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Wedding post production

markedmanmarkedman Member
edited July 2011 in wedding photography
Hi Guys,

I only joined the other week and this is my 2nd posting - so please bear with me, it's quite a long posting, with a few key questions.

I shot my first full 12 hour wedding last weekend, Bridal prep through to the First dance - hectic aint the word!
Anyway over the last week i've been using Lightroom 2 to edit down from 900 + photos to a manageable 150 -200 images max, which will be presented to the happy couple on a disk. I'm also considering surprising them with a magazine style photo book of the best images as an added gift. More so that i can see how the images really look in print. The problem i've had with Lightroom, which i'm still pretty new to, is dealing with the noise levels, do i sharpen in Lightroom or leave until Photoshop? Or am i better to get something like the NIK software to tidy up the noise on some of the low light shots.

My gear incidently was a Nikon D300, shooting indoors mixing ambient light with fill flash ISO 1600, again not sure if this is too high for a 3 year old sensor? Bounced flash using a flag - inspired by the black foamie thing - lifesaver! Well impressed with that one - thanks Neil.

I'd also like to provide the couple with a DVD slideshow and am thinking of using iDVD on my Mac. Has anyone done similar and is this a good idea or not? My final question relates to prolab output. I've read in various other site forums that I would need to provide the sRGB profile or some even say in Lightroom that you should include the Prophoto profile for printing - is this basically the same as CMYK?

This has slightly confused me, and at this stage am a little perplexed as to how to add this info to any files that are burnt to disk. Any body that has experience of this - your thoughts and wisdom would be greatly appreciated.

In anticipation - thankyou very much.



  • Hi, I own a D300 too, but never dared to shoot at 1600 iso. D300 is a very honest camera, but I only use it as a back up (eventually) or with the 50mm 1,8 for portraits, however at iso 800 max, but beware of underexposures, otherwise you are out.
    For anything else I use the D800.
  • TrevTrev Moderator
    edited February 2013

    I will give an observation on your noise/sharpening via LightRoom.

    Regarding the version you are using, I would upgrade to LR4 as I see you are still using LR2. The full version of LR4.2 is now very cheap, around the $149US; and may be cheaper if you get it via an upgrade from LR2.

    Regarding sharpening. This is a contentious point with many people, and since I personally sharpen via photoshop using masks to protect skintones, I have my sharpening set to 0 in my RAW converter.

    What you could try in LightRoom would be around 50-75% even 100%; Radius 0.6 pixels; Detail 0 [this only increases finer sharpening and will destroy skin tones and introduce more 'noise']; Masking 0 [why apply a sharpening level only to mask it, makes no sense].

    The radius of 0.6 could range from 0.5 to 0.9 that means the amount of pixels surrounding areas which will be affected. In Photoshop my default sharpening is 500% at 1.5 or 2.0px Radius but when applied through masks is beautiful.

    Regarding 'noise'. There are two types: Underexposure noise and high ISO noise. The underexposure noise is the worst, because you are then battling against a large amount of noise/artifacts being introduced into the image when opening the exposure in a RAW converter. Very important to try to maintain correct/even slight overexposure.

    I must qualify that by saying 'slight' over-exposure if there are a lot of *important* shadows areas in an image, like dark suits, rocks, etc. You then bring the exposure back in the RAW converter and this will keep the shadows 'clean' from noise more.

    In the Detail Panel under 'Noise Reduction' section, I would try around 30-40 first up in the Luminance slider; 0 on both Detail/Contrast.

    Don't go crazy, it will 'smooth' stuff too much if applied vigorously.

    In the Color sliders just beneath that, they control the amount of color moire which may be in an image from underexposure/high ISO noise.

    Set the Color to 100; leave the Detail to it's default of 50.


    Even though I own several Nik plug-ins, I don't have Dfine, so cannot comment on that.

    Note: 1 thing to observe though, you are 'pixel peeping' when you are viewing images on screen and even at 1:1 [100%] you will be staggered to see the amount of stuff that may look funky to you, but, when printed you would never notice. Prints and Screen representation of noise are vastly different.

    Only way to see it is to get some prints done, anything above 10x8 and you will be surprised to see it probably looks 80%+ less then you saw on screen.

    Here are 2 samples.

    This is at 1000 ISO; f5; 80th/sec. It's a 300% crop of section of black suit, dress, skin.

    First image you will see it looks 'terrible' at the 300% viewing with loads of noise and color moire [may be hard to see] in the blacks.


    2nd image shows applied settings above, you can notice a difference in the result.
    Sharpening 50%; Radius 0.6.


  • Upgrade Upgrade Upgrade. Did I say upgrade? I was die hard DPP user for years. Convert to TIFF, edit in PS. What a nightmare with sharpening/resizing actions, etc.

    I had a hard time converting to LR. I must have tried the trial version 3 times in 2 years. I could not get used to output sharpening. Could not handle not seeing the final product before saving. This was based on my hobby shooting where total control over sharpening images is everything to me. I use this method for my hobby shooting which is edge sharpening but you can feather back after. I never used it for mass edits as it would just have taken far too long. Along with applying the masking in the detail modules in both LR and PS before conversion you basically do not sharpen any existing noise - even if you apply NR or not.


    So back to the subject. After learning about output sharpening which was created specifically by the Pixel Genius group specifically for LR and some testing I got comfortable with it. The late great Bruce Fraser was part of group.

    So now when I do mass edits I use LR, export selected images into PS for extra editing if required and back. I must have at least cut my PP time in half. Even my wife has told me there is not quite as much frustration in the laboratory these days. Not sure what I would do without LR.

    As stated by members the latest LR and PS have the same NR process which is very powerful. Make your life simpler.

  • TrevTrev Moderator
    edited February 2013
    markedman said: My final question relates to prolab output. I've read in various other site forums that I would need to provide the sRGB profile or some even say in Lightroom that you should include the Prophoto profile for printing - is this basically the same as CMYK?
    sRGB Color Space is the color space you embed in the file for printing 99% of the time, or, Adobe RGB 1998.

    Just look at any online Prolabs, and see if they supply 'specs' for you to upload your files as in sRGB/240-300 dpi, etc.

    I just checked 2 online and both said almost identically:
    "We also recommend that your files are saved using the sRGB Colour Space as they will be converted to this before printing."

    CMYK is totally different printing, that's for 4-color separation on a printing press as in newspapers, magazines, etc. There are separate plates made for each color: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow & Black which are inserted onto separate press units and those individual colors are loaded into the ink trays for each.

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