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First Enagement Session...
Posted By: PaulAndAPentax, 02-03-2008, 08:56 PM

A few of the nicer shots from my fist engagement shoot yesterday. What a great day at the beach with such an easy and natural couple to work with. Still have a lot to learn but I was happy with these (and more). It was an enjoyable day and I am looking forward to many more shoots in the future... These are all lower res images and taken with either the Sigma 105mm f/2.8 or the Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5. Comments and critique welcome.











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02-03-2008, 09:25 PM   #2
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Bravo!!

The only one I'm not in love with is #3. It seems to be 'over lit' a little.

The rest are awesome! They all have great mood.
02-03-2008, 09:53 PM   #3
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You did it! It takes a lot to go out and do this for the first time and it's definitely not easy to do.

Now, for some criticism and take it for whats it's worth.

#1, great comp and the lighting is great! I really enjoy this shot and it's a dreamy shot.\

#2 I love what you tried to do with it, but unfortunately you had that shadow from the leaf hit the bride to be face. It's very distracting and other than that the image looks very sincere and I love the leaves and greens in the background.

#3 looks very nice, but some may call it overplayed, but I like it personally because it shows the playfulness of the couple. One thing that might have made it a little more interesting is get closer, lower and flip to landscape orientation.

#4 Love what you wanted to do here and the hold is great and the comp is good. The sun is a little harsh and they are squinting, which isn't the best look, but I'm being a little picky on that.

#5 I love the pose, the look, the vignetting, it's a great shot. The B&W conversion looks a little flat and could use some contrast boosting.

Overall you did a great job and the things I pointed out are just basic mistakes that 99% of people don't take into consideration while shooting people. Continue to hone the technique and things will come to you easier and easier.
02-03-2008, 09:56 PM   #4
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Paul, this is a very nice set of shots. Besides what Chris has said, I think the first one is my favorite of all

The conversion of B+W on the last shot is very nice

02-04-2008, 06:41 AM   #5
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Thanks everyone for the feedback...

Chris, other than the b&w conversion (which I can see now), I had some of the same thoughts. The sun was pretty bright but having them back-light would have been worse (except for the few silhouettes I did). I did get a few good shots without the squint! The shadow I noticed right away....

I was glad to get out there and I thought the session went well and I felt pretty comfortable but I think I could have slowed down just a bit to think shots through a bit more (as I do when there's no people around)...

I also found out not to rely on the screen! The screen and histogram were indicating shots were over exposed so I stopped down or compensated but when I got home, many were underexposed...thank God for LR.
02-06-2008, 03:36 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by PaulAndAPentax Quote
Thanks everyone for the feedback...

Chris, other than the b&w conversion (which I can see now), I had some of the same thoughts. The sun was pretty bright but having them back-light would have been worse (except for the few silhouettes I did). I did get a few good shots without the squint! The shadow I noticed right away....

I was glad to get out there and I thought the session went well and I felt pretty comfortable but I think I could have slowed down just a bit to think shots through a bit more (as I do when there's no people around)...

I also found out not to rely on the screen! The screen and histogram were indicating shots were over exposed so I stopped down or compensated but when I got home, many were underexposed...thank God for LR.
The shadow is indeed distracting, which is why in your other thread, several others recommended a reflector or a fill flash. If that's not available to you, try to look for shadier areas. If you notice the squinting, you can also tell your clients that and have them open their eyes for just a second. They're usually very accommodating because those are "their" pictures and you're supposed to be the expert.

As for thinking about shots, the thinking should have occurred before the shoot as well as during. Stopping by a place before hand for a walk through to check out the lighting as well as interesting places to shoot is worth it's time in gold. When do you decide to be paid for those gigs, it'll prove to your clients that you're serious about what you do (not being forced as a side gig because it pays), and you take up less of their time improvising on the day of.

