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View Full Version : My second wedding - some piccies to critique



ted_smith
06-23-2010, 05:03 PM
Hi all

I've started several threads in recent weeks in preperation for the wedding of my friends who I photographed last weekend. Several of you asked to see the pics when I had them.

I got the 6x4" proofs back from the lab today and I must say I am delighted with the results. The advice many of you gave, especially regarding the use of fill flash, has really helped me out. I bought the book "Nikon Creative Lighting System - using SB-600, SB800 and SB900 Speedlights" and read it cover to cover just two weeks ago, so I was nervous about using flash with film as I was worried I'd screw it up. Thankfully, not so.

I have attached some as a sample in the zip file HERE (http://www.tedsmithphotography.com/temp/Critique.zip) for anyone who's interested. It's a 7mb download.

I realise I'm requesting critiques, but being my own worst critic, here are the things I know I've done wrong, before you mention it. If you spot anything in addition, do please let me know, of if you know how I may have avoided the following fitfalls:

Known mistakes

Cropped too tightly in some shots and I forgot to ensure the flash went off in a couple of shots. Due to the rain, the initial shots at the brides house had to be taken indoors, in her lounge, which is not that big. As a result, there are some unavoidable background distractions, which also contributed to some of the cropping. A couple of shots are not dead-on-level either, especially in the church. Also, a few of the shots have their children in the background - ordinarily, I'd have tried to avoid this, but the couple are good friends of mine and their kids are everything to them (they were going to take them honeymoon with them even!) so I know they'll love the inclusion of their kids in the pictures.

Also, the priest refused the use of flash in the church.

How they were done :

Fuji Pro 800Z rated mostly at EI800 due to low, overcast, light.
Fuji Pro 400H rated at EI200
Fuji Acros 100 rated at EI64 with a yellow polyester Lee filter
Almost every shot using TTL rear-sync fill flash using -1 to -1.7.
Nikon F5

These are quick scans of 6"x4" prints - not from the negatives - using a bog-standard flat bed scanner (cost 100 8 years ago). As such, the real prints look about 5 times better than the JPEG's you're seeing. I'm delighted with the quality of the Fuji Pro 800Z and 400H films and I can't wait to show them to my friends when they get back.

Please let me know your thoughts.

Ted

wclark5179
06-23-2010, 05:12 PM
Nice job! You have a good eye.

The Zip file worked perfect!

Like the group photos!

Looks like On Camera Flash with some.

Look for good light - example: try to turn the body away from the light and the face toward the light. Make photograph from the shadow side of face!

I don't do proofs as I provide hi-res files on DVD.

Good job! Keep up the good work!

Making beautiful pictures of people is an art!

Thanks for showing us!

I'm here to help.

Leighgion
06-23-2010, 05:34 PM
Looks good overall!

You've already noted the issues with tight compositions, so I'll just note that I agree. When you're covering ongoing action over which you've little direct control, background distractions and non-ideal compositions are inevitable so in the end it's about choosing your compromises. You might consider being more forgiving of some backgrounds rather than cutting them out. It's a bit strange when the top of the frame is nicking at people's heads in group shots.

Scan #4 looks like one of your flash failures. The bride's skin is rather darker than all the other shots and I personally don't feel it's the most flattering poise for her.

Some of the group shots are, aside from tight crops, a little awkwardly arranged, but again, that's going to happen with events.

I'm going to mourn the passing of 800z now.

Scott_Sheppard
06-23-2010, 05:43 PM
Ted:

Very nice for your 1st REAL gig !!

Good job mate !!

Thanks

Scott

wblynch
06-23-2010, 07:55 PM
gorgeous work!

congratulations

markbarendt
06-23-2010, 08:08 PM
Ain't it fun?

Good job.

pentaxuser
06-24-2010, 06:59 AM
Ted I am no expert and maybe there was nothing that could have been done about it but while the "whites" as in the dresses are have nice detail in them the blacks seem to be lacking detail a bit.

It may of course have been that the black material was genuinely so black that even texture and the usual folds, turns etc were not visible anyway. The dullness of the day wouldn't have helped.

Only you will know this.

Overall they all look pretty good . I especially like the one where the lad is peeping around the groom's legs and the little bridesmaid has what appears to be a dummy in her mouth. Kids can often make the pictures at weddings. This one will brings laughs when the album is brought out for years to come.

pentaxuser

bsdunek
06-24-2010, 07:14 AM
I would be pleased with them. Again, you've noted the tight framing issue. I always left generous room around the subjects when I could. Easier to crop a little later than not have a usable shot. When I was doing weddings in the late 60's through the early 90's, I was always a nervous wreck until I saw my negatives. Otherwise it was a lot of fun!

ted_smith
06-24-2010, 01:34 PM
pentaxuser - I second your point about the blacks. You are also right - it was very dark and considering I had such a small gap in the rain, I was pleased to get any useable shots. The suit was black but I agree - I would have liked a little more detail.

I must admit to being a little panicked overall on the day because at the start of the day I wasn't sure what I was going to do about the rain because the priest would not allow group shots in the church, or flash, and the reception was not at a venue that lends itself to high photographic opportunities. If it weren't for the one hour rain gap, I don't know what I would have done quite frankly - driven them to a more suitable location I guess?

pentaxuser
06-24-2010, 01:43 PM
. If it weren't for the one hour rain gap, I don't know what I would have done quite frankly - driven them to a more suitable location I guess?

