Is white balance correct? (auto should be fine in most cases)
Is ISO correct? (if its too low make sure to enable auto)
Is Exposure compensation under or over (Reset to zero, affects Av mode)
Do I have Raw? ( i should for work, jpeg is for fun)
OK this is inspired by a book I read once by Robert Bresson called Notes for the Cinematographer in which he explained his philosophy on making motion pictures.
Needing a place to collect all this data that I collect in my head and notebooks everywhere around my house I thought it would make sense to put some of this down electronically so I myself can revisit from time to time and save it from destruction. Of course I welcome the visitor who will happen to stumble upon these posts, although I am not keeping my hopes up. Right now I am a needle in the haystack of the internet and I dont think people will easily land on my website. But you never know.
Here goes Note #1
Some thoughts on lighting for the wedding photographer.
Without going into too much detail on the theory of light (quality, direction, color, intensity) or contrast ratios I will write about what I look for on a wedding day. A more practical approach.
So the best light that can flatter people (that are our subjects) is basically SOFT, DIRECTIONAL Light. A.k.a Window light.
Anything that can kill the overhead light and funnel it through a hole (large enough to spill on our subject) is good. I think of this as a shoebox with a cut out side on one part.
Something similar is a garage with the door open.
In nature, outdoors its a canopy of trees over our heads forcing the light to come in from a tunnel. Watch out for green color cast.
In a residential area it can be shaded cover by the side of a building that happens to have protection overhead too.
The overhead protection is important to protect from the sun causing racoon eyes on our subject.
5 Tips I saw in a youtube video today for portraits of couple
Dont forget to shoot the details.
Find and use window light. (flat, rembrandt, shoot into it, profile..)
Close ups of the couple (heads touching, head and shoulders – vertical and horizontals)
Elevate your position. Flatters them, from slightly above eye level
Get different angles. (not looking at camera, casual, behind them..)
The V-up (touch at hips, no hands at sides, in pockets, holding hands, at hip) – (look at us, away, each other, one at us..) (hand on chest, waist) (frame placement right, left, middle)
Open. (feet at us, separate bodies, hand holding) (groom on the right side, flip-groom on the left side). Vary shot size (cu, med, wide)
Closed. (bodies at each other, no gaps, kiss) (hands holding, at waist, on chest, on face, back of head etc). Look down. eyes closed etc
Stacked. (him behind her, his arms around her waist or chest,) (eyes looking off camera distance or at each other) (interactions and location)
Staggered (one in front of other, sitting or standing,
Meet in the middle ( with a kiss, bend at hips,
Backlit, shooting into the sky from low position.
JUNE 2017 update
Something I consider of utmost importance and I have noticed in works of photographers I admire such as Todd Laffler or Fabio Mirulla – especially in their later current work- is the ability to ISOLATE THE SUBJECT.
They do this via 4 methods.
Filling the frame with only their subject (walking in with a wide lens, or zooming in with a tele)
Using a beam of light (ie off camera flash or a beam of sunlight coming in) to isolate from darkness
Using bokeh usually in the form of objects in the foreground or other peoples shoulders etc. This blocks out the subject.
Clearing the space around them. There may be a wider context but its non distracting. A pale wall, leaves, texture, open sky, etc. Your eye goes to subject again.
Also if we are in the getting ready stages and not in the ceremony or portraits or reception part where the emotions will carry the photo here are some tips.
You want the subject to be in ACTION.
Meaning he is either handling props. Reading, writing, shaving, combing hair, adjust tie, cuffs, etc
Or he is interacting with other characters with them helping him get dressed etc
Different stages of the actions help too. With his regular clothes, without jacket, with jacket.
Will try to add a photo of the day on this blog whenever I get a chance.
This caught my eye today while walking, it is less than 200 meters from my home. Some times you dont have to walk far to find a cool image.
Got these following quotes from the foundation workshop website.
I find many of these from time to time so I figure I will start collecting some of them as posts here in case they are gone someday from the other site. Plus they will all be in one place here where I can come back to and study them.