I don't know about the histogram showing shots were overexposed as a histogram is very accurate. When you're shooting at the beach with the bright sun and a clear sky, the bulk of the curve should be on the right side of the histogram since the sand isn't "middle grey". When there are large bodies of water, a clear sky like that day should also be lighter than middle grey.

Sounds like you had fun shooting though, I'm sure you'll do fine in the business.
02-07-2008, 01:11 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by AVANT Quote
The shadow is indeed distracting, which is why in your other thread, several others recommended a reflector or a fill flash. If that's not available to you, try to look for shadier areas. If you notice the squinting, you can also tell your clients that and have them open their eyes for just a second. They're usually very accommodating because those are "their" pictures and you're supposed to be the expert.

As for thinking about shots, the thinking should have occurred before the shoot as well as during. Stopping by a place before hand for a walk through to check out the lighting as well as interesting places to shoot is worth it's time in gold. When do you decide to be paid for those gigs, it'll prove to your clients that you're serious about what you do (not being forced as a side gig because it pays), and you take up less of their time improvising on the day of.

I don't know about the histogram showing shots were overexposed as a histogram is very accurate. When you're shooting at the beach with the bright sun and a clear sky, the bulk of the curve should be on the right side of the histogram since the sand isn't "middle grey". When there are large bodies of water, a clear sky like that day should also be lighter than middle grey.

Sounds like you had fun shooting though, I'm sure you'll do fine in the business.
I did have a lot of fun and hope to continue to improve as I read more and look over more photos. I did go by the site before the shoot (actually three different sites to choose the right one) and considered what I wanted to do before hand and I am glad I did that. The shadow issue was a novices error. I'd love to find someone local that would allow me to shoot with them part time but thus far no takers so I am on my own to learn by reading and practice. Luckily this couple didn't expect much. I did have a reflector but did not use it during that shot. It would have been angled the wrong way anyhow as they were facing South. Next time I know to take that extra time to look longer. (The funny thing is that no one other than photographers notice that shadow!)

The histogram screen kept showing red flashing areas which (I understand) to me overexposure in those areas of the shot. Perhaps I misunderstood. I admittedly don't use the histogram much in composing my own shots but intend to start doing so. What I hope to do is to continue to improve to where I can charge for services and segway into full time work after I retire from my current job. I have several years to learn and excel and I am happy I found something I really like to do.


Last edited by PaulAndAPentax; 02-07-2008 at 01:20 PM.
02-08-2008, 02:42 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by PaulAndAPentax Quote
I did have a lot of fun and hope to continue to improve as I read more and look over more photos. I did go by the site before the shoot (actually three different sites to choose the right one) and considered what I wanted to do before hand and I am glad I did that. The shadow issue was a novices error. I'd love to find someone local that would allow me to shoot with them part time but thus far no takers so I am on my own to learn by reading and practice. Luckily this couple didn't expect much. I did have a reflector but did not use it during that shot. It would have been angled the wrong way anyhow as they were facing South. Next time I know to take that extra time to look longer. (The funny thing is that no one other than photographers notice that shadow!)

The histogram screen kept showing red flashing areas which (I understand) to me overexposure in those areas of the shot. Perhaps I misunderstood. I admittedly don't use the histogram much in composing my own shots but intend to start doing so. What I hope to do is to continue to improve to where I can charge for services and segway into full time work after I retire from my current job. I have several years to learn and excel and I am happy I found something I really like to do.
The histogram showing red flashing means clipping is occurring, not necessarily over exposure for the entire image. If you see very large areas of blinking red, then I would try to dial the exposure down a bit.

However, in a bright situation like your shoot, if you only see little spots of flashing red here and there, and it's not where fine detail is needed (such as just a little of clipping on the hair, etc), I would have kept. Why? Because that kind of light demands for a lot of dynamic range. Losing a little bit of highlight detail to gain shadow detail is great for providing more depth to an image as well as reducing noise (even more applicable at high ISO).
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