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Wedding Dress

This past weekend I had the pleasure of shooting in beautiful Stowe Vermont; and while waiting for the bride to finish up her make-up I decided to do a little experimenting GIF style.

Here is my first attempt with the bride’s wedding dress. I thought it would be fun and a little visually different; what do you guys think?

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Angela Cardas-Meredith - Very cool!

Khatleen Minerve - I really like it ! Should try it more from time to time.

weddinganatomy2011 - Yeah you should give it a try. It’s always good to experiment. Thanks for your comment!

lada - Миша, спасибо за новые идеи и позитив. 22 декабря иду снимать свадьбу аля Гринберг. Попробую применить все твои советы и уроки с московского мк. Лада

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Meredith & Remko


NY looks great in BW, and so does our groom in this very old corridor in the Manhattan financial district. One light was used with the sb 900, hand-held. Again, literally 3-4 seconds to shoot. What’s important here is the pattern on the wall. This is one of the topics I’ll be talking about at my workshop, shooting while having a black and white image in mind.

I love these kind of shots. Do you know that you can make hundreds of them in a matter of a few seconds? I guarantee! All you need is one flash with a sync cord, and a bit of practice. You don’t need an assistant either, we will talk about it at the workshop as well. But in few words: eliminating background, communicating with the bride, using creative photojournalism techniques, and using flash creatively.

Here the bride is getting prepped up for her big day, what can I say, this image was created with light. If you use available light here you are doomed. The lighting of the room and the overall quality of light was less then pleasing. Remote flash was used. Again, no assistance was required and it was taken right there on the go. And yes, not much Photoshop here, I simply adjusted the levels.

This image would not be possible without flash coming from the left. It was hand held under rainy conditions. Grey skies render peoples faces full of shadows and blend the subject with the environment. Flash must be used to isolate your subject or you’ll have to Photoshop till you drop!

Remote flash executed here, you must guess how this one was photographed. Any guesses?

With every wedding I photograph, I photograph the dances with multiple ideas and styles in mind. I bounce the light to the side, bounce off the ceiling, remote controlled with diffuser, remote
without diffuser, I use a gel with one tone, or gel with multiple tones e.t.c.  No I’m not cool, and I don’t like that word very much. I’m trying to give the couple as much as possible for their investment. This image displays slow shutter techniques during the dancing celebrations.

All this and more and my workshop in Toronto. This is just the tip of the iceberg. The most fundamental thing is understanding your work. Once you answer the question, where, when, and why, you’ll start creating things on your own and this is where your technical knowledge will help you achieve your goals.

To see the entire post please follow this link to Phototerra Studio main website

For more information on workshops click here

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Mingyang Sun - For photo #5, I know you used remote flash to light up the dress in that room, and I think you metered for the outside!

weddinganatomy2011 - Correct!

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Lighting lesson for wedding dresses. Part 1

This is the first article (case study) and it is not about weddings. Don’t worry there will be lots of real weddings in the near future, but for now I want to cover something different. This lesson is an overview of what I recently shot in my studio. This is often what new photographers are interested in, the studio shoot.
I was photographing for a catalog photoshoot. 80 dresses in 2 days. 3 different themes. I shoot a lot of weddings but throughout the year I also have a few catalog shoots, some headshots, model portfolio work, test shots, and all this is a great way to earn extra income. It helps improve your skills and which then could be applied to your wedding photography. It’s a great way to diversify and make your life much more interesting .

Scalpel please, let’s dissect how everything was done.

Part 1

The task:
a) 80 dresses (3 collections) 1 bridal collection and 2 bridesmaid and party dresses.
b) 3 different themes ot make all of them different
c) Consistency is important
d) Fast turn around
e) Ready for web and print ( as big as 8 feet)

What did I use?

1) My studio (if you don’t have one please rent)
2) DSLR and 85 mm lens (could be 50mm)
3) White paper background
4) Projector (will talk about it in part2 of this case study)
5) One flash sb900 and umbrella (medium size)
6) 2 pocket wizards
7) One 8×4 reflector white foam board

This is the result. Please click on each image to see the bigger picture. No photoshop straight from the camera. Processed in Lightroom with camera callibration set to PORTRAIT. Cleaned some dust and exported to the web.

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How this was done?

The lighting setup.

Things to remember.

1. Shoot raw it will save you lots of time at the end
2. Keep white balance the same ( set it to 5000K)
3. Set your camera on tripod. Get a chair and sit on it. Place the tripod with camera next to you and shoot. this would be and ideal level for shooting. I’m 180cm tall it will be a bit different for you. general rule you should shoot from sligtly below.
4. Draw a line on the paper where the model should stand so you don’t have to adjust lighting with every new dress.
5. Zoom in tight for the test shots and look at the shadow formed on the side of the model’s nose. It can be any shape, just as long as it doesn’t point upwards and doesn’t touch the upper lip.

6. On a darker background the white reflector has to be moved closer to the model. The reason is that because of darker color less light is bouncing around so you need more fill light and therefore you should move the reflector closer. However, you can leave it where it was if you need a bit more contrast.

7. The bigger the distance between the background and the model the darker the background will be. We will see that effect in the future lessons. For now just remember.

8.You can use different background colors. Just don’t forget to move the reflector forward for the dark colors.

9. This setup is bullet proof. Very fast and very efficient.

Enjoy and visit my website if you have some time with a different blog at:

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Mingyang Sun - What happens if the white (silver/matte) reflector is not used in this case? Will you get a darker shadow on the left side of the model? What would be the difference if different colored reflectors are used?

Mingyang Sun - What’s the purpose of using the white reflector here? Is it to create a less harsh shadow on the left side of the model? And what different effects we will see if different colored reflectors (white vs. silver vs. matte) were used? Thanks in advance!

weddinganatomy2011 - You are correct less shadow. the type of reflector will make shadow more or less strong.

weddinganatomy2011 - yes it will be darker and I would avoid different color reflector in this case. w need clean colors of the dress.

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