Very nicely done! Well OK, I would like a lighter peck on the cheek so his nose isn't smushed........but that's a very minor criticism.
     
  5. I'm so glad mine was chosen! : )
    I might just say that personally, this was one of my favorites from the shoot.
    Theresa - The image was more vibrant in the editing process, but somehow through the conversion from my computer to the thread, it dulled a little bit. (Also, when my photos go to print, they tend to look a little warmer than on my screen so I usually lean a tad toward the cool side when I edit.)
    David - Thanks! I agree about the smushed nose also.
     
  6. love the image and love what theresa did to add to the skin tones. I am really struggling with brightening skin tones - can you elaborate on what you did to brighten this image? thanks
     
  7. Anna - First of all, I really aim to get the exposure how I want it in camera. That being said, there really wasn't much to do to this image. I shoot in RAW, so I did a few things to help it out, which included: Bringing the exposure down just a bit and then taking the brightness up a little as well(I bring the exposure down a little first so that it compensates for the added brightness). By bring the brightness up instead of the exposure, I find that it helps quite a bit (This is just my personal opinion though and you may find some who will disagree on editing technique). I also increased the contrast a bit before opening the image in photoshop where I used a curves adjustment layer and then sharpened the image. Just the basics.
     
  8. I appreciate the info - thank you
     
  9. Verty nice, Stephania. Great expression and composition. The eyes are perfectly sharp while the background blurs into a beautiful soupy mess. Theresa's edit looks just right on my screen.

    Check out some previous threads on calibration, including one recent one:
    http://www.photo.net/wedding-photography-forum/00UUXe
    You shouldn't have to purposely edit them on the cool side to get the final product to look right. That's akin to me aiming to the left when I golf, because I know the ball is going to slice to the right. Doesn't work. If done properly, you should be able to calibrate your monitor to match the prints.
     
  10. An amazing image for sure. Not much to say about it for me. Just one little thing: I would have probably tilted the image a little bit to the right just enough as to crop this dark corner in the upper left corner... But that is really only a minor suggestion...
     
  11. Thanks, Matthew. I have calibrated in the past, but apparently it didn't work properly. I will look more into it.
    Mirko, Thanks for pointing out the corner. I will most likely just clone it out before any printing is done.
     
  12. David--having one's image chosen for Wedding Photo of the Week Critique isn't so much of a left handed compliment. The image chosen most likely has interesting content and great potential (at the very least), which are not usually just arbitrarily caught.
     
  13. Theresa - can you share what you did to enhance the image? thanks
     
  14. To start, I really love the eye contact. That just makes this, expecially as beautiful as this woman's features are.
    Now for the critique:
    1. I disagree that the background blurring is done well here. It is evident that the flowers are part of the composition, based on their large presence in the scene. they are distracting, however, as it looks like they were unintentionally left blurry. On the other hand, to bring the whole picture in focus would have merged the woman's head with the bush.
    So what to do? Either recompose so that the bush is NOT touching her head and bring everything in focus, or place the couple in front of a background that is less busy and blur it out. I would lean toward the second solution, as I have always thought that bokeh in a photo looks professional, and distinguishes it from P&S photos. I am irked that other photographers frequently place the subjects in front of a significantly complex background and then blur it out to make it romantic. The background is either part of the shot, or it's not; and as the photographer you have to be sure which it is.
    2. The woman's eyes are just right of center, and the man is all the way off the right. Add this to the blurry flowers on the left, and your eyes travel all the way off the right side of the picture. As great as the facial expression is, she can't hold my attention when my eyes are being pulled off to one side.
    Ideally, this shot would be recomposed, with her eyes just LEFT of center. The flowers would be diminished and less intrusive. This would allow the viewer's eyes to rest gleefully on the priceless expression on her face.
    3. Add 1/2 stop to the exposure. It's a little dark.
     
  15. I agree with a lot of what has been said. I don't know if it is an exposure issue given the WB is off. The best thing that could have been done "in-camera" would have been a CWB. Theresa's image is warmer, but again, not a fan of the skin tone there either (skin tones can be tough). And I have to agree that the monitor should be calibrated prior to making any adjustments! Not sure I can agree w/ f/2.0. His ear is OoF and on a larger print that might be distracting (to me, others may disagree). Of course f/4.0 would have brought more of the flowers into focus.... this is where something like the 85mm would have been a great lens to use (or a full frame camera!). I find his right arm to be distracting- it seems he is hugging something huge (yikes!). All that said, it is a very nice shot and one I am sure the client will love- and that is what matters.
     
  16. I really like this shot and can't say much more than everyone else has already said. I do think the white balance is off and like Theresa's edit more, but, IMO Theresa's seems like it has too much magenta in it.
    Also, I would just crop it a little more like Hal said bringing the subject more into the frame and less of the flowers and ground.
    Overall, very nice shot!
     
  17. As a final note, I just got home and pulled this up on my PC that is connected to my TV. I have my TV intentionally miscalibrated to have a little extra warmth, higher contrast, brighter, and extra saturated colors. This corrects alot of the poor-quality video that I watch on my TV. The OP picture looks GREAT now! Theresa's edit looks oversaturated and overcontrasted now.
    But earlier today on my work computer, Theresa's picture looked perfect. If you can't calibrate your monitor with a professional calibrator, at least adjust in by eye until Theresa's picture looks right. That will get you in the ballpark.
     
