WEDDING CRITIQUE OF THE WEEK 714/09 - AKA WEDDING PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by think27, Jul 15, 2009.

  1. Michael Brown
    The recipient of this week's critique.
    In your critiques - Include what you would do to improve the shot or why the shot is perfect as it is and why. 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.

    Thanks to all that have contributed to these threads. There are some awsome photos being uploaded.
    00TwY7-154931684.jpg
     
  2. I really like this shot. The warm natural light really works. The look between the couple and the placing of the subject really works as well.
    The only change I may make is to bring the couple out a bit more, maybe with a combination of levels or a yin/yang tool. But, even if you did nothing it would still be a great shot.
     
  3. The severe orange is just killing the image for me (remember though, this is subjective). I've balanced the light some in this version, but it may be too extreme for your taste. Maybe somewhere in between would work better? Again, this is subjective, but it almost seems like carnival lights in a sweet, romantic portrait, which isn't sitting well with me. Either way, the couple does need to be lightened to agree with the light in the rest of the image. Other wise, beautiful shot. Great use of DOF to isolate the couple yet give a sense a place and time.
    I also added a slight vignette because once the orange was balanced out, it needed just a touch to keep your attention from falling out of the corners of the frame.
    00Twar-154953784.jpg
     
  4. Good choice not using flash here. The natural light is much more appealing, gives nice shape to the subjects. And nice chemistry.
    What distracts me somewhat is the guests in the background who seem uninterested in the romance on the dance floor. It's good though that they are out of focus. Perhaps the crop should be tighter on the subjects, where the real interest is in this image.
     
  5. A sample edit. Works as 8x10, not so much as 4x6. Color still off.
    00TwgA-154993784.jpg
     
  6. I actually like it better with the people in the background. It kind of says "no matter what else is happening in the room, we're engrossed in eachother". It tells a story.
     
  7. I'm with Jens adjustment on this one. I'm not crazy about the orange and dark skin tones. But we all have our own personal tastes. I also prefer more depth of field; since you include people in the background. Since the people in the background look so out of focus and clueless by not watching the bride and groom dance I'd probably rather shoot this vertical, mainly due to the beautiful romantic expressions they both share.
     
  8. I'm really not a fan of this image. The B/G appear too soft to my eye and I'd like at least a touch of fill light. Agree that the orange is a bit much and prefer what Jen's done above. The background looks cluttered. Since the eyes are always drawn to the lightest parts of the image, the eyes are drawn to disinterested guests in the back left or an unattractive doorway to the back right (so both directions compete with the subjects). I also wish one or both had their eyes open since the head angle and their expression would suggest that they were looking at each other, perhaps a nanosecond just before or just after capture might have helped. I applaud you for submitting an image and being open to critique.
     
  9. I like it.
    It has a storybook look to it rather than a clinically correct one. Nice rim lighting. Like the crop as is.
    Makes a nice B&W also.
    00Twn8-155059584.jpg
     
  10. Thanks for the comments, all. I'm on business in Florida and just spent 12 hours on a motorcycle, so I'll keep this short.
    The color temp and density of this image were purposeful, though the crop I was on the fence with in terms of which way to go with it. I 100% agree with Betty's comment about showing other people in the room "blissfully unaware" as they were, as were the B&G; this was a very romantic wedding.
    I shot this (on purpose) with a daylight color balance to recreate the warmth in the room. Reception was held in a lodge kind of setting with lots of wood and stone, lots of candles...and I wanted that warm, low-key feel to this image. I think I wrote this in another thread, but it's worth repeating; a bride once said to me of a similar shot, "It looks like how it felt in there that night." And, without getting philosophical, I will say it stuck with me as a large part of my duty to recreate not just visual documentation, but emotion and atmosphere and feeling and mood. The aperture of 1.4 was also on purpose as I wanted them as isolated as possible to add to the mood.
    This was one of many first dance shots of this couple. Some were shot with flash and, in comparison, they don't stand-up to this image. I've learned being more daring with your technique often has good results. I agree that it's very warm, but I'm very good with the result. I've cooled it off and lightened it up and it just loses that certain something.
    Finally, I agree it makes a wonderful B&W, and that might serve as a "happy place" for those not happy with the orange-ness. :)
    Thanks for participating!
     
