When a bad photograph really isn't...

Here are two images that if you look at them as they downloaded off the memory card are not all that impressive, but I knew that before I ever hit the shutter release.

Both were taken in non-ideal situations and I had to figure out what I had to work with at that moment and what I could do in post-processing.

In the first image the bride is standing in the doorway of the church with her dad while mom is behind her adjusting her dress. It's one of those shots that you don't have too much time to think about and certainly no time to fiddle with equipment or the moment will be gone as quickly as it came.

I am standing in a dark entryway facing the door, I can't use a flash to light her, and it is a bright sunny day outside (behind her). If I adjust the exposure for the bride that background is waaay blown out, and if I compensate too much for the outside I will end up with a silhouette of the people, so I opted to adjust the exposure between the bride and the bright outdoors behind her.

The exposure gives me some detail in the people and I know I am going to convert it to black and white to get back even more while at the same time keep the bright background from being the focal point of the image (as it is in the original).

In the second image the couple is at the altar I was presented with several challenges, it was dark and what light we did have came from several different light sources (temperatures) making it difficult to get a correct white balance.

To get the shot (without using flash) I jacked up the ISO, but this added noise to my bad white balance, so things are getting worse, not better.

Black and white to the rescue again, it gave me back more details, overcomes the bad white balance, and the noise simply makes it look like an "old time" black and white.

Noise can be much more easily overcome (or explained away) in black in white than it can in color.

Are they "perfect" images? No, far from it, but it can still end up being a treasured memory for the client.

(click on either image to view larger and in a new window)


Jodi Renshaw said...

well done :)

Scott said...

Why thank you!


Randy Cole said...

Thanks for the tips. I am shooting my first wedding next week and will definitely keep this in mind for some tough shots.

Scott said...

Good luck on your first wedding!

Miguel Palaviccini said...

BW ... I wish there was a filter that you could place on your camera to see what things would look like before you took the shot. This would be a great tool! With the new cameras, you can set them to save a BW image so that you can look at it right away! That's pretty cool!

Thanks for the tips Scott!