  18. Okay, I want to try something. The original photo that I posted looks too cool to me as well, so I have changed the color profile I was working with and am uploading a color corrected, profile embedded version of the image to see if it makes a difference.
    00UoDj-182403584.jpg
     
  19. Just to clarify my "left-handed" compliment comment.....my point was that the wedding POW is not a contest and that frequently stellar images are passed-up in favor of other images which likely have more room for improvement, thus more room for critique and varied opinions. I'm also surprised with how often the wedding POW thread is misinterpreted as a contest of sort and occasionally people haven't been happy with the critique or felt as if the image was being "ripped apart". Personally, I think the wedding POW threads that have been run the last few months have provided some of the best information for personal/professional growth for newcomers and old-timers alike. With this weeks photo it was my personal favorite of the bunch and I'm glad it was chosen. If it were mine, I'd offer the following PS tweaks to zip/punch the color and highlight the girl's eyes..........
    00UoFk-182425684.jpg
     
  20. Stephania: Your last post looks very natural now. Use the other profile if you need to for printing, but this profile is better for posting to the internet.
    David: I couldn't find the "zip/punch" button on my computer.
     
  21. It's underneath the anykey.
    Couldn't resist.
     
  22. Great, I don't think it is my monitor calibration after all! : )
     
  23. 1. Nice work. The composition is fine
    2. Your blemish touchups on her crow's feet and the groom's moles were great.
    3. The bokeh is fine. It isn't too sharp, but isn't too soft, either. Just right.
    4. I like the glow you gave her, but perhaps it could be toned down just a bit.
    Just IMHO. I wish I could make shots as good as this one on a regular basis. :)
     
  24. My caveat is that I don't shoot weddings. But generally I agree with Hal's comments on the flowers. More specifically, I find the white flowers a tad distracting, as white tends to attract the eyes, and in this case, away from the couple. Just a compositional note.
     
  25. My only suggestion would one of composition. I might have been nicer if she was looking at him rather than at the camera. This looks a little too much like a peck on the cheek to me.
     
  26. I would prefer a tighter crop, that gives more emphasis to the couple and removes the some what distracting element of the flowers and drive way from the left of the image. My focus seems to shift to the left whenever I look at the original image and this takes away from the lovely smile and impish kiss that makes this a wonderful engagement photo. Here is my take.
    00UoRx-182549584.jpg
     
  27. Anna, sorry I just saw this question.
    + 3 contrast & saturation, added some red from curves (which offsets the green skin thing that happens when you shoot among foliage) then,Imagenomic Portraiture software, and dodged & burned the corners in Photoshop.
     
  28. Beautiful light in the eyes, great expression but the crop is too far left (the couple are too far to the right side) for my taste. Perhaps if the space beyod the flowers was chopped?
     
  29. I'm still learning about composition, but the removal of the flowers leaves it, for me, a portrait, not a wedding portrait. Something about the flowers gives it the right context. Is it usually better to crop to faces, leaving out the identifying features, landmarks and (natural) props that are emblematic of the moment and event?
     
  30. David , i see your point, what do you think of this alternative crop. Ed I dont understand your comment "Is it usually better to crop to faces, leaving out the identifying features , landmarks and (natural) props that are emblematic of the moment and event?" Would that not tend to be counter productive for an engagement image.
    00UoV9-182567684.jpg
     
  31. Ed: I agree. The flowers should not be removed altogether.
     
  32. The cues for the artistic intent of the image must be taken from Stephania. My contribution was to suggest an alternative framing that tightened the focus on what I consider are the highlights ' Her eyes and Smile , and his kiss". IMHO the flowers on the left of the original image , gave it context of being taken outdoors or in a garden and some atmosphere . But they were also a distraction. Simplify , try the keep distractions out of the image, make your subject large in the frame. Stephania would obviously have the final word as to what the image was meant to convey.
     
  33. I like that more. This is one of those compositions that seem a little awkward to me. I would have preferred to have the girl facing toward the flowers, but then the guy provides a termination to the compositions edge. Hard to make too much more of it than has been done really. I like it nonetheless.
     
  34. I like Hugh's crop - you still get the bokeh effect from the flowers, but they are less distracting, and the image is centered on the sharp and colorful eyes and smile.
     
  35. Thanks for the comments and critique from all of you!
    Just a note on the composition: The photo was (obviously) meant to have the focus at the right of the frame. The only real reason for doing so was to change things up a bit and to give a different feel to this image. I liked the thought of the focus being on her and not showing him completely. I really appreciate all of the points that were made, regarding composition. Honestly, at the time, I didn't take the flowers into consideration. : )
     
  36. I really like the original composition, I think the triangle that forms from the guy's eye, to her outer left eye and her smile comes about as close to honoring the "rule of thirds" that is possible. Hugh's 2nd square crop also looks pretty good.
     
  37. Just a note on color temperatures and monitor displays - I just want to throw this out there to the masses, a tidbit that a colleague sent me:
    "If they are on Safari, that is a color specific
    browser, when Internet Explorer is not. Firefox is CSB, as are a few
    others."
    In other words, some of us might be on calibrated monitors but viewing the image in a not-color-savvy browser, or vice versa. Just an FYI.
     

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