  11. I prefer the original, with just a tad toning down on the reds. I think, like Marc says, it's a story-book moment, and it captures the mood (warm and intimate) beautifully. Jen's image is a tad 'cold' IMHO. Superb rim lighting and the presence of the crowd only adds to the intrigue. The 1/3rds positioning works very well too.
    <p>I also like Marc's B&W version. I think what the original has that the B&W doesn't is the warmth, although the intimacy is ever-present...
    <p>In short, with just a touch of dialling down on the reds, this image is marvellous. Great job, Michael :)
     
  12. I like this image - it's a sweet moment between them. I love the way they're looking at each other, and how he's holding her. I liked the composition, and that fact that you've placed the subject (the visual interaction between their eyes) according to the rule of thirds, which gives it a nice composition.
    I approached this image as I would edit it had I taken it. I desaturated the orange so that the colours were more natural. I wanted to remove anything that detracted from the subject, their interaction, so that the viewer's eye would naturally be directed there, and that didn't take much because your composition is so good. So I removed the glare from his hand, and I simply cloned hair over the backlit highlights in her hair. I'm a fan of backlighting, but sometimes it can be overdone, and in the case here, in my opinion the interaction between them is enhanced when the backlighting functions more as a rimlighting. I also lightened their faces as they were the subject and I wanted to see them more readily.
    I then found that there was a glare on the tabe behind her and cloned it out. My eye was also drawn by the brightness behind him outside and on the floor. So I darkened those.
    I also went in and blurred the background, so as to separate them from the background and draw my eye to their sweet expression.
    00Twxr-155179784.jpg
     
  13. by the way, my edits were 'quick and dirty' in order to simply make a point, not make a saleable print, if you know what I mean!
    I really like this image - I think the warmth is lovely, and I love their sweet expressions, I don't think it's a problem at all that their eyes are partly closed - they are clearly having a private moment. But I was playing around with the crop and I liked this one. I think that it really draws attention to their visual interchange, whilst keeping all the background elements that we like so much.
    Hope you like what I've done to your art!
     
  14. oops - here's that edit I mentioned
    00TwyC-155185684.jpg
     
  15. Props to those who recognize the rule of thirds! :)
    I agree, Anastasia, about the glare off the hand. I think it's an improvement to tone it down/out.
    Gotta run! Thank again, all!
     
  16. Sorry, I don't think a fake photoshop background blur works even if it was done more carefully than a quick example. ... and it rarely does because it isn't a natural optical blur. In fact I think it calls attention to itself more as being visually odd. .
    I also do not agree that the eye is drawn to the brightest part of an image. People are drawn to people first IMHO ... and I've seen numerious research studies in my advertising days that supported that belief.
    That, and the tighter crop has lessened the feeling of depth and has flatened the image IMO. Maybe a little more to the right would work and avoid the near edge tangent. The above crop is now 50-50 and not as pleaseing to the eye as the rule of thirds crop.
    Just ... IMO.
     
  17. I agree with Marc.
    I actually don't really care for any of the tweaks except for maybe the B&W. Why mess with a great, warm capture? It's great as is.
     
  18. I concur with Betty, Marc and others who love Michael's original. Betty hits it dead-on, why mess with the tweaks in Photoshop when the original hits the moment perfectly. I think the decision to use 1.4 was perfect because the out-of-focus wedding party adds to the fact that the main focus is the couple. Ditto with the appreciation of the rule of thirds - this photo would be a good textbook photo with why that concept works so well, and why cropping this photo makes me twist my nose a little.
    The original is wonderful as-is. Love the colors. Very warm.
    Also, the B&W is nicely done. Marc - may I ask what tweaking you did for the B&W version?
     
  19. haha... every time i see wedding pictures like that i think: 'how poor the customers are on the day of getin these'
    second though: 'one day i'll start my own wedding photography and i feel save because you never even touch style i'm going give away'
    all the best, but honestly... you don't need it. ha
     
  20. I agree that a blur in photoshop is not the best answer, that a shallower depth of field in the original capture didn't happen, but for the purposes of example, we can learn from this what a difference it would have made to have captured it with just such a shallower depth of field.
    I wans't proposing that my second crop was perfect or anywhere near it, I was simply putting forth an idea for consideration. I, too, prefer the first crop.
    Some may not agree about the notion that the eye goes to the brightest part of an image first, but that's what I have heard over and over and over from Master Photographers during print critiques on the PPA level, and I've always assumed they knew what they were talking about. I personally believe that one should do everything they can to capture a shot perfectly in camera, and then use photoshop to do what the master printer would do, seeing as with digital capture that is what is required now. Burning and dodging have been time-honoured traditions in making prints from film capture, and that must now be done in photoshop. I'm not for doing any photoshop edits simply to do them, but always to make edits that are photographic in nature, and that honour traditional printing techniques - thus photoshop 'plug-ins' don't hold much appeal.
     
