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Old June 9th, 2008, 10:16 PM
Marshall Everett Marshall Everett is offline
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Mayer, Arizona
Posts: 178
Default Black and White Wedding

Shot a wedding this past weekend, the wedding party and decorations were in all black and white. The bride wanted black and white images, to go along with the color ones. I was asked to spend a good deal of time taking pictures of the girls preparation process, then shoot the wedding from a wandering around standpoint. The ladies got dressed in a western styled two story home, that had a wooden staircase I used for some of the shots. Here are four random shots that I have done so far. As this is the first time using CS3 and the Black/White Conversion tool, please provide input on these images.
Shot with a Nikon D50, Speedlite 600 Flash, 18-55mm lens.

The brides daughter gave Mom away.

She is only 5 and was one of the ring bearers

The Father-In-Law

Bride and Daughter on the stairs
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Old June 14th, 2008, 02:44 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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How I missed these I don't know! You slipped in under the radar and the thread got pushed down!

The B&W of the guy in the hat is fine. The others are rather dark and metallic.

I always make B&W in a number of ways and compare and even blend to taste:
  • Desaturate an RGB file
  • Use L channel of LAB file
  • Use just one channel of the RGB file, select the cleanest with the least noise.
  • Mode to Adobe Grey
  • Add a Channel mixer layer and check off "mono" and adjust the sliders to taste.

What did you do? What time pressure are you under?

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Old June 14th, 2008, 07:00 AM
Mike Shimwell Mike Shimwell is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: North Yorkshire, UK
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Marshall, I hope you enjoyed. I wish someone would let me shoot their wedding in monochrome and without formals!! Great chance.

Asher, there is also the B&W conversion engine in CS3, that mirrors the Lightroom approach, allowing a bit more sophisticated control than channel mixer.

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Old June 14th, 2008, 10:01 AM
Marshall Everett Marshall Everett is offline
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Mayer, Arizona
Posts: 178

Thank you Asher and Mike.

I did use the CS3 Conversion Tool. I am trying to learn how to manipulate the various sliders within the tool to create good B/W tonal combinations. It is challenging to think in shades of gray, since our minds are so programmed for color. Asher, I will also try some of the methods that you suggest.
I want to have all the images up for viewing by this next weekend, so I have this next week to complete them.

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Old June 14th, 2008, 10:53 AM
Rachel Foster Rachel Foster is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Michigan, USA
Posts: 3,574

Ok, I've now had a little (very little) exposure to wedding photography. What I like MOST about this set is that it is not the typical, expected genre.

The first one has a bit too much background for my taste, but I'm extreme on my minimizing background in portraits. Her expression is just wonderful... sincere and with believable emotion. The last one is my favorite,though. It's unique, poignant, and just nicely done.

They look a little dark to me, but being victim of monitor miscalibration oopsies, I think its likely me.
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Old June 14th, 2008, 11:25 AM
Marshall Everett Marshall Everett is offline
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Mayer, Arizona
Posts: 178

Thank you Rachel,

Some back-story..... The bride was being given away by her daughter (picture 1) after having been a single mom for 12 years. I was asked to arrive very early to follow the path of the ladies preparing for the special day. My early focus was on the daughter as she milled around the house, taking spontaneous shots.

#1 Daughter sitting in the kitchen talking with some of her friends right after getting her hair finished. The background is kitchen clutter.

#2 shot is the 5 year old ring bearer. She was coming down the stairs, I turned around, saw her and stated freeze - Since her mother had told her "use the handrail when on the stairs", her free hand found it's way to her hip, as if an automatic process, and the shot was just there.

#3 is Father in Law and he still works an active horse ranch. His hat never came off, until his wife looked at him and ordered it for family shots later in the day.

#4 - Mom and daughter at the end of the day, back in the house on the staircase. Maybe you can see it, but the daughter is so fatigued at this point.

The journalistic, candid approach is much more enjoyable to me than the standard posed methods. I find that a managed combination of the two works well for me.

Thank you all for the input.

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