wedding? AHHH!

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by bob100684, May 22, 2008.

  1. bob100684

    bob100684 Member

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    So, as a favor for a friend I'll be shooting a wedding, they're too broke to afford any real photographer, and know to not expect miracles, but they do want a "retro" look, but can't explain further. Looking around p.net and the internet in general it seems most people are doing this digitally...re there any good film choices for a retro look so I don't have to resort to photoshop?
     
  2. sly

    sly Subscriber

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    Can they find any examples on the internet of what they'd like? What decade do they want to retreat to? Are they thinking B&W? Sepia toning? Old car as backdrop? Victorian gingerbread?
     
  3. bob100684

    bob100684 Member

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    after further conversation, they want the colors to look like the bride's mother's wedding photos....faded and yellowed. I guess any film will do and I'll just add a couple points of yellow while printing at work.
     
  4. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    I have done a couple of small scale weddings this month for friends. I used Fuji NPS 160 film which was great. It doesn't have the faded look you want (give it a few years) but it does look just like wedding photographs I remember from relatives' weddings from the 1970s.

    I know I'm a biased film dinosaur anyway but having done these two, I still can't see how digital is easier.

    I just sent the film off to a lab, they sent back a set of prints. People can then order any prints they want. Simple.

    How is sitting in front of a computer for hours 'post-processing' digital images better than that?
    I can understand that digital gives you re-assurance that you got the shot but that is really just an antidote for lack of confidence in your abilities.


    Steve.
     
  5. dferrie

    dferrie Member

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    Hi,

    I haven't shot a wedding, at least not as the "main/official" photographer but have done a number of other family events for friends and relatives. A couple of things that might help, can you ask the couple to make it known that you are "the" photographer so that family/friends will listen when you are getting groups together, you are also bound to have people shooting over your shoulder so you will need to be fairly firm when getting their attention so that they know it is your camera they are looking at. The other thing that may help is to talk to the couple again and get a list of shots they absolutely must have, the normal Mom & Dad, all the family etc will be easy to remember, but it could be that the bride/groom absolutely has to have a shot with "aunt Mary", at least if you have a list of shots you can make sure you get them as tick them off as you do.

    Are you bringing a second camera with you?
     
  6. Tony Egan

    Tony Egan Subscriber

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    I recently shot my sister's wedding in Tri-X with a Nikon F4 and a Mamiya 7. What I learnt was less is more and simple is better. How many wedding photos will stand the test of time and stay on the wall for 30 or 40 years? I suggest taking at a few very simple classical standing portraits in front of a plain curtain or uncluttered mid-grey background. Retro would be unsmiling, lightly sepia-toned and hand coloured. Hand colouring is a bit of a lost art but you might have an artistic acquaintance who would be prepared to give it a go?

    In terms of producing a final portfolio for my sister I am doing about 50 5x7 RC prints and 8 to 10 high quality fibre 11x14 prints of the couple, bridal party and key family groups. That's who will matter in the long run. It is hard work and time consuming doing all the prints by hand but in comparison to scanned negs printed by colour labs (horrible, awful, yucky) I will be much happier in the long run.
     
  7. bob100684

    bob100684 Member

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    Three actually. A Kiev 645 for the formals, an elan 7 for main shooting, and a digital rebel in case the elan breaks.
     
  8. Matt5791

    Matt5791 Subscriber

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    I use the fact I shoot on film and hand print to be my USP for weddings, and I do feel that film originated photographs produce more natural colours and skin tones, especially when using my favourite, Portra.

    However I am now such a rareity - I went to a www.jeffascough.net seminar at Focus and out of 25 people was the only one to raise their hand to the question "anyone shooting on film".

    To be fair, digital allows for a huge work flow for photographers who know how to utilise photoshop and other software, and whilst there are a lot of photographers spending a lot of time post processing in photoshop, there are a lot who are not.

    My workflow is: Shoot; Process; Scan for digital proofs; hand print required shots. I find this is the easiest way to a hand printed album, without spending absurd amount of time in the darkroom. The RH Designs analyser helps for the B&W.

    Getting back to the original question, I guess a lot of the colour effect is down to the age of the prints? And I would agree with additional yellow if hand printing.
     
  9. Lloyd Chan

    Lloyd Chan Member

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    If you want a faded and yellowed look, consider Rollei Scanfilm CN400. It is soft and very warm. Its quite grainy, but should not be a problem in 120. As always, test first.
     
  10. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    From my limited experience I would have to agree. I was amazed at the quality and colour of the prints I got back. And these are just ordinary lab machine prints. Your hand produced prints must be even better.

    I wouldn't disagree with this. My argument would be that I don't want to sit in front of a computer for hours doing this when I can get the lab to do it. I would think though that the equivalent of 'post processing' in film is actually the years of development inherent in the process to ensure it comes out right without too much adjustment at the printing stage.
    If there are a lot of digital wedding photographers who are not post processing then they are probably not producing work to the highest quality they can achieve.


    Steve.
     
  11. bob100684

    bob100684 Member

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    That is my primary argument for film too...though I am the photographer and the lab, printing a roll of 36 is much simpler than post processing 36 raw files.
     
  12. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    Digital proofs...genius.
    Well, theoretically digital would be faster. But it's not. The time it takes you to print digitally (after correction, enhancement, and other digital hocus-pocus) is roughly equal to the time it takes you to develop the film (in bulk) and print it. If you want a good image it takes just as much time with each. When you send it off they just scan it in and a computer waves its automatic wand over the image to get what it is programmed to say is the correct white/color balance and exposure. This is fairly good at automatically ruining "correct" exposure and almost never giving you what you want and of course nothing close to hand optical printing.

    If you are good with photoshop you can do some REALLY cool things but when you're done you can't really say you have a photograph. Digital is too sharp, cisp, and faded at "correct" exposure for my taste. I can stand digital if it's underexposed and curved in photoshop, but hell, printing negatives is too much fun. With these outdated technologies people always say "eew, why do you still do that?" and then I show them the final product and they eat their words.
     
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