  21. +1 for the original image. I like the tone and crop of the original. The neutralised version looks a little sickly IMO and the vertical crops makes a good image that tells a story into something quite average.
    Well done.
     
  22. I like it...Why....I envisioned the background staying the natural color, just a bit darker, and changing ONLY the couple's WB. and just a tighter crop...
    My Version to up it a notch 8x10
    [​IMG]
     
  23. Master Photographers can't tell you how to capture the story when they're not there. All they can give you is some direction. This is why sometimes you need to forget about the "masters" and the rules and be your own storyteller. This is what drives the best images in my opinion.
     
  24. "Some may not agree about the notion that the eye goes to the brightest part of an image first, but that's what I have heard over and over and over from Master Photographers during print critiques on the PPA level, and I've always assumed they knew what they were talking about." Anastasia
    Well that's what I've come to understand over the years as well. But why would we want that to interfere with anyone's opinion on how it should be. Michael, I would encourage you to enter this image in a print competition with PPA and/or WPPI.
     
  25. It is generally thought that the eye IS drawn to the brightest parts of an image. It is also generally thought that the eye is drawn to human faces in an image. Which one takes precedence when both are present in the same image, is subject to opinion. Whether one should or shouldn't tone down hotspots is subject to opinion, and perhaps, whether one is entering the image in a PPofA competition, where such guidelines are used to judge the image.
    I doubt that Michael was thinking about being 'his own storyteller' OR about being marked down in a competition because of a hotspot at the time he took this image. Personally, I think it looks better toned down, but either way, it does not interfere with my enjoyment of the image as it is.
    There is no reason for everyone to have to agree on how this image is best handled. Different opinions are what makes image discussion interesting.
     
  26. I noticed this photo of Michael's in another thread a few days ago. At the time it caught my eye and some reflexive internal criticism over the same nits others have picked in this thread.
    But as I compare the original and some of the suggested tweaks, I'm more inclined to favor the original. Yeh, it's very warm. But it conveys a certain mood and seems in keeping with what Michael observed in the setting.
    Yeh, the bright windows at either end compete for attention. But I still find my eye drawn back to the couple. I like photos that persuade me to explore them. I'm not a huge fan of photos that are manipulated to force me to see it one way only. So the original pretty much works for me.
    Jen Lambert's and Marc Williams' suggested edits look good too. Either could work well as an alternative if the couple happened not to be happy with the orangey glow of Michael's version.
     
  27. Just another quick note...
    When I'm shooting a wedding, I try and balance my vision of what I'm trying to achive and how to get to that point using what I know. It's being both a technician and an artist at the same time...though I would contend any artist of any genre' needs to play both roles to be successful.
    Specifically pertaining to this image, the sun was going down and I noticed it streaming through the windows behind them and knew I had a narrow window (pun intended) to get what I figured might be a really cool image. I snapped-off about 6 at different apertures, crops, orientations, and this one was clearly superior. In fact, I missed focus on two of the images because of the wide-open aperture and the swaying of the dancing. Then the sun fell behind the horizon and it was over.
    I'm not sure how to comment on the theory of where the eye is drawn to. My feeling is if your eye isn't immediately drawn to the deep glance of this couple, then you're just not looking. I've seen the studies and I've listened to the Masters, but I strongly believe the success of an image is 99% content. (give or take) I agree this is warm and underexposed (though I much prefer the term "low key" in this instance.), but I'm okay with that. In fact, I made it so. I could have blasted my twin SB-800's in thier faces, everything else being the same, and I think the image would have failed. Miserably.
    I try and go into every wedding remembering the vast difference between creation and documentation.
    Lastly, I'm not really a big conest guy. I used to be, but that was a long time ago. I can't remember the last time I entered a contest. Too busy doing weddings. :-D
     