Photojournalism is 99% mental – Tyler Wirken
“If you can only think of context first you’ll find your compositions a lot sooner.”
If you don’t believe in Santa Claus, you’re not going to get him to bring you any presents — Brooks Whittington
Always have a smile on your face – Brooks Whittington
Make a picture. Make it better – Tyler/Brooks
Fear is what holds everyone back. Fear of something – Tyler/Brooks
If I were going to ask you to fill in the blank, photography is a ________ thing, you’d say “visual” right? Photography is about listening, right through here (pointing to his heart). Photography is NOT a treasure hunt. – Matt Mendelsohn
Photographer has to find a subject reflective of their personality. Either look out the window or look in the mirror. – Brett Butterstein quoting David Alan Harvey.
Find your angle, your interpretation, take risks, shoot less obviously, less literally. – paraphrased suggestions from Brett Butterstein’s presentation
Work good scenes to death, watch for body language, never be satisfied, perfect your compositions, wait for the action. You have to keep trying things. – Brett Butterstein
You can’t spell “photojournalism” without an “I.” – Matt Mendelsohn
Don’t try to be here and be someone you’re not. – Greg Gibson
Photography today has become endless cycles of hero worship. – Matt Mendelsohn
Listen to all of it (what you hear at Foundation), then throw out what doesn’t work for you. – Greg Gibson
There’s no such thing as bad experience. There’s just experience. – Matt Mendelsohn
I wanna see the good, the bad, and the ugly. – Greg Gibson discussing not deleting images
How does _____ (student) need to be challenged? – Huy Nguyen, in meeting assigning stories.
What you’ve got is the raw ingredients, now you’ve got to make something of it. – Matt Mendelsohn
“So this is the new stuff?” Matt to student. “Unfortunately,” student reply.
Don’t ever take one photograph. – Brooks Whittington
No winners or losers here. The only way you lose is if you walk out of here without learning something. – Greg Gibson
This is not about the assignment. All that matters is that you learn and grow as a photographer. – Greg Gibson
Shooting weddings you should be sweaty even if you’re not fat. – Brooks Whittington
I am a compositional freak. – Brooks Whittington
The guy who came here and moved things, I almost choked him, and I’m a pacifist. – Brooks Whittington
Notice your projections and change. — Amy Deputy
Women tend to apologize for their power. – Amy Deputy
Formulate some ideas how you want to shoot something, and then let it develop. – Huy Nguyen
You shouldn’t need a caption for your photo. – Huy Nguyen
Think of ways to show us things we need to know. — Huy Nguyen
What are the pretty parts? What are the ugly parts? How do I get rid of the ugly parts? – Ben Chrisman
Sizing up a room, always evaluate the light. — Huy Nguyen
I feel like everyone is shooting scared. They just need to lose that. – Ben Chrisman
I feel like your compositions are a little wild. Think of everything in the frame. – Ben Chrisman
Think of having a dominant element and other things not competing. – Ben Chrisman
Find balance. Get to a place where you can function and feel it. – Huy Nguyen
Show us the coffee shop the way you feel it/see it. – Ben Chrisman
Shoot the transition. – Huy Nguyen
There are moments there that we don’t know are happening. — Huy Nguyen
From the side, doing stuff. That is really high on my bad angle list. – Huy Nguyen
That’s a one framer. Realize mistake. Move. Show me a boring frame and then move. – Huy Nguyen
I see a lot of missed opportunities. – Jennifer Domenick
Light. Composition. Moment. And FOCUS. We’re adding a fourth requirement. – Huy Nguyen
“Did you get a good night’s sleep last night?” David Murray asked. “All three hours.” Dexter Lo replied .
