White on Black

I’d like to return to yesterday’s Wedding post. But no more wedding-talk, this time I’m going to ramble on about something I know you love: Photography.

Of course I didn’t go to a wedding without my trusty Canon. After I tagged along as the bag carrying assistant on a wedding photo session a few weeks ago, I learned the importance of using a flash when shooting in bright sunlight. It can eliminate those sharp shadows that tend to turn up in people’s faces. So this time I attached my Sigma flash and used the EFS 17-85mm exclusively. I wanted to use the tiny 50mm as well, but there were too many people moving around and several of the shots were group photos that required a wider angle.

Not surprisingly I was not the only one taking pictures, so it was a bit hard to get both the bride and the groom to look into the same camera at the same time. That either makes them look a bit weird, or it can give the picture an artistic feel. In my case it just looked weird. It was also very hard for people to stay put without moving their heads or arms around, so I took my fair share of blurry pictures. I’ve been told that 1/30 shutter and f/16 aperture with a bit of under exposure to avoid complete burn out of the white wedding dress would be a hit on wedding photos, but I’m not sure. The 1/30 shutter will create blurry pictures as soon as people start moving a little, and since I was not controlling the crowd, I probably should have increased the shutter speed. The next time I’m out shooting, I think I will take a few shots while allowing the camera to control everything, then take note of the settings and play around with different variations to see how that change the quality of the picture.

Even though I generallly don’t take as many pictures as I want to - I’m a bit lazy, and don’t usually like to drag the camera bag with me when going places - I’ve now got around 1,500 pictures in my iPhoto library. Most of them are shot in RAW and it’s very likely that I can save some of the acceptable shots and turn them into good ones with a little help from the right tools. Some are over exposed, some are under exposed while others are slightly blurry.

Much of these corrections can be done in iPhoto, but when I work in iPhoto I feel I’m using an application that was developed for my mum to use. This made me start looking at two other pieces of software, Aperture 2 and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. After I shot the portraits of Karine a while back, I downloaded trial version of both applications and played around with them for a while.

I don’t know why, but I never felt quite at home with Lightroom. Maybe the user interface was too fancy. Maybe it was the $299 price that scared me a little. I tried to find some tutorial material for Lightroom, but couldn’t really find anything except for the videos on the main page. Apple had a lot of instructional videos available for Aperture. So in the end I settled with Aperture. To me it looked like they could do more or less the same and Aperture is $100 cheaper than Lightroom.


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