  28. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Crikey!
    My post has two parts. I looked at the image yesterday and didn't have time to comment - as always my "critique" is without reading any other comments:
    I believe the photographer’s intention is to covey the warmth of emotion of a particular moment and enhance that with the warmth of the room as it appears to me the Colour Balance / Colour Temperature is purposeful. Also the very shallow DoF was purposeful to enhance and attract the viewers’ eye to the couple: It is on this premise I offer this critique.
    I believe the image falls short of this goal in three major respects:
    Firstly the large window camera left attracts the viewer's eye initially and then is burdensome on the viewer thereafter - the image would be enhanced with it cropped out, but that would loose most of the OoF congregation which does add impact.
    Secondly, the camera viewpoint. Both subjects are perfect profile, which is a most difficult choice to get some decent view of either’s eyes, especially with back lighting and especially with such an harsh rim. IMO it would have been better to be positioned camera right and plan to capture more of the Bride’s Face.
    Thirdly, timing – and this is the least of the “how would you improve it” comments - I think the shutter release is a just a fraction out. The Bride’s eyes, IMO would have said more, just a moment before or a moment after this shutter release.
    The point is, shooting into the light and with such an harsh rim behind the Bride, her expression has to be spot on to pull her face out of the shadow.
    I believe the B&G will like the image & IMO I would leave it as is apropos colour balance etc: if I correctly interpret the Photographer’s intention.
    I think this Photo of the Week critique is becoming too much of a what can I do in Photoshop of the Week . . .
    ***
    Well now I have read through the thread and I have added my “Crikey” and the little forward sentence at the top . . .
    As to the wider discussion – I think the viewer’s eye on a photograph generally falls to the brightest part, initially.
    If there are people the image then the eye moves to the dominate people subject.
    I think there can be a “bright part of an image” which is overpowered by a person in the image and the viewers’ eye will go to the person in that particular situation, high key portraiture work can be an example of this.
    On the other hand, I think there can be a “distracting bright part of an image” which will dominate the viewer’s attention initially and then continue to distract. I believe the image above is one such example of this.
    The only way to test any theory about this image is by using this image and the relevant technology to follow the viewer’s eye – other than that we each have our opinion and that includes what we can at best say we each experienced. To this end, when the screen opened up, I believe I saw the two bright windows first; and throughout the scanning of the image my eye was distracted by the window camera left; and it was lead there by the rim light on the back of the bride.
    Irrespective of how this image might rate in a National competition or be judged by a Master Photographer, it is my opinion, as a Photographer on the ground, that I would have attempted to get a different angle such that the window camera left was not where it is and that I had more of the face of the Bride such that I had more exposure of her eyes – that’s merely answering “what would I have done to improve this photo” . . .
    All that is basically a few seconds work (preparation) and then the timing.
    I am not suggesting that there are not opportunity shots and that this might have been one of them.
    I am however strongly suggesting is that when one walks into a room like that . . . consider that “windows” and “background” should be a continuously ringing alarm bell – especially if one is choosing to shoot Available Light.
    WW
     
  29. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Obviously, Michael, I was writing at the same time as you - I take note this capture was more on the fly than not. I trust you will consider my tag about the "alarm bells", though.
    WW
     
  30. <p>I think we overthink things and forget the initial beauty of an image and it's direct impact.
     
  31. I'm a bit baffled at the wording "Natural." This is not a natural color;
    your eye doesn't see this orange and red through the viewfinder
    . Therefore it's a digital setting in the camera, perhaps it was shot on auto white balance maybe not. The digital setting doesn't matter.

    What matters is whether the bride and groom like it. Based on all of the comments, it's about 50-50, some like it some don't.

    It looks good to me in B&W and as already stated I like Jen's adjustment. So based on pretty much an even consensus, I'd probably show the bride and groom all 4
    images. They may pick 2, Jens adjustment, the vertical crop, the original, or the B&W.

    I think it's cool how many different points of view were submitted and all of the different ways of presenting 1 single image. The bride and groom possibly may not know all of the presented images were actually just 1.

    I'm just not comfortable with the word natural.
     
  32. This is a great image as is and Jens conversion is poor colour as far as I am concerned. As a strong observer of light I think the photographer here has captured that last minute sun coming through a window in all its glory. The colour is not only believable but probably actual. Beautiful image.
     
  33. Duly noted.
    I think the word "natural" was used in reference to natural light. No artificial light used in this shot.
    As I stated, I purposely used daylight color balance on this for effect. I never use auto white balance.
     
