Wedding Photography: Advanced Techniques for Digital Photographers

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  • WEDDINGPHOTOGRAPHY

    Advanced Techniques forDigital Photographers

    Bill HurterAmherst MediaPUBLISHER OF PHOTOGRAPHY BOOKS

  • Copyright 2010 by Bill Hurter.All rights reserved.

    Front cover photograph by Bruce Dorn.Back cover photograph by Ben Chen.

    Published by:Amherst Media, Inc.P.O. Box 586Buffalo, N.Y. 14226Fax: 716-874-4508www.AmherstMedia.com

    Publisher: Craig AlesseSenior Editor/Production Manager: Michelle PerkinsAssistant Editor: Barbara A. Lynch-JohntEditorial Assistance from: Sally Jarzab, John S. Loder

    ISBN-13: 978-1-58428-990-6Library of Congress Control Number: 2009911196Printed in Korea.10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

    No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical,photocopied, recorded or otherwise, without prior written consent from the publisher.

    Notice of Disclaimer: The information contained in this book is based on the authors experience and opinions. The authorand publisher will not be held liable for the use or misuse of the information in this book.

    Check out Amherst Medias blogs at: http://portrait-photographer.blogspot.com/

    http://weddingphotographer-amherstmedia.blogspot.com/

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Bill Hurter has been involved in the photographic industry for the past thirty years. He is the former editor of Petersens

    PhotoGraphicmagazine and currently the editor of both AfterCapture and Rangefindermagazines. He has authored over

    thirty books on photography and hundreds of articles on photography and photographic technique. He is a graduate

    of American University and Brooks Institute of Photography, from which he holds a BFA and Honorary Masters of Science

    and Masters of Fine Art degrees. He is currently a member of the Brooks Board of Governors. Early in his career, he cov-

    ered Capital Hill during the Watergate Hearings and worked for three seasons as a stringer for the L.A. Dodgers. He is

    married and lives in West Covina, CA.

  • CHAPTER 1

    What Makes a Wedding Photographer Great? . . . . . .7Working Well Under Pressure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7Capturing Style and Elegance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7Being a Skilled Observer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8Good Timing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8Preparation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9Reaction Time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9

    SIDEBAR: Graphic Design Sense . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9The Ability to Idealize . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10Immersion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11Reactive vs. Proactive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11SIDEBAR: Its About Seeing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11Good People Skills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13Storytelling Skills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14Loving What You Do . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14SIDEBAR: Shoot More, Not Less . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16

    CHAPTER 2

    Technical Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17Exposure and Metering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17Exposure Latitude . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17Weddings Present the Ultimate in Extremes . . . . .18

    SIDEBAR: Why Do You Need a Flashmeter? . . . . . . . . . . .18A Note About Shooting RAW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19Incident Light Meters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19Evaluating Exposure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19

    Color Space . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19Metadata . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20The Right Shutter Speed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21With Flash . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21

    With Ambient Light . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21Image Stabilization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21

    White Balance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22A Clean Image Sensor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23SIDEBAR: Sync Them Up . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23

    Table of Contents

    PHOTOGRAPH

    BYNICKADAMS.

  • Top Lens Choices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24Fast Lenses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24Prime Lenses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24

    SIDEBAR: Marcus Bells Three Camera Bags . . . . . . . . . .24Wide-Angle Lenses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26Zoom Lenses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26Telephoto Lenses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27Normal Lenses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28

    Focal Length and Perspective . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29Telephoto Lenses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29

    SIDEBAR: Focal Length Factors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29Normal Lenses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31Wide-Angle Lenses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32

    Focus and Depth of Field . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32SIDEBAR: Evaluating an LCD Image . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32ISO Settings and Noise . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33File Formats . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34JPEG Format . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34JPEG 2000 Format . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35RAW Format . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35Adobe DNG Format . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35GIF Format . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36TIFF Format . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36Photoshop EPS Format . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37DCS Format . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37PSD Format . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37

    File Compression . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38SIDEBAR: Capture Sharpening vs. Output Sharpening . . .38Workflow Issues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39Protecting Your Source Files . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39Dan Dokes Wedding Workflow . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39Mike Colns WiFi Workflow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40

    Backup and Emergency Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40Remote Triggering Devices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41

    Light-Actuated . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41Infrared . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41Radio (Digital or Analog) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41

    Spare Batteries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41SIDEBAR: International Travel with Gene Higa . . . . . . . .41

