Wedding Critique of the Week 11/13/11

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by picturesque, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. This week's image was taken by Melissa Papaj.
    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.
    Melissa's Notes: hmmmm....I am always at a loss for which ones to post and can't remember if I have already posted them or not. Here is mine for the week - hopefully I haven't posted it...Nikon D700, 24-70 f/2.8 lens, off camera flash...I can find a few things wrong with this one, but mostly, I am wondering how in the world do I get the smudges off the glasses?
  2. Smudges on glasses, that's a toughy. Maybe get frosted glasses so that smudges don't show?
    I like the rim light, that's nice, the tree light brings in some interesting detail, although its almost a little over powering. The expression is nice, and I really like red in the glasses for some reason, makes it stand out. If I had to make a complaint in my humble opinion your key light that is lighting bride and groom is perhaps a bit too head on for such a dramatic moment for my tastes. I'm a big fan of contrast, lots of nice edgy shadows, so my only suggestion would be had you ever thought of putting your key\soft light to say the right of the bride and groom and you're wonderful back light to the left? In this scenario if the back light where camera left, it would be a back light for the bride, but a key light for the groom, while your camera right soft light would give a wonderful key light for the bride while a nice back light for the groom. Just a thought :).
    Oh and I just noticed you aren't too far away in SLC. Hows the business down there?
  3. I don't care for the "rim' lighting on the arms, shoulders, nose chin etc. I would prefer to have seen more out-of-focus background as a better way of creating a 'separate' plane for the people.
    Flash is a bit hot, leading to shines on the faces etc of the bridal couple. The flash also overpowers any shaping the available light may have given the contours on the couples geography. I know one cannot always help that last point...depends what the ambient was like and we don't know that.
    Pity about the smears...but sometimes you have to get the shot that's there in front of you. Then there's that fence....ah well....It's still a very enjoyable grab shot. Regards, Robert
  4. IMO, this is a shot that I would like to like..... It's a pleasant moment, attractive subjects with good eye contact between the couple and a classic profile of each face, the point of view and point of focus is good.
    However the fill light is a touch too hot and uneven, the rim light seems too hot and the background lighting is un-even, overly hot, with an unpleasant directionality. The bride's left arm is in an awkward position which creates a bit of a "stumpy-look" on her left shoulder. I'm not put-off by the smudges on the glasses but rather by the unpleasant glare on the glasses created by the strong back-lighting. I've attempted to even the lighting in a Photoshopped version added below. Over-all the image seems to have good intentions but the lighting just doesn't work for my tastes. Thanks for submitting the shot for critique.
  5. Here's my attempt to compensate somewhat with a Photoshopped version of the image just to illustrate the direction I'd like to see the lighting take.....
  6. It's a great image, but I'd try to do something with the distracting background, eg, seriously reduce its contrast, get rid of the hot spots, the wood, the fence, etc. I notice there is some odd coloration on the LHS of the groom's nose that was exaggerated in David's tweaked version. I also cropped away a bit from the top of the image and reduced some of the blemishes on the groom. I have no idea what caused the bright area under the couple's hands, and didn't attempt to do anything with that area. Overall, I thought that both global and local contrast was a bit high, so I reduced both for a bit softer look, particularly in the skin and reduced a couple of skin reflections. I had no particular problem with the intensity of the rim lighting or the smudging on the glasses.
    For a final fun, cheesy touch, I added a star on the glass. ;-)
    Tom M
  7. First off, always copy your text you write before you hit submit. I had a lovely response and then bam, the server went down. So anyways, Melissa, I generally like this shot. It feels a bit staged, but the couple still will probably love it. So a couple things. Since it was likely a posed shot, I would have either opened the bride up more, or stepped towards the groom more so that she visually was more open, that way her arm and shoulder aren't directly facing the camera. By having that be the closest thing to the camera it makes her arm look MUCH larger than it actually is, and I don't know any bride (unless she's a body builder) who wants that. Since I couldn't do anything about that now, I cropped the image so that isn't as prominent, but kept some of the dress so she didn't look naked. I also lightly cloned out the skin wrinkles around her arm pit since when I cropped it that made them more of a focal point.
    The rim lighting is just a tad bit hot but I bet you could recover that in lightroom with the RAW file. As far as the smudges go, at first it didn't bother me, it looked more like a steamy cordial they were having. But after you mentioned the smudges I couldn't stoop thinking about them. So I tried to fix it up in photoshop a bit in under 2 minutes. I used the cloning tool at 50%. When cloning I tried to keep the natural highlights of the glass or else it would look really flat and fake. If this was a shot the client was asking for to be fixed with the smudges, I would have set up in my apartment the same shot with the same lighting as best I could and some champagne glasses so I could study the likely proper patterns of light, etc, and then try to mimic that in photoshop. Another key thing is to not clone EXACTLY in line with the actual background, the glass would create some type of distortion to what you were seeing, so I tried to simulate that quickly. With the low res file it was hard to get a good selection in there of the original glasses. Lastly, I cleaned up the groom's face.
    On the whole though, I like it =) Thanks for sharing! Also, just a though, seeing this in silhouette would have been cool. I bet the only color that would have come through would have been the red in the glasses. =)
  8. Hi Melissa -- Great shot. I bet the couple really loves it. I always enjoy seeing your work.

    I wouldn't worry about the smudge. Sure if you were in the studio, we'd expect clean glasses, but at a wedding you gotta run pretty fast and take what they give you and I bet the couple loves it. Vail, wow, great job photoshopping... miraculous! Can I send you some of my shots for some of your yankee magic? :)

    I would have framed this a bit differently. I would have cropped it square and included some negative space behind her shoulder and maybe even behind him. Not sure if you can do this, depending on what you cropped from the original.

    One question -- on the full-res version, how is the focus and sharpness? On this thumbnail, I'm not sure if the focus is just a tad off.

    Tom -- I love your "cheesy" sparkle. I think it adds to the photo.

    Great work Melissa!
  9. Allan, prior to being a photographer, I took years of drawing, painting, and sculpting classes. The drawing and painting classes really pay off when I'm working in photoshop to correct something, because you have to think, in 2D what would make this look real. When you draw and paint, you REALLY have to look for those cues that keep your elements looking 3D even though you are stuck on a 2D canvas.
  10. What others have said is pretty much dead on. I also dislike how the brides head is cut off as well as the top of grooms head. The photo almost looks not centered.
  11. Thanks everyone for all of your feedback. I love seeing everyone else's edits and hearing your viewpoints :)
  12. The chosen lightning (flash) kills the mood IMO.

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