  34. The "eye" of the technical photographer is drawn to the lightest areas ... but, the "emotional eye" of almost all the veiwers / family members will be drawn to the emotion. The result will be a quiet smile and a thought about "the love" they are enjoying at the moment = winner!
    I'd definitely give the customer a black and white which, imo, would be even more emotionally relevant to the moment.
    A nice pick for the week.
     
  35. He loves her a lot... you can tell!
    I think the best option is to throw it in bw...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  36. I have to say the rim light on his face and his expression are priceless. Great catch.
     
  37. I agree with William W.... witht he exception of the profiles - I think the profiles are beautiful... I think it is a bit soft focused and just way to orange for my taste. I like really warm photos and this one is just a bit over the top for me. I'm not keen on any of the fixes... if it could be toned down just a bit on the couple only via layers and remove the destrating highlights I think it would be much improved. I also find the window to the left where I look first and I would clone it with the windows behind the couple.
    this is one of those photos where does the emotion of the moment trump the distraction of the color... for me the color is off and the b/w really shows this couples love... and I would love to somehow see that in color...
     
  38. Betty and Francie have it. This will be their favorite shot.
    I've seen it on two fora and both times I thought, "Don't we all want someone to look at us with that much love?" I don't see the windows or the other people -- just the emotion.
    Don't mess with it.
    Conni
     
  39. Really strong shot. I like the warmth though I do think it may be a little too orange for most. Beautiful light which for my taste would be ruined by the addition of anything but what it has.
    I would prefer to have stepped to your right one or two steps to crop out the french doors and include more of the onlookers. Of course, I was not there and have no idea what you were dealing with to get this shot.
    Best, D.
     
  40. Michael, I could understand that you're not really "a contest kind of guy" but the print competitions with PPA are more professional critiques rather than a contest. My suggestion was made on the basis of giving you access to an objective critique from respected/established pros. While there may be some people on the forum that thumb their noses at PPA-style critiques, I'd be willing to bet that it would enhance both your technical and artistic eye for images......
    As usual, I find that William W and I are on the same page. I agree that this thread often turns into a "what I can do with Photoshop POW"....but I'll give the PS attempters credit for actually doing something with the image rather than making some comments of what they think might work with PS or others who simply pan the PS submissions.
     
  41. We have to remember that this is a photo of the client, not some stranger. You could hide the client subject like in a "find Waldo" poster and they'd still find the image of themselves. It is human nature.
    I've actually seen qualitative eye tracking studies done for national print ads ... put a kid in an ad and show it to a Mom, and you could put a sun ball behind them and the Mom's eye goes straight to the kid. Self interest is human nature.
    But that aside ... I'm curious as to why it is so important that a bright spot in an image may first draw the eye for a split second and then go to the people?
    So what? Why is that a problem?
     
  42. i would make it a little more dynamic by additing a tilt and color correcting. i would keep in it in color. the lime green, blue, orange, and yellow looks nice.
    00Txy5-155781584.jpg
     
  43. Constance - maybe my comments weren't clear... I think the color well over shadows the couples look. I love the emotion and really dislike how orange it is...
     
  44. Let's see...a couple more quick comments...
    In terms of camera placement, I was a shoulder-to-wall with a wall directly to my right. I was as far right as I could go. Moving to the other side (if we're talking in terms of window placement and/or subject profile) would have proved worse yet as the DJ set-up was in the far right corner of the room.
    Soft focus was mentioned earlier...no soft focus enhancements were applied neither on-lens or post-event. I toyed a bit with some Ps stuff, but decided against it. This really is one of those images I defend unapologetically as-is. When I do post-wedding editing, I really do consider each image on its own merits. This is one, I feel, was 99.99% good right out of the camera. And those of you who fiddled with an image of mine of a bride from another wedding, in another thread, know I'm not a staunch purist who thumbs his nose at any Ps edits. But it was hard to do anything to this that I felt made it better. When I get home and back on my desktop (on my wife's MacBook now) I'll have another look at the raw file and conjure up a B&W as I also think it makes a great B&W image.
    All comments are appreciated and considered!
     
  45. The orange doesn't bother me because I've seen that color once in awhile.
    Conni
     
  46. "But that aside ... I'm curious as to why it is so important that a bright spot in an image may first draw the eye for a split second and then go to the people?........So what? Why is that a problem? " Marc W.