    CHAPTER 3

    Posing Principles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42Giving Directions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42Subject Comfort . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43Facial Positions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43The Seven-Eighths View . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43The Three-Quarters View . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44The Profile . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44

    The Eyes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44The Smile . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45SIDEBAR: The Kiss . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45The Shoulders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46The Arms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46The Hands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47Hands in Groups . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .49Hands with Standing Subjects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .49

    SIDEBAR: Posing Portraits of Seated Men . . . . . . . . . . . .49Weight on the Back Foot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .50Portrait Lengths . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .50Head-and-Shoulders Portraits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .50Three-Quarter- and Full-Length Portraits . . . . . . .51

    Camera Height . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52Group Portraits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .53Couples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .54Adding a Third Person . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .55Adding a Fourth and Fifth Person . . . . . . . . . . . . .56

    SIDEBAR: The Armchair as a Posing Tool . . . . . . . . . . . .56Six People and Up . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .57Formals of Bigger Groups . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .57

    SIDEBAR: Is It Posing or Directing? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .57Getting Everyone in the Picture . . . . . . . . . . . . . .59

    SIDEBAR: Keeping the Camera Back

    Parallel to the Subjects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .59SIDEBAR: Speeding Up Your Group Portraits . . . . . . . . .59

    CHAPTER 4

    Lighting Principles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .60Basic Portrait Lighting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .60Main Light and Fill Light . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .61

    4 ADVANCED WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY HANDBOOK

    PHOTOGRAPH

    BYLAURANOVAK.

  • Hair Light . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .61Background Light . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .62Kicker Light . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .63

    SIDEBAR: Lighting Tips from Mauricio Donelli . . . . . . . .63Broad and Short Lighting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .64Basic Portrait Lighting Setups . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .64Paramount Lighting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .64Loop Lighting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .64Rembrandt Lighting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .65Split Lighting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .66Profile or Rim Lighting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .66

    Adapting the Formal Lighting Patternsto Suit the Situation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .67

    Double Shadows and Catchlights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .67Lighting Ratios . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .68SIDEBAR: A Special Group Portrait . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .68Overlighting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .69Studio Lighting on Location . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .69

    CHAPTER 5

    Outdoor and Mixed Lighting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .70Location Lighting Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .70Reflectors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .70Electronic Flash . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .71Barebulb Flash . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .73Studio-Flash Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .74Handheld Video Lights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .75Umbrellas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .76

    Working with the Available Light . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .77Direct Sunlight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .77Open Shade . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .79

    SIDEBAR: The Direction of the Light . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .79Window Light . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .80

    Flash Techniques on Location . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .82Flash for Fill Light . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .82Flash as the Main Light . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .83

    SIDEBAR: Room Lamps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .83Bounce Flash . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .84Flash Output . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .85

    CHAPTER 6

    Preparation and Planning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .86The Consultation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .86The Engagement Portrait . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .88Visit the Venues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .88

    Check the Customs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .89Create a Master Schedule . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .90Be a Team Player . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .90Assistants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .91A Positive, Relaxed Attitude . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .92

    CHAPTER 7

    The Key Shots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .93Engagement Portrait . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .93The Bride Getting Ready . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .93The Groom Before the Wedding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .94The Ceremony . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .95Formal Portraits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .95The Bride and Groom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .96The Bride Alone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .97

    The Wedding Party . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .99SIDEBAR: Kevin Jairajs Bridal Sessions . . . . . . . . . . . . . .99The Rings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .100

    TABLE OF CONTENTS 5

    PHOTOGRAPH

    BYJOEBUISSINK.

  • Leaving the Church . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .101The Reception Site . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .101The Reception . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .101The Cake Cutting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .103The First Dance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .103The Bouquet Toss . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .103Table Shots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .104Kids . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .104

    CHAPTER 8

    Postproduction and Album Design . . . . . . . . . . . .105Color Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .105Monitor Profiles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .105Printer Profiles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .106Camera Profiles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .106

    SIDEBAR: Optimal Viewing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .106The Photoshop Revolution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .107SIDEBAR: Photoshop Doesnt

    Make the Photographer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .107

    Photoshop Tools and Techniques . . . . . . . . . . . . . .108Layers and Masks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .108Using Layers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .108Using Layer Masks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .109

    Retouching Techniques . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .109Removing Blemishes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .109Eliminating Shininess an...

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