Wedding portrait with excellent natural light.

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by alexmoi, Dec 20, 2008.

  1. alexmoi macrumors newbie

    May 15, 2008

    This whole series of portrait was taken with natural light come in from the hotel window. All setting of shutter speed, aperture and ISO are available for viewing with Firefox exif plugin.

    Enjoy viewing, Merry Christmas & Happy New Year. :)
  2. termina3 macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2007
    Is his entire face out of focus, or was he moving? She is perfectly sharp.

    A good example of using natural light... but you might want to up the f-stop next time, so that everyone's face can be in focus
  3. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    He is way too soft, what happened there? What was the fstop?
    It is good use of natural light, but even natural light can be difficult to use, especially when it is not diffused causing highlights to be blown. It is not exactly "excellent" natural light if there are blown highlights.

    It is not bad (the use of the window light) but his face being out of focus isn't so hot.
  4. alexmoi thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 15, 2008
    Hi Termina and Jessica,

    I did this on purpose by focusing on her eye, and I use soft mask to soften his face a little.

    You can realize this by looking at his tie, perfectly sharp.
  5. 63dot macrumors 603


    Jun 12, 2006
    Nice picture. I don't know photography, but is natural light better than flash? Is it harder to achieve?

    Nice looking couple.
  6. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

    Mar 10, 2005

    When I first looked at it, I could only notice the out of focus face, too.

    In general, men's faces look better sharper while women's faces look better softer. Both in focus, of course, but pores don't look as bad on a man as they do a woman. In general photography speak, at least.
  7. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000


    Nov 16, 2006
    New York City
    Seeing as the first thing everyone (myself included) noticed is that the face looks unnaturally unsharp, its probably not a good thing.
  8. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Nov 23, 2007
    Yeah, I agree with everyone else. Why did you soften the guys face in the first place?

    Oh yea and you need to write the EXIF for us non firefox users :)

    Well to me, natural light is of course better then flash because if you do it wrong, flash could give a bad effect to your picture. But getting the right natural light is harder then properly setting up flashes. With flashes you can control how and where the light will be coming from, with natural light, well it depends where the light is coming from and how you make good use to it.
  9. alexmoi thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 15, 2008
    well, I guess everyone here prefers his face to be sharp, this shot was done with f3.2 focus on her eye, you can see his left eye beside her is still sharp, but since everyone like it both in focus, I should post this one up :) Btw, I appreciate all your input.

  10. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    Better is in the eye of the beholder- but if you're trying to achieve a specific result, the more control you have of the light, the better. For instance, in this picture, with control of the light, you have more of a chance to get the black jacket with texture and detail and not have the blown highlights in the bride's hair and both their noses. You could also tone down the shadow between them, making them less "separated" (though having them both looking in the same direction would probably be enough in the case of the first picture.) You'd also be able to set up a background light and not have the off-color background and noise, or overpower ambient behind them for the same result.

    In the second picture, you'd be able to open the bride's face up, so that she's also a subject instead of a background element, not side-lit (which is very unflattering for women's skin, as you can see) and you could again get rid of the noise/color in the back- but again that depends heavily on what result you're trying to achieve.

    In both cases, with control of the light, you'd have more posing options, so the bride wouldn't be a hunchback in the first shot and almost showing too much cleavage in the second- because when you can move the lights, you're not at the mercy of the angle and direction of the sun and where the windows are at.

    The only other thing I'd mention, since the OP seems open to critique is that I'd definitely whiten the bride's teeth in the first shot before she saw it, and I'd probably also clean up and de-redden their eyes too.

    "Harder" depends a lot on the set-up, timing and work...

    Doing anything wrong could ruin the picture- I've seen more bad pictures of people in natural light than flash ones- in fact getting the light, subjects and shadows right with natural light doesn't happen very often- you need a compelling subject much more frequently with natural light than you do with flash. However, doing flash "wrong" is really difficult if you have the right equipment and spend time learning how to use it.
  11. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I totally agree. Typically you'll want the woman to be softer. It just isn't right to me.

    As far as natural light goes, often people use natural light because it's very available and they don't have to think of setting up lighting. Overall, lighting a scene is not easy. It takes much more time to set it all up than it does to get your shots done. However, natural light has its merit and I've used it often in the absence of a studio and equipment.

    As far as softening random parts of a photo ... I generally try not to do that. The second photo is a bit better, perhaps close down a bit more to allow for her head to be in complete focus. And post your EXIF data so we can see the info on the execellent natural light shots.
  12. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Nov 23, 2007
    Thanks for the advice.

    To the op, I like the second pic :)

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