    I suspect your eye wants to go to the people. IMO, it competes for attention with the subject and in this case you have two bright spots on either side of the subject. Also, the general rule of thumb is: "if you want to feature something then light it, if you want to take attention away from something then you don't light it". It's also why a vignette will pull interest into the frame. Course this is just more of the stuff that I've heard from my mentors over and over again through the years..... I doubt that any of this is a problem for many others around here though.
     
  47. I've looked at the original again several times over the past few days and still find it appealing. Rather than competing for my attention, I find the bright spots invite me to explore the entire photo. There's a lot going on, but it's not busy or cluttered. It seems to perfectly convey the moment. And I keep going back to the couple, with an appreciation for the entire milieu.
    Another problem with the technically "correct" edits - too much detail becomes apparent, which in itself is a distraction. Now I notice the freckles on the bride's arm, her earring, his corsage, etc. Too many unnecessary details. And the subtlety of the rim lighting is lost. The darker, orangey version works better for me.
     
  48. I agree with Lex. I think adding anything (like a vingette or dark areas) would really create unnecessary additions. I think other than maybe taking down the orange a TEENSY bit, the original is perfect.
     
  49. I just thought about this some more (what can I say, it's a slow night) and my mind went right to the client.
    When showing a client a picture I took of their day, I would be absolutely crushed if the first thing they said was "wow...what good exposure". If they weren't taken by the IMAGE...by what was conveyed in the picture. If the only thing they could think to say was "that image is technically good" then I have failed at my job.
    A camera on auto gets exposure right (most of the time)...but what the camera CAN'T do is pick your moment, capture that moment. Though I understand the ongoing talk of perfecting exposure, white balance, and light...sometimes, as is the case in many photos of the week, it's the moment that is indicative of why we are in the line of work we are in.
    By trying to get the little technical details perfect time and time again, you may be missing moments like this one...where the look between the bride and groom is so perfect that you can do nothing but shoot it as is. THAT is your job. To notice those moments other people may miss and freeze them in time. That is what puts us above Uncle Bob...not perfect exposure.
     
  50. Betty, I couldn't have said it any better.
    I'm surprised by the number of people who have had issue with the "orangeness" but are seemingly okay with what has become the norm in wedding photography these days...the oversaturation, overexposure, high contrast, overprocessed (in some cases). Many of our images are taken to exaggerate the conditions of a moment. This isn't a new concept. I can't even begin to imagine the low percentage of images I take that can even come close to "what the eye sees." We're not doing crime scene photography here, people. Anyone who steps in to the arena of wedding photography has to elevate their senses to a new level and be prepared to recreate an emotion, not just document the occasion.
    I've been invoved with professional photographer organizations since 1982 when I joined-up with a well-established photographer. I was 15. My Dad would drive me to weddings until I got my license. I've sat through print critiques, entered contests, talked to the masters. In college, I've spent 20 times as long in the darkroom as I had the studio on one shot. I know what it's like to agonize over the tech specs of a print. And I know the crushing blow of having a mentor destroy you in an open critique. And, arguably, these are good things to have happen for the young and just starting out.
    But, 26 years later, I consider myself "well established." And my attention has shifted entirely from pleasing my peers to pleasing my clients. My clients know enough about me and my style to know what to expect. I represent myself well enough to be able to produce images like this without having to explain the meaning behind it to justify the deviation from the status quo.
    Finally, I keep thinking, about this image in particular, if your eyes really are doing battle with the windows in the background, and you're not feeling the emotion of the image, you might be one of those photographers who are caught up in the jungle of technical mish-mash.
    I could enter this in a competition and would probably hear the same things; too orange, to dark, windows too bright, etc...and, at the same time, my B&G loved this image, it will go in their album and they'll cherish that night for many years to come. Beyond the success of that, what is the point?
    Is this a classic example of "can't see the forest for the trees?" Good wedding photography is not always proper exposure, accurate color balance, ideal conditions. But it is about being able to understand and use those things to successfully dance around them to capture what Uncle Bob can't.
    Just my opinion...might not be well-received, but...well, there ya go.
     
  51. Well said Michael.
    I think there is a place for "technical mish-mash", as you call it, in...say...nature photography. But, I think a lot of photographers who would probably be better served in another photographic arena end up in weddings and events because it's where the money is....and they bring their technical obsession with them which, I believe in the long run, doesn't work out best for the client.
    As a well-established photographer in the field, I think you have the right outlook, Michael. It's one I hope to hold on to the longer I remain here. I chose to do weddings for the sociological and emotional aspect, the ability to capture a high-emotion day that leads to pictures like the one you took.
     
