2011 Aug 14: Wedding Photography | Brooklyn, NY | Sneak Peek / Behind The Scenes: Lauren & Dave
I’m pretty psyched to share with you not only a killer shot from Lauren and Dave’s NYC elopement day, but also a peek into what I do behind-the-scenes when I’m processing images from a shoot!
The image below is an example of what I consider to be a ‘fully edited’ image from a shoot:
How did I get there? Well, let’s start from the beginning with the image as it was straight-out-of-camera:
1). RAW IMAGE (STRAIGHT-OUT-OF-CAMERA):
You might be thinking that this image is pretty flat, dark, and overall not too polished. And you’d be 100% correct with that assertion. I shoot all of my images in a RAW format, meaning that zero processing is done in-camera. Instead, the goal is to capture as much data as possible, so that when I go to process the images myself, I can do much more with them.
In this case, I wanted to capture the setting sun with its sunbeams, while also keeping the couple adequately lit with light. If I exposed properly for one, the other would suffer as a result. But when you shoot in RAW, you can get away with exposing somewhere in-between the two so that neither the sky nor the people are at the proper exposure, but that both are close enough to being right that I can correct it when I process the image.
Here, since I didn’t want the sun to appear as one bright blob of light in the skyline, I had to underexpose (i.e. make the image darker) so that while the sun beams are visible, the couple is a little too dark. But no worries, Lightroom to the rescue!
2). IMAGE WITH BASIC EDITING – READY FOR PROOFS + IMAGE DISC:
The above image is an example of what the image looks like when I run through my basic editing process in Lightroom. This is what you can expect when I deliver your images in the online proof gallery and on a disc after a shoot. I may tweak this slightly depending on the image set, but this is pretty much my signature style.
However, this image is not polished enough for a print or album. First issue at hand: there are distracting elements in the background. See that girl in bright pink just behind the fence (to the right of Lauren’s hand)? And the tacky signs just over the bridge? And the bits of tree in the upper right corner? Not cute. I want them gone!
3). IMAGE WITH MORE EXTENSIVE EDITING – READY FOR ALBUM/PRINT:
After substantial time spent in Photoshop, I was able to remove all those distracting elements. Sometimes it’s just not possible to remove these things and keep the image looking realistic, but in this case it worked out.
I also sharpened the image to better define their facial features, made the image a little less warm, and made a few minor tweaks just to make the image ‘pop’ a bit more. This is what you can expect when you order an album or print from me. Now the image is ready to be included in an album, or printed out + hung up in a frame! :)
Stay tuned for the rest of Lauren & Dave’s NYC elopement photos in the coming weeks!