Friday, May 1, 2009

Photoshop Magic

I'm a pretty old-school kind of guy, and I harp on and on about getting it right in the camera. Don't let that fool you into thinking that I don't take every advantage of technology when I need to. Case in point: the wide-angle ceremony shot from Alicia & Brian's wedding.

During the ceremony, there was an extremely intense beam of light filtering in from the back window of Scarritt Bennett, being cast upon only part of the group. Any normal exposure on the camera would have looked something like this:

Not pretty, eh? The bride and most of her bridesmaids are completely overexposed, and the groomsmen are way underexposed. For you photo-geeks out there, it was a full four stops difference in exposures between light and dark: nothing that was even remotely in-bounds for a single capture.

So what did I do?

I pulled out my telephoto lens on my 1D3, set the exposure to bracket and fired away at 10 frames-per-second. Wound up with these:

You can see that the really dark exposures keep all the details in Alicia's beautiful dress, but the bright exposures show the expressions of all the groomsmen. It took about an hour, but I was able to blend all of those exposures into a single "working" image that looked something like this (I touched it up a fair bit later):

Then, I spent another half-hour or so blending the working image above into the first shot I posted, along with some careful editing of the original file. The final result looks totally natural and depicts the beauty of Alicia & Brian's wedding ceremony, but would have been completely impossible with any traditional technique.

1 comment:

Rhonda Hendricks said...

Very cool, I love how you explained that & showed pics. Thanks for sharing!

Rhonda Hendricks
(Joe Hendricks Photography)