Monday, April 09, 2012

Quick Hit Monday: Just One More Shot – Fun With Lightroom 4! & More Super Fast ISO’s

Good Morning Everybody,

I sure hope everyone had a great weekend and got to spend some time with family as many celebrated the Easter and Passover holiday.  Once again the weather was perfect around our part of the world and we just took it kind of easy around the house.

0001 - City Girl-5490We’ve got my Master Class/Digital Workshop beginning next week and are doing our best to get everything finalized and ready for the class. It turns out that this will be our most “international” class ever with several of the attendees coming from outside the US – it should be fun!

Hey gang, I’ve got an interesting post coming your way today so let’s get right to it.

Quick Hit Monday: Just One More Shot B&W, Of Course! & More Super Fast ISO’s

More Super Fast ISO’s

I have been constantly amazed by two things over these recent days. The first is my utter bedazzlement every time I look at a ISO 12,800 image from my new Canon 5D Mark III.  I was doing some volunteer shooting over the Easter weekend at our local church.  The church is planning a parish directory and it’s my job to supply all the candid images from the church’s ongoing activities.

Check out the image below.  It is a view of one of the church steeples at the conclusion of one of the weekend’s services.  Do you see any noise at all!! I sure don’t!  This image was shot as in MED JPEG mode (2560 x 3840  Pixels) and made at a fairly slow ISO 6400.  Can you believe it – “fairly slow” – ha!

The “in-camera” noise reduction did a phenomenal job of removing the noise. I’ve put up the actual images  so feel free to do a right mouse click nab of the image and inspect it yourself.  I think you’ll really be surprised.


Pipe organNow look at the second image – the pipe organ below.  This one was made during yesterday’s services and I had the ISO cranked up to ISO 12,800! 


This image was shot in SM JPEG mode (1920 x 2880 Pixels) again with normal in-camera noise reduction.  Both of these images are right out of the camera – NO post processing whatsoever – Amazing!

Just One More Shot – Fun With Lightroom 4!

Over the weekend I took a little pleasure is playing around in Lightroom 4.1.  I have to say, this is truly the best version EVER!  It’s amazing just how much control you have over the image. And, it’s easy to tweak the image to it’s absolute best!

One of my favorite things to do is make B&W conversions, especially when it comes to portrait wedding images.  There are lots of ways to make the conversions – I plan to show you a few in tomorrow’s Technique Tuesday, BTW ;~)  But in todays’ post I want to give you a peak into my thought process and what I was seeing as I processed the photographs I’m showing today.


You know, as a wedding photographer, TIME is always of the essence.  There is never enough of it and it flies by rather quickly.  We had just made several images of the bride with her bridesmaids and her parents.  We ran about every combination possible and time was ticking off quickly.  But, I knew I still had to get some great close up portraits of my beautiful subject.

The first image you see above was a quick GRAB of the bride from behind – I better be care how I phase that ;~) She had just turned reacting to a remark someone in the room had made.  I made the quick exposure only to find that it was severely over-exposed.  But the conversion to B&W gave it a very unusual, ethereal “feel” to me. 

The image seems to be a fleeting  moment captured in time.  The very high key effect of the over-exposure removed most of the remaining detail of the scene.  The viewer is left to wonder what was happening. You may think nothing is happening, as LaDawn did, when she saw the image.  Still, for me, I still like the feeling of this fleeting moment.  Maybe the crop is changed, or it becomes a background image, for one of the page designs – who knows?  I still like it.

In this next image – a simple window light image – I went in quite close on the bride’s face. Her easy expression, quick peek and with her gaze  directly back into the camera makes it a captivating image. Once again, the limited higher key tonalities of the image make it a nice image to enjoy.


The next image changes up the portrait viewing experience slightly.  The high camera position together with the high key B&W conversion gives us a wonderfully pleasing image of our lovely bride.Notice that the main focus is on her lips which adds a certain sensuality to this photograph. Sine she is not looking back into the camera, your eyes are free to roam the scene and enjoy it’s soft, gentle quality.


A few seconds later, I ask the bride to look back into the camera.  The photograph is nearly the same as the image above with the only difference being  a slightly closer crop and the change of direction of her eyes.  Look how that small change affects how the image is perceived by the viewer.  It’s almost as if she caught us peeking in on her private thoughts.  Still her gentle expression does not blame us for the implied intrusion, but seems to invite the viewer to come in even closer.


And finally in this last image, the one I blogged as our Image of the Day post above, we have our bride once again looking away. But this time, because of the very shallow depth of field we are presented with almost an abstract portrait.  Nothing is in focus except the eyelashes.  Everything else is well out of focus but that’s what I think makes it such a cool image.


Remember how  I recanted at  the beginning that wedding photographers had to work fast?  I know time was short because we had to catch up with the groom, his parents, and the rest of the wedding party for the group wedding photographs.  I asked the bride for just one more shot and got these five images you see above.  I took the first one at 4:15 p.m. and the last image at 4:18 p.m. – only three minutes to get some very compelling wedding images. But, that is part of the fun of wedding photography – being in the grove and getting those great images for your client!


Hey gang, that’s it for me today.  Have a great rest of the day and I hope to see you same time, same place for tomorrow’s Technique Tuesday.

Adios everybody,  -David

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