Back Modifications (1)
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By Gordonsimpson
This was taken as part of a Wedding photography workshop.
I use a Sony a200 and the kit lens.
I quite like the photo but want to know from you guys what I could have done to make it better.


Tags: Wedding Portraits and people

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


banehawi Plus
13 1.8k 3862 Canada
24 Nov 2012 8:02PM
Its not a bad effort Gordon. I think the -1.7 hasnt done you any favours. Im guessing you wanted to keep detail in the dress? But you have underexposed the subject, and as a result she also has a reddish tone. If you anticipated an exposure comp for the sky, it should be a positive comp, nit negative, as you want to overcome the cameras decision to underexpose for the sky.

Im not sure about the Sony, - most camera can use the flash as a fill flash, taking the main exposure from the ambient light when in Aperture Priority mode, - Im sure this does.

her hands are extremely red compared to her arm, - perhaps it was cold.

The composition, IMO has her too far right, while shes looking right, so composing so there more space in the direction shes looking can look better. Eyes are veru darak, and can be improved quite a bit in post processing.

Ive loaded a mod to show what I mean,

Hope this helps.

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Sooty_1 7 1.5k 221 United Kingdom
25 Nov 2012 12:44AM
I'm not sure shooting from so low has done you any favours, as its put her against a contrasty background and introduced a potential problem. The under exposure has kept detail in the dress, but at the expense of everything else....and her face, arm and hand are all different colours.

On the plus side, she looks happy and radiant which is well caught. You only really need to adjust exposure by 1/3 to 2/3 stop usually, then if need be, you can use a little shadow/highlight adjustment to bring back the dress. Frontal flash will kill a lot of texture on the dress anyway, so better to expose for ambient light and just use the flash to fill in as Willie says (underexpose the flash by about 1-2 stops for a more natural look, but with nice catchlights and smoother complexion). F/8 and 1/160 sec would have given better exposure and only -0.7 under exposure, which would be fine, or if using auto, just use -0.7 exposure.
Moving her slightly left improves the look slightly as per the mod.

Focus_Man 8 481 631 United Kingdom
25 Nov 2012 8:44AM
As this was taken as part of a workshop was comment not passed on this whilst you were there? If not I am surprised because the comments above are very good in particular the ones about exp. compensation and composition.

In addition to those, I am also surprised that a better background, in keeping with matrimony couldn't be found! I also find the flowers a little to high up particularly given your low vantage point. EXIF wise maybe f8 to help tone down the background sharpness.

But on the positive side your model seem to be relaxed with you which is very important on the day which is why I always insisted on a good conversation with both the B&G, before the wedding day, to ensure, in advance a good rapport.

paulbroad 10 123 1238 United Kingdom
25 Nov 2012 8:48AM
I like the pose and low angle, but you should not have dialed in the - 1.7. Not sure how you actually get that figure, normally in half or third stops. The flash fill has not been strong enough to supply the power to balance the negative correction and the girl is thus under exposed and, because of that, a bit red.

So, only problem is exposure. You do need care to keep detail in the dress, and normally what you have done is a standard technique - under expose the ambient light image, correct the subject with flash. You didn't have the flash reduced too did you?

25 Nov 2012 10:18AM
Firstly, thanks for the feedback.
The day was bloody freezing, really felt sorry for the models.
I think I might not have had the flash set to fill flash, but then that's something I need to learn and your feedback will help greatly.
Feedback wasn't provided on the day sadly, this is something that has been taken on board by the guy who ran the course.
I think there was too many people on the course for him to handle on his own.

Going by the comments, the main thing I need to try and get right is the camera settings.
This is the first time I have worked with models before, and I did try and have a good chat and laugh with them,
as I thought that would help make the model look more relaxed and the smiles more genuine.

Again thanks for the feedback, I find it invaluable.
parob 7 3 74 France
25 Nov 2012 10:46AM
Under the conditions, this is a technically difficult shot. Like you, I am bothered by the unnecessary multiple-coloration of skin and white dress. Furthermore, the flash bounces too strongly off the dress, then off the knuckles, the right eyebrow, even the fingers and white nails. The low angle of the shoot is not correct, etc. The two-tone background just about impossible, etc. I would also draw attention to hair-details, etc. But then, you say it all in your critiques, guys. On the other hand, I agree, a perfectly relaxed beautiful subject with an eye expression that would melt an iceberg. Smile
paulbroad 10 123 1238 United Kingdom
25 Nov 2012 3:07PM
Gordon, you are dead right in your approach to the models. I've seen so many people at events, shows and club portrait nights just walk up, take a couple of shots and walk away. Not just a waste of time but rude. Whenever models are involved, have a chat, a joke, tell them the type of shot you are after and have fun. It will show on the images.

In these digital days, let them have a look at your LCD, and pass there own comments. They can then adjust the pose. The technical bit is up to you!

Do not try and do a wedding until you have fully mastered your camera. So many now think they buy a 'good' camera and are an instant top pro. Have a look through this critique section! The first job is to understand the camera, what it can do and where all the main user controls are. Nothing looks worse that a so called pro fiddling with his/her camera at an event. They should be able to change settings smoothly and seamlessly.

Get that right first, then off you go.

By the way, some of these teaching days are better than others. I know a bloke who does them. He needs to go to a few himself. (Many are excellent, but do a bit of research before booking. No feedback on the day is not good enough.)


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