How-to: Wed­ding Pho­tog­ra­phy

Shoot­ing wed­dings can be one of the most stress­ful as­sign­ments a pho­tog­ra­pher can get. Here are some tips from pho­tog­ra­pher Bryan Foong to get the best out of the im­ages you cap­ture.

HWM (Singapore) - - Contents - Edited by Mar­cus Wong

1 SHOOT­ING AT THE RIGHT TIME OF DAY WILL GIVE YOU THE MOST SPEC­TAC­U­LAR COLOURS. THIS IS TO AVOID HARSH OR UN­FLAT­TER­ING LIGHT.

This im­age was taken in New Zea­land right about sun­rise. Bryan care­fully con­trolled the ex­po­sure to make sure that the high­lights would not be over­ex­posed, and to al­low enough de­tails and light to come through in the shad­ows, so that he could en­hance them later in Light­room.

While edit­ing in Light­room, Bryan also ad­justed the white bal­ance, con­trast and ex­po­sure to bring out the warm tones of the sun­rise. (It was ac­tu­ally a re­ally cold au­tumn morn­ing.)

He fur­ther en­hanced the blues and orange via the Hue Sat­u­ra­tion Lu­mi­nance (HSL) slider, ad­just­ing the blue hue to bring out a slightly richer tone in the sky, and low­er­ing the lu­mi­nance to achieve a more dra­matic back­ground.

As the sub­jects’ skin tone shared the same orange tone as sun­rise, Bryan made mi­nor ad­just­ments to get the skin tone to what he wanted, and there­after used the ad­just­ment brush to bring out more sat­u­ra­tion and vi­brance in the sun­rise at the top-left-hand cor­ner.

2 THE BIG CLEAN UP

To avoid the crowds, Bryan and the cou­ple ar­rived at the train sta­tion way be­fore the ear­li­est board­ing time. He placed the cou­ple at the end of the train where they would get nat­u­ral light at the high­est in­ten­sity, let­ting him achieve an ex­po­sure where the cou­ple would be prop­erly lit up with­out over­ex­pos­ing the blue sky. Know­ing that his cam­era had good shadow re­cov­ery ca­pa­bil­i­ties, Bryan shot at a low ISO set­ting with the in­ten­tion of bright­en­ing the shad­owed area at the back of the im­age in Light­room. He also ad­justed the whites in Light­room to achieve a soft, glow­ing look on the wed­ding gown.

Mov­ing on to Pho­to­shop, Bryan then made use of con­tent aware *ll to re­move the small crowd at the back as well as the many dis­tract­ing el­e­ments – such as the cross at the front of the train, the yel­low line, and spots on the ground.

3 MOD­ERN MIN­I­MAL­IST IM­AGE

This next im­age was shot one evening in Sin­ga­pore. Bryan made use of the strong sun­light to cre­ate a nice light rim sep­a­rat­ing the cou­ple from the back­ground. He chose a higher per­spec­tive for this lo­ca­tion to achieve a clean min­i­mal­ist look, and at the same time, made use of the nat­u­ral lines and curves to cre­ate an in­ter­est­ing, mod­ern im­age.

In Light­room, Bryan ad­justed the curves to fur­ther ac­cen­tu­ate the whites and blacks for a cleaner high-key look.

Mov­ing on to Pho­to­shop, he then used the clone stamp tool to re­move the red ob­ject on the right side of the im­age.

4 SKIN TONE AND RETOUCHING

Bryan placed the bride near a nat­u­ral light source to achieve a soft glow on her face.

In Light­room, Bryan ad­justed the white bal­ance to show what the nat­u­ral light and col­ors looked like that morn­ing. He also ad­justed the bride’s skin tone us­ing the HSL slid­ers on the reds and orange.

Mov­ing to Pho­to­shop, Bryan used the spot heal­ing tool to re­move the slight blem­ishes on the sub­ject’s skin, and also made use of fre­quency sep­a­ra­tion to even out the skin tone and slightly smoothen the skin. This tech­nique cre­ates two lay­ers – one layer for the ad­just­ment of the color and an­other layer for ad­just­ment of de­tails. The color layer helps even out the skin tone, while the de­tails layer helps to smoothen out the skin.

As a nal touch, Bryan used the quick mask tool to re­duce the slight yel­low tinge on the bride’s teeth cre­ated as a re­sult of warm­ing up the white bal­ance ear­lier.

5 SHOOT­ING INTO THE LIGHT

This im­age was taken in sum­mer at a desert in Ne­vada. Bryan waited un­til the mo­ment right be­fore the sun set into the hori­zon. At this time, there was still enough am­bi­ent light to light the cou­ple. Bryan had to con­trol the amount of light en­ter­ing the lens by strate­gi­cally plac­ing the sun be­tween the roof of the car and the cou­ples’ heads. If more light en­tered his lens, he would have got­ten un­wanted are in his im­age and would lose the con­trast he wanted.

In Light­room, he used the vi­gnette tool to darken the edges of the im­age, draw­ing at­ten­tion to the cou­ple. The vi­gnette used had high feath­er­ing set so that it would ap­pear more grad­ual and nat­u­ral. Bryan says the key is not to cre­ate a dark out­line on the im­age but a sub­tle look to en­hance the mood.

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