Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wednesday: The One That Got Away: and my 2,500th Post at DigitalProTalk!

Good Morning Everybody,

2500 posts Wow! Do I have a BIG announcement for everybody today!  I didn’t even mention it when it happened because it slipped right by me as we traveled the country. About 2 weeks ago, my blog DigitalProTalk passed a milestone – I posted my 2,500the post! 1,200 words a day, 2,500 times – you can do the math.  That works about to about 40 full sized books of photography information!!! That’s one heck of a lot of a good thing going on at DPT.  My THANKS to the thousands of readers everyday who enjoy my blog.  Like I say, If you’ll keep reading, I’ll keep posting ;~)

Fall I have to tell ya’, the weather for our CBTL2010 tour has been just perfect since we started.  You can see some touches of fall color in the air on our drive into Philadelphia yesterday.  As we head north to Boston, I suspect we will be welcomed by even more brilliant color landscape of New England – always a gorgeous site.

Our Philly crowd was pretty fired up last night and we had a great time. Today we head up the road to Newark – just a short drive.  We should land early, be set up on time, and be ready for everybody tonight. Now if I can only end on time ;~)

The One That Got Away: Body Away, Face Back

Pic1Today I have three great images that are just so close to hitting it out of the park. All of them are similar so I think our discussion  today will really point out how some small fixes can make a big difference in the final image.

Hit the “Read More…” link below for the rest of the story.

First, Image #1

Let's look at our first image. It is just so beautiful. I love the great expression and the hand on the hip also adds a nice casual feel to the image. Look how the bride's placement in the frame counterbalanced with the cityscape in the background. The exposure balance of the flash on the subject balances perfectly with the slight under exposure on the city in the background.


So what's not to like with this image? Only a very few small things.

1- When lighting my subject, I like the light to CROSS the gown from the opposite direction. That way we set up highlights next to shadows adding to the detail and definition of the beautiful gown. I want to bring the light in from camera left to make that happen.

2- In this photograph the maker did a nice job setting up the loop lighting pattern on our bride's face. The problem is that the head and body are pointing in the same direction which adds to our lighting problem which I mentioned above.

3- To solve the problem, my rule of thumb is to ALWAYS have the subject's face be turned into the opposite direction of the body. In this image we needed to to turn the bride's face to camera right (her left) or opposite the direction her shoulders are facing. Now bring in the light to give us that great loop lighting pattern and we have a great shot - it's out of the park.

Now let's look at image #2

It's pretty darn close to image #1. The head is leaned back a bit too far for my taste. When the light was added, it's placement was a bit low. Notice how the nose shadow stretches up to the eye socket - not very flattering.


I think NOT seeing the far arm also distracts just a bit form the image. I would always suggest showing both the subjects arms in a most portraits.

How would I improve on this image?

1- First of all, I would make the same suggestions to this image as I presented in the first image. That would improve the overall look of the image.

2- Next I would probably have the bride hold the bouquet with the other hand and grab the veil or gown with her left hand. That would solve the missing arm problem.

3- And finally, I would have her tilt her head down slightly so as not to photograph so much of her neck.

That's it and I think it would look great.

On to image #3

This image is just really a nice image to view. I've included in today's post because it illustrates how I would have positioned the the bride for the photograph. The light is coming in from camera left creating a nice loop lighting pattern on the bride's face.


With her body facing the opposite direction you can see how the the off camera flash skims the gown really bringing out the fine details. The maker also had her pull back the bouquet so as to not cast an ugly shadow on her dress.

Notice too how the bride's right hand is gracefully positioned in the image with the wrist bent back slightly and the fingers extended slightly. My only super minor suggestion here is that the arm could be dropped just a few inches more into a slightly more diagonal position. Like I said, very minor change.

Overall I'd like to see the background underexposed just a bit. That would have made the bride "pop out" of the image even more. Our first image had the perfect flash/ambient balance. Do the same for this image and it too is out of the park.

This is the kind of attention to detail that we should all bring to our wedding/portrait photography. It just raises the bar on the quality of the image we deliver to our clients. Pay attention to the small details, make the small adjustments, and you will end up with exciting images all the time.


Hey gang, That's it for me today. We head up to Newark shortly - it's a short drive, only about 2 hours so we've got little breathing room for set up. Then it's the long haul to Boston on Thursday. Hey, it's all still fun.

Everybody have a great rest of the day and I'll see you in Newark tonight or right here at DPT tomorrow for another episode of Business Day Thursday.  I have a special surprise for you with tomorrow's post. You'll have to tune in to see what it is.

See ya' tomorrow, -David


  1. Lisa Carter-Davis3:58 PM, October 13, 2010

    Loved your presentation in Phili. Thanks for your high energy delivery. loaded with great information that I can't wait to use! Just wish I'd won one of those great door prizes.

  2. Enjoyed the session in Philadelphia last night. You are going from the city I grew up in, which I love, to my favorite new city, Boston. Visited for the first time this past New Years for the Winter Classic. Love Boston, beautiful place and GREAT people, friendly people, really the nicest sports fans we have ever met. If you have have been before you know what I am talking about. Wish I was going to be in Boston. Thanks for the session in Philadelphia. Taking it all in trying to learn as much as possible.