Archive for May, 2010

This post comes from Jon Woodbury.

This is NOT a Racial Post! – WHITE BALANCE – Photo IQ — WEEK 4
I am going to start out this way, if you want the cheapest, easiest way to make more professional-looking photographs, THIS is it. White balance is extremely important in quality images.

I hear people all the time lamenting their out-dated cameras and low-grade lenses, wishing that if only they could get better gear, their photos would look better. To all of you I say, don’t upgrade until you master white-balance. It will give new life to your images.

What IS white balance and why do I care?
White balance refers to the color cast given off from different light sources or picked up by light reflecting off various surfaces. It is measured in degrees kelvin. Typical temperatures of light are as follows.

Color Temp. Light Source
1000-2000 K Candlelight
2500-3500 K Tungsten Bulb (household variety)
3000-4000 K Sunrise/Sunset (clear sky)
4000-5000 K Fluorescent Lamps
5000-5500 K Electronic Flash
5000-6500 K Daylight with Clear Sky (sun overhead)
6500-8000 K Moderately Overcast Sky
9000-10000 K Shade or Heavily Overcast Sky

There is a range given because white balance is a very imprecise science when it comes to photography. It changes all the time with clouds and different colored light bulbs…in fact, very few lightbulbs are yellow enough to fall under the traditional tungsten range.

With film white balance was a matter of choosing indoor or outdoor film then using filters to equalize colors and remove a cast.
Digital is easier because we can switch whenever we want, set custom white balances, and in mid to higher-end dslrs custom-tune the temperature.

Why white balance?
Just pay attention to the photographs that really move you. They will very rarely have odd color casts. Our eyes are very good at compensating for white balance differences naturally so we don’t usually notice it. That is why so many amateur photographers don’t pay attention to it. But it is an elements that when it is done right will elevate your images even if viewers can’t put their finger on the reason.

RAW vs. Jpeg
Shoot Raw. Okay, just kidding, you can choose what fits your style better, there are still a few photographers that shoot jpeg out of the camera (See Jerry Ghionis) but more and more the consensus is to shoot raw.
If you don’t get it right on location, any editing you do later on is simply photoshop’s guess as to what it should be. I prefer to shoot raw so the original data is preserved. Then in editing the program knows exactly how the color should be rendered with each tweak of the white balance slider.
If you are a jpeg shooter, white balance should be your obsession, if you shoot raw, it is still a time saver since getting it right saves time in editing but you can miss or forget to change it and there is no harm done.

I went into the last couple of weeks of shoots to find examples of white balance shifts so you can see the difference between an average white balance and a good white balance.

Below is Christian Burridge at the Salt Lake County Democratic Convention. The convention was held in a large multi-purpose room lit entirely with florescent lights. You can tell they’re florescent by the characteristic green tone in the auto white-balance example on the left. It’s not bad, per se, but you can see the difference in skin tone when the compensation was introduced. It’s a much more pleasing, more professional-looking image. I love shooting men in suits and white shirts because white shirt collars are just about the best sample for white balance. They are minimally reflective and are near the face so they are almost always included.

The next example comes from an underwater set. Again we see the influence of the mostly florescent lighting. The corrected image (right) is much crisper and cleaner.

The next example is from a set I did with hiphop artist Kosha Dillz. I was there to assist the amazing Andrea Hanks but she let me do a little shooting on my own as well.
The cloudy, twilight sky (oooh, he said Twilight!) gives a naturally blue cast but I was mixing in a daylight-balanced flash. I actually wanted to warm up the skin tones so I moved the white balance towards yellow by shooting on the Cloudy setting. The goal was to warm up the whole scene and really pull out the yellow in the little sunlight left. I think that “true” white balance is not always the ideal. I like things a little warmer than normal. “Correct” white balance means neutral–and neutral is, well, neutral. It can feel very clinical and unemotional. I almost always cheat a little warm, especially when it comes to portraits. Typically, “correct” skin tones on men are too pink for me. Skin tones look much better warm than cool. The corrected white balance is on the right so you can see the difference and judge for yourself.

So how do you set white balance?
Every camera is different but typically you go into your menu and choose the one that is closest to your conditions. Some preset white balance settings are good. some really aren’t. Auto white balance typically works pretty well and is a good choice most of the time but will be fooled by scenes where there is one dominant color, such as a frame full of autumn leaves. The camera will see an overall red/orange color so it will compensate by moving the temperature towards blue. I keep my camera on daylight/sunny balance most of the time. By NOT using auto white balance I at least have consistency in my images and if I need to correct them I can often apply the same correction to many images, saving me time. That only works in a situation where the color cast is consistent. I will go to auto if the white balance is changing often.

The Kelvin temperature comes into play when the preset values don’t work. For me, this is almost always in an artificial incandescent situation. MOST tungsten/incandescent presets are too blue because they use the same temperature settings that have been used for years and years. The problem is that we aren’t using the same bulbs we’ve used for years and years. Light bulbs have moved closer to daylight temperatures so often the tungsten setting will be overkill and be too blue. I keep my Kelvin selector at about 3100 degrees so I can flip over to it when the tungsten setting doesn’t work.
Custom white balance is set by shooting a frame of a neutral colored subject then telling the camera that whatever is in that particular frame is the base neutral color. The camera then calibrates that color as neutral and bases all the other colors on that neutral example. For setting custom, gray is actually used more often than white.

