It's 2012 and the marrying demographic isn't uniformly flush enough to afford 5-8 large or more for a traditional book. Despite all their angst, many wedding photographers priced themselves out of the market and ignored changing tastes. They didn't all do great work--and still don't.
Originally Posted by DREW WILEY
Good additional point, CGW ... My own strategy to personal photography is to ignore the whole genre. If someone wants me to do it, I charge per print, at prices equivalent to any other fine art
print I sell. Those things are keepers that in up in frames, and probably get shot with an 8x10.
Someone else can do the event itself.
This weekend I lost out on shooting a wedding to a college girl who had a "nice camera" because they couldn't even afford my give-away "friends and family" pricing. These are the types of weddings where the couple is paying for everything themselves, all the party favors have been bought at heavy discount over a year, the wedding dress was beautiful, but bought at a discount from a place 200 miles away for under $400. The cake made by an aunt who used to do them for a living. Reception held in the old Elks hall. Maybe 40 people came to the wedding itself.
Originally Posted by CGW
This represents the "normal" wedding these days. Very few of these are shot by the high-brow wedding photographers. If the couple wants a photographic memory, they do just what this couple did and have a friend or relative just help them out. Come to think of it, that's what my wife and I did when we got married. Really, this isn't anything new. I believe the spate of high priced weddings went out with the '90s and even at that, it wasn't really all for that long of a time.
I used to photograph for a wedding photography company that specialized in "affordable" packages. Even at those prices, it was not unusual for me to be the highest priced part of the entire wedding--sometimes as much as the rest of the entire wedding combined.
So, where does that leave us today? I used to have a jam-packed business (and made a handsome profit) when I had near giveaway prices, but I raised my prices up to trim off some of the riff-raff but evidently went too far because I crossed a pricing threshold that filtered out all but the segment of the market all the other photographers are after. No middle ground. If they can afford $1000 they can afford $5000. But if they can't afford $1000 they can't seem to afford $500 either.
For the wedding photographer, it's ALL "carriage trade" now. Either horse-drawn carriage or baby carriage. The market that used to be our bread and butter demographic doesn't even bother getting married now--they just live together.
Finer 'grain' now in films is one thing, but nothing beats more grains or more color clouds to portray the same amount of subject area! That provides a level of tonality or color rendition that using fewer grains and color clouds will never replicate.
24x36mm (135 format) = 864 sq.mm.
43x55mm (645 format) = 2653 sq.mm., or 3.05x as much area of film
If we make 8x10 prints from both negatives, we are really comparing 720 sq.mm vs. 2311 sq.mm. of image area from each negative, captured in the 8x10" print, or 3.21x as many color clouds or film grains.
It's not just dye clouds. All film has a certain amt of mfg zits and blemises which show up at higher
levels of magnification, esp on open skies or low contrast areas of skintone. If you shoot a grainy
35mm film for the sake of conspicuous grain, these might not show up. But nothing is more miserable
or monotonous than spotting, whether done manually or in PS. Those old Kodak ads gave me a kick
when they advertised "4x5 quality using 35mm film", referring to the introduction of Tech Pan film with a low-contrast developer. Yeah, you could get a lot of detail, but every area of homogenous
tone in a large print would be specked with random zits too. I recently optically enlarged a 6x7
Ektar shot to 20X24 and had the same issue. Much of this doesn't show up on an inkjet print because they aren't all that sharp to begin with. In the old days, the pro labs kept someone on payroll who did virtually nothing else than spot portrait prints all day long. Not a career I'd care for!
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Tell me about spotting in PSHOP. <*groan*> Four hours despecking a 6x17cm tranny, multiply that by six. And they say d***** is the future. No thank you.
But nothing is more miserable
or monotonous than spotting, whether done manually or in PS.
Isn't Trent Parke of Magnum a devotee film noir using Tech Pan film? I don't know for sure, I seem to recall his name and something Kodak in the same sentence a long time ago.
I took a couple of 6X7's to Maui last year, one with Ektar film in it, the other with b&w film. It's a damn poor substitute for 4x5 film but I had a reason. I wanted to get up on Haleakala looking down on all the wild clouds from above. I got exactly the atmospheric conditions and color of light that I was hoping for, but also the inevitable high winds which would have turned a view camera into a kite. Just for the hell of it I printed a 20X24 CDUII print from one of the Ektar negs, and properly
plus-masked it for holding full contrast. Nice image, but I spent about two hours spotting the sky in
each print. Photoshop spotting would have worked better, but still been a pain in the butt, and I
can't stand the look of most digital prints for crisp high-contrast subject matter, maybe certain other
stuff. Besides, I've got my color darkroom and no incentive to change. With large format film the
amt of spotting on that size print would have been essentially zero.
You know, spotting is one of the things, I prefer to do digitally. Your transparency/negative is only exposed for a short time, and then it can safely go back in it's sleeve or box. You work all your spotting magic on a copy, which can then be sent to a lab, for a spot-free print to be made.
Originally Posted by Poisson Du Jour
See my Blog at http://clickandspin.blogspot.com
The greatest advance in photography in the last 100 years is not digital, it's odourless stop bath....