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Lighting or processing

woosterwooster Member
edited October 2013 in home
Hi. I changed my browser and forgot to bookmark this site and only remembered when I was looking at some of Neil's tutorials. Doh! Ah, well, my loss. Glad I remembered it though!

To get a really good quality picture I'd say lighting was far more important than post processing; good light etc. However, I see a lot of wedding togs who have taken pics with available light only in situations which seem to me to be far from ideal and yet their images ooze quality. Have I missed something?

Also, if I was to take an off-camera flash shot of a couple in the dusk I'd usually not put a diffuser on the flash to help with power, but sometimes the light seems overly harsh. In such a situation would you recommend a bounced umbrellla or would you use a portable softbox. Which would give you the most power from your flash ?



  • TrevTrev Moderator
    edited October 2013
    wooster said: However, I see a lot of wedding togs who have taken pics with available light only in situations which seem to me to be far from ideal and yet their images ooze quality. Have I missed something?
    You answered your own question really when talking about post processing. It IS important for sure, don't care how much you 'think' you get it right in camera, to truly get the most out of an image you need to be able to process it accordingly, especially when doing weddings in the 'rushed' stage if behind schedule which happens more than I like.

    I really do prefer flash, it 'cleans' the skintones much better, will wipe out casts from strong influencing colors around the subject [not talking about flash being bounced off colored items], etc.

    In answer to your question regarding shooting couple say in sunset against the strong back light, depends if really windy or not when using a softbox or just bare, I do both, but, I also am using a much stronger light than a speedlight. I have not used umbrellas outdoors, only softboxes/bare.

  • Thanks Trev. I usually use it bare outside but in the evening can give a harsher light than I need then I use a Lastolite 8 in 1 brolly thing. It acts as a bounce umbrella and also a bit like a halfway house between that and a softbox.

    I really struggle with PP sometimes TBH. I can never seem to get the exact result I'm after. I'm not sure why that is and it's the part of digital I like the least.
  • Here's my outlook: My clients like my work, and recommend it to others, because the photos look "nice."

    I can either get it to look "nice" by using my own lighting and doing minimal editing, or I can spend 10 minutes on each photo because my lighting wasn't completely right.

    I prefer the quick route (good lighting), because I deal with lots of photos per job, so Lightroom quickly processes them with the basics: exposure, WB, contrast.

    But if you are amazing at PhotoShop (which I am not), you can get your lighting OK and then process it for 10 minutes to look awesome. How practical is that for a wedding photographer? Depends how much you charge. For some portrait photographers, who only deliver a couple of photos per shoot, it's practical.
  • Well I can't get a badly lit photograph to look great no matter how much pp I do. I can get a what you might call a mediocre photograph to look a bit better but nothing like as good as it would have had it been lit properly to start with. I'm pretty rubbish at pp though so I do try for the lighting to be right all the time.

    I keep wondering if I should invest in some plugins but I'm not convinced about most of these either
  • i just saw jerry ghionis giving a class by the expo, quote "if the lighting is bad, convert to black and white, if the lighting is very bad, convert to sepia" :)
  • I find images faster and easier to post-process if the lighting is "correct" in the first place. Trying to modify the exposure (locally or overall) on a badly lighted image produces its own set of problems.
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