You are not giving up on this. You’re like a pitbull on this picture. – David Murray
What do I want people to see? What do I like? — David Murray
The rest of the frame is neither simpler nor important. – Becca Spears
Too literal. – Erwin Darmali
Don’t spray and pray. – Tyler Wirken
Don’t be too quick to be content. – Tyler Wirken
Look past what is staring you in the face. – Tyler Wirken
Hands and eyes are the most expressive elements. – Brett Butterstein
Every photo needs to have a purpose. Don’t shoot blindly. – Ben Chrisman
Get past yourself. Forget yourself. Get completely absorbed in them.” Ben Chrisman
Fall in love. What is it like when you describe a person you fell in love with. Transfer that to the pictures. – Amy Deputy
It’s a CAN portrait! You CAN pose that can! — Huy Nguyen discussing a Lone Star beer can.
Maybe the photoshop fairy will come visit us tonight. – Huy Nguyen
I feel like it’s the first time I’ve ever seen the place. – Tyler Wirken discussing an overall shot.
Make it clear. Sparkly clear. – Tyler Wirken
The point is that you didn’t get it, which should piss you off even more. – Sergio
You’re a fishing photographer. Practice good fishing, not bad fishing. – Tyler Wirken
That’s your squirrel. SQUIRREL!!! – Tyler Wirken
You’re moving too much. – Tyler Wirken
You’ll be doing too many things well and not enough things great. – Tyler Wirken
Showing what’s going on – make it great, then make YOUR picture. – Tyler Wirken
You’ve got to commit to the making. – Tyler Wirken
This is a pedestrian point and shoot angle. – Tyler Wirken
I’m really unhappy right now. Everything you wanted to have happen in this picture, happened in this picture.” — Tyler Wirken
There is nothing wrong with your work. You’re in between levels in your work. You’re trying to go to this other level, but you’re not good enough yet and you miss it. It’s painful to be in that in between stage. – Tyler Wirken
That’s why you’re here, to see different. You didn’t come here to be told how you see is perfect. – Sergio
This picture works, because it shows the saloon. This picture doesn’t work, because it shows Billy Bob the beer guy. – Tyler Wirken
The reason is the R word, “Relevance.” — Tyler Wirken
Whenever I have a thought for a pic where there’s a “maybe” involved, then I’m going to prove to myself if it is or isn’t. – Tyler Wirken
Sometimes you’ve just got to let cool rule. – Tyler, referencing a “no relevance” pic.
Wanting to get the people in the picture by shooting 1000 pictures of no people in the picture isn’t going to work. You need people in the pictures to get people in the picture. – Tyler
Slow your shooting down and shoot what matters. Tighten it up. – Tyler
You’re going to say, “Yeehaw and Bullshit” a whole bunch of times. – Kari White at the Broken Spoke.
Stop playing with random animals. Stop playing on slides. Wash your hands. Don’t get sick. – Coach at the Cheer Factory
– See more at: http://fworkshop.com/2011/04/the-foundation-workshop-exposed-an-inside-look-part-ii/#sthash.0cFMs4Dt.dpuf
June 2017 some new ones of my own and other.
Get close to your subject
Dont worry about photos. Have fun and the story and subjects will reveal themselves.
Always have the camera ready to shoot and anticipate.
Explore the space
Embrace failure, balls out. Buying lottery tickets, more chances the better.
Work thru the scene, may be the click after the one you just took.
Body language and expression
Not settling for the obvious. Seeing beyond that. Picking up on the little things that may or may not work.
A different way of showing whats going on.
Lying on your back perspective shooting up.
Hiding the eyes.
Subjects relationship to each other, to the space their in, to the light and to the camera. (Sam Tziotzios)
Seeing faces emote and hands gesture. The 2 vehicles of communication. With Greeks its mostly the hands 🙂
You dont need much embelishment. Just the recognize the power of the expressions and grab it and keep it clean (Huy)
My good friends Ilias and Stavros at Filoistron in Nea Kios asked if I could photograph their opening night to the public in Nea Kios Greece with musical performance by Giannis Iordanoglou and his band.
I’ve always wanted to take this shot, its a very common one in landscape photography where one sees rich clouds reflected in a wide body of water underneath.
I was driving between Nafplio and Argos on a rural side road when my eyes caught this image on the side of the road. In the distance one can barely notice the castle of Argos. It is clearer on the second closer shot.