Saturday, August 19, 2006

It's been awhile since my last post. Been meaning to post but have been busy with the day job as well as editing a recent wedding I did. Well, first thing's first. I did attempt some window light portraits using the techniques I mentioned in the earlier post. In my opinion the result was actually quite pleasing. But what's most important is whether the bride likes it or not. I haven't really printed the album or the prints for them yet since I need to round up everything and deliver everything one shot. That's the new policy. All or nothing. As well as giving the bride a bigger surprise, this also reduces the cost on my side. No more travelling several times to deliver 1 thing at a time.

So my workflow now consists of wedding-back home-upload-backup-backup again-edit-edit some more-design album (done mostly by my wife)-prepare files for printing-print-DELIVER.

Since I'm not doing this full time I usually give an ETA of 1 month after the event to receive everything. I do have to go out and buy albums and print at the Pro-Lab which happens to be situated in SS2. This is what I dread the most. Going to SS2 and finding a parking place. The Lab opens during office hours so I can't go after work and during office hours getting a parking place there is just so damn difficult. So I leave the Lab trip for Saturdays.

Anyway, here's the best window light picture I took on that occasion. It was taken again with the 20D (which is the only dSLR I have anyway) and the 24-70L at the 70mm setting. Aperture used was f2.8 and shutter speed was about 1/100 at ISO400. Flash was used with minus compensation to just give a bit of fill on the shadow side. I can't really remember but it should have been between -1 1/3 and -2. I am really happy that this light balancing thing has worked out.

The posing is just straight 'look out the window' posing. I still like to take some formal posed shots since I think it relies on a different set of skills so I'm always experimenting. I do both Traditional and Documentary Photography. I really couldn't care less what people label me. I'm just a wedding photographer. I shoot both styles and mix 'em up.

It's a bit obvious this shot was Photoshopped as well. First problem I encountered with relatively close-up shots like this is that the 24-70L is just way too sharp. The imperfections in the skin do show up so I really needed to soften the picture a bit. Fashion magazines have that airbrush thing but I just soften the picture a tad so that it still looks natural. There are many ways to achieve this effect so I'll just mention what I did.

I created a duplicate layer and then applied the Gaussian Blur Filter. Radius about 20-30. At first you will be surprised that the picture goes totally blurred. Don't worry. Just go to edit and then Fade Gaussian Blur. Tweak it to your liking. I can't really remember this particular setting so can't say what I used.

After blurring the picture then comes time to sharpen some bits. Well, not really sharpen but get it back to its original sharpness. I changed the view to Actual Pixels and then proceeded to use the history brush on the eyes. Be very careful not to get overexcited. I tried to get as natural an effect as I could and I achieved what I was aiming for.

What I like about this picture is the golden glow it has. The blur has created a more pleasing look whilst the eyes being sharp gives it a different feel that I don't know how to explain.

So, hopefullly the bride will like this picture.


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