  52. "I could enter this in a competition and would probably hear the same things; too orange, to dark, windows too bright, etc...and, at the same time, my B&G loved this image, it will go in their album and they'll cherish that night for many years to come. Beyond the success of that, what is the point?"

    Exactly, what's the point? If you truly care only about pleasing your clients and could care less what your peers think, then why would you submit the image for review/critique? If you recognize the technical issues with the image, then why not preface that from the beginning? A trained eye will view images differently. There is no reason that you can't have good technical execution and have a good eye for expression and the moment. In fact, that's exactly what separates the pros from the Uncle Bobs and Soccer moms. Perhaps people would be better served if we simply overlook technique altogether then everyone could post their "happy snaps" and feel all warm and fuzzy. Or perhaps, people might want to benefit from the voice of experience/training......I donno.
     
  53. "too dark, too orange, window too bright, etc"
    these are valid comments for a critique. doesn't mean it's a bad picture. i think the difference between a professional and an uncle bob is the fact that a professional has the eye to notice these things and correct them (via crop. white balance, curves, color balance, etc.) before the client ever sees the picture. if this was my picture i would include a few differnt versions of it in the proof book (my version above, plus b/w, plus the original). uncle bob probably doesn't have $1000 worth of software (photoshop and lightroom), and the ability or the knowledge to make a snap shot picture look professional. there are often times during a wedding where you don't have time to check/adjust the camera settings and you just grab and shoot because the moment is there one second and gone the next. you fix what you can and see if what's left is a usable picture. sometimes your lucky, sometimes not.
     
  54. Exactly, what's the point? If you truly care only about pleasing your clients and could care less what your peers think, then why would you submit the image for review/critique? -David S.
    Because I'm not trying to please anyone on this forum, David. This is not a competition...says it right there at the top. This is a conversation. A review/critique is not an offering of right or wrong. There are no absolutes involved in things that are subjective. And I've considered what has been offered in this thread. But consideration is not synonymous with agreement. Are you able to recognize the difference between trying to please a client with an image, and simply presenting the same image for review to peers? Just because I haven't altered this image to "meet with everyone's approval" doesn't mean I don't value every opinion expressed. We don't have to agree. I looked at your website and it's clear you and I have very different styles. Doesn't make one of us right and one of us wrong; we just likely serve a different clientele. But there seems to be an insistence on your part that successful images be entirely technically correct, lest they be deemed successful. Just my opinion. Make no mistake, however; I value your participation in this thread.
    Perhaps people would be better served if we simply overlook technique altogether then everyone could post their "happy snaps" and feel all warm and fuzzy. -David S.
    Not into the warm and fuzzy, huh? That's too bad. Would you like a hug?
     
  55. I'm always up for a hug :)
    Feel free to critique my image and participate in the nearby thread regarding subtracting light. Take care.
     
  56. ((((((David))))))
    That's a cyber-hug. :)
    I am looking at your image. Going to do some sleuthing and post a comment. I actually just shot a reception in a white tent, so it'll be interesting to participate in the discussion.
    Thanks again for your comments!
     
  57. I like the original becaue it seems to have a very natural feel to it. It has an early evening glow to it with touches of color. I liked it BW as good or even more. I think I would show the couple both. I wouldn't do any of the color alterations already shown other than the BW.
     
  58. Looking at this again and having read the numerous posts, I still think the original and Marc William's B&W conversion are the best. The rest are all a detraction (IMHO) from the "moment" that you have so beautifully captured...
     
  59. What I got out of all this reading is that 28 different people have 28.2 different opinions. Photography is an art and what is pleasing to one is not pleasing to another. I personally thought some of the adjustments sucked. But that is my opinion and it ain't worth anything.
    What is most important, regardless of all other issues, is to please the client. They are the ultimate critics as they are the ones paying the bill. What I or others think is OK does not matter as we are not the client.
     
  60. Plenty already written on color and cropping.
    I personally find the tuft of hair flying off the groom distracting.
     
  61. I like the orginal and the BW version. If I were to suggest any improvements, it may be to tone down the orange a little bit, but not completly.
     

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