The South of France say?:D If it is really dark and dismal as only it can be in the U.K. even in the better seasons and you are inside with flash prohibited then there is always the standby of D3200 and big aperture lenses. At weddings the couple commissioning the prints are usually interested in the people aspect so small depth of field with large apertures may not matter for most shots.

pentaxuser

BradS
06-24-2010, 02:40 PM
Hi all

....
Also, the priest refused the use of flash in the church.

Ted

Of course he did. It is just common courtesy. I am surprised that you even asked. It used to be that NO PHOTOGRAPHY was allowed during the ceremony - period.

MattKing
06-24-2010, 11:22 PM
Of course he did. It is just common courtesy. I am surprised that you even asked. It used to be that NO PHOTOGRAPHY was allowed during the ceremony - period.

In most of the weddings I've shot I've been permitted to use flash before the ceremony, during the signing of the register, and as the bride and groom walk down the aisle after the ceremony.

It's not totally clear to me, but Ted may be saying that flash was not permitted at all in the church.

faustotesta
06-25-2010, 01:01 AM
In most of the weddings I've shot I've been permitted to use flash before the ceremony, during the signing of the register, and as the bride and groom walk down the aisle after the ceremony.

It's not totally clear to me, but Ted may be saying that flash was not permitted at all in the church.

Hello everybody,
first of all i must admit that pictures are nice. They look very "British" and the rainy day has contributed to this. You have done very well considering the bad weather and i know that the original prints are far better than scannings.
I have been shooting a number of weddings (about 10) plus 25th recurrences.
And the issue with the use of flash (and photography) in the Church must always be considered. Here in Italy (and i guess it applies for all Catholich Churches worldwide) there's a list of rules for photography inside the Church. There some moments that cannot be photographed at all, flash or not.
For the rest of the marriage my advice is to go and talk to the Priest (if possible some days before the event) telling him how we will act during the ceremony and assuring that we will be the noiseless photographers in the world. For me it has always helped. Keep up the good photography.
Ciao

perkeleellinen
06-25-2010, 02:50 AM
Both of the weddings I've shot forbade photography during the entire ceremony and they were both civil registry office affairs, not churches.

wclark5179
06-25-2010, 05:49 AM
"Also, the priest refused the use of flash in the church."

I always ask if I can use a flash for the processional including the bride being given away by Dad. 99 times out of 100 I receive permission. How do I do that?

Attending the rehearsal, I make it a point to have a discussion with the presider, suggesting how s(he) can be involved during this emotional scene at the beginning of the ceremony. I make beautiful pictures showing the emotions on the faces of Dad giving his daughter away, the presider helping and the groom anxious to get going with the ceremony. These pictures will be treasured by the bride & groom. An example is the 11th picture on my web site.

When I run into an obstacle to do this by the presider, before I give up, I tell them you won't even notice me as I've been doing this for a while and don't you want them to remember this beautiful time at the beginning of the ceremony in the Church with you welcoming them after dad gives his daughter away?

At any rate, these photos are very much treasured by my clients. After all the day is very special because of the bride & groom.

ted_smith
06-25-2010, 12:55 PM
Re the flash issue - people are pulling me up on not providing a full explanation here. I visited the Church 3 times prior to the wedding. Once on my own to walk round the grounds, to see what the light was like at the time of the ceremony on a sunny day. Then again with the bride and groom when I met the priest for the first time was able to go inside - again, it was at the time of day that the ceremony was to be held. My words to him were "...and I assume flash is a no-no?...smiled" for which he knodded and said yes. So it's not that I said "Please will you let me use flash because I'm ruined without it?" - I assumed not by default, as courtesy, as has been said, but wondered if he might be one of a very few who don't mind flash being used.

I then went again for the reheasel two days before the ceremony where he detailed which stages he'd allow ME to take photographs - he banned the entire audience taking any for reasons I quite respect. He did allow flash in the back room for the mock signing of the register. He also allowed it in the doorway prior to bride entering the full church.

So there was lots of pre-planning for this, and lots of discussion with the priest. Maybe I should have made this clearer but thought the one line of "flash was not allowed" covered the point.

BradS
06-25-2010, 02:50 PM
That's a very respectful approach. Good job Ted. I apologize for jumping to conclusions. I am also glad that you did not tempt his ego inorder to try to convince him. Keep up the good work and bravo for having common courtesy!

tlitody
06-25-2010, 05:58 PM
comments:
framing is too tight but I think you already explained that.
35mm frame which is 3:2 ratio is IMO not suited to portrait orientation. 4:3 is much better so bear that in mind with your framing when in portrait mode. The typical 8x10 frames which people use for photos on a shelf, matlepiece etc need approx one inch mount border so you end up with 8x6 image which is 4:3 that is one reason why you need to be thinking about it when taking images. You don't really need to rotate camera at all. Just take everything in landscape. ( or get a 6x4.5 camera )
Try and take images where the participants are reacting to one another rather than looking down the barrel of a lens unless you are deliberately making a head shot.
just my opnions for what its worth.