One of my weddings is featured on Utah Bride Blog today. Hurray! Check it out here!

Posted on May 19, 2010 by Audrey

This wedding came to us via Andrea Hanks Photography and not only is it superbly themed, styled, and carried out …. Andrea shared it with us from beginning to end!

{engagement}

carnivalengagement

 

{Groomals}

_DSC7848 copycarnivalgroomals_DSC7885carnivalgroomals2

{wedding}

carnivalwedding_DSC9932 photoshop2carnivalweddingtheguys_DSC9896_DSC9912-2

{the party!}

carnivaltheparty

carnivaltheparty2

carnivalcandy

carnivalcake

carnivalfood_DSC0098 copy4

{bride & groom = jen & ed}

 

{what jen learned} Weddings are best with a theme. I find it unfortunate that that most people think luau or princess when it comes to themes. There are great themes that could be as simple as your favorite foods. I know that our carnival theme was followed in everything. From the decorations to the invite it was all carnival. But I also kept in mind that I was planning a wedding not an 8 year olds birthday party. There is a way to class up almost everything. We had a lot of people who came to the wedding just to see what it was about. We had so many people say that the invitation was just so intriguing….they had to come.

{how she came up with the theme} It is all about the dress. I knew exactly how I wanted my dress. I wanted big and colorful and that is what I got. I also knew I wanted a casual atmosphere where people could come and have a good time. And, of course, I wanted unique. It all just came together from there. I love carnivals…especially pictures of vintage carnivals with the pennants and striped tents. I just started making a list and the carnival theme was born. But really, it really did revolve around the dress.

{her fav part} I have two favorites. I loved the flower girls. Their dresses just came together so great. I really played up the fact that nothing really had to match and that I had such fun little girls. I also loved the food. Although I did not even have a bite of anything I just loved the feel. So many people milled around the cotton candy and popcorn. And the hot dog cart was a huge hit!

Photography credit: Andrea Hanks Photography

cake & cupcakes: aubrey bennion

Food/catering: Brown Brothers Catering

Dresses: Riva Juarez

Flower girl dresses: shabby apple

Headbands & veil: Anne Michelle Neil

Make up & Hair: Ashlee Winegar & Chani Chapman

Reception Location: Wheeler Farm Activity Barn

Florist: Willow & Wildflowers

 

 

 

 

 

 

9 Responses to featured wedding {a carnival}

  1. OMGOSH check out all that candy! I love it!!!! The bride’s dress is very cool. Something you don’t see everyday. Uniquely awesome!!!!

  2. So amazing! Those detail shots are to die for! Such an awesome job! I love the whole wedding. The marry go round shots are genius!

  3. Vicki says:

    What a fun wedding!!! So many well thought out details. Love it when a couple thinks outside the box. Well done!!! Great pics and nice flowers too!

  4. Pingback: Wedding Featured on Utah Bride Blog! « Andrea Hanks Photography | The Blog
  5. I Love Andrea!! She is the COOLEST! Love this shoot!

  6. These are AWESOME! I love the theme idea!! LOVE the detail shots! And LOVE the dress!! Great pictures, and great idea!

  7. Nobody shoots the details like Andrea. I love this wedding!

  8. ellesbelles says:

    That Jen is so overloaded with creativity… great taste!… so much fun to see the photos. Congrats to the very happy couple!

 

Tip of the Week

May 5, 2010

This tip comes from Rangefinder Magazine’s Newsletter

Written by Camillia Mankovich

Color Conversion & More Problems with rendering intent, embedded profiles, or a pesky magenta cast in your prints? Here are some tips and tricks to help understand and smooth the process for better printing and less headaches.

Preserving an Embedded Profile
Some people feel that by converting their image to a larger color space (sRGB to Adobe 98) they will increase the color in their file. This is not true. Converting to a different color space takes the values from one color space and reprocesses them (as best as possible) to the new color space.
Ironically, this conversion usually results in colors slightly more muted than the original, even though it is now in a larger color space. This is due to a loss of data during the conversion process.
To give an example, it’s like taking a 10-oz. glass with five ounces of water, and pouring it into a 12-oz. glass, while spilling a little bit of water during the process. The end result is a bigger glass (color space) with slightly less water (color data) than you had to begin with. If you are unsure about your current Color Management Policies, they can be found by pressing Shift+Ctrl+k on a PC or Shift +apple+k on a Mac.

The Right Rendering Intent
The answer to which rendering intent you should use depends on the file. The two preferred for printing photographic images are Perceptual and Relative Colorimetric.
Perceptual is typically preferred for photographic prints on luster or gloss papers. This setting helps preserve smooth gradations when transitioning from one color to the next. One example of this would be the transition from light blue to dark blue in a skyline photo. If this setting is used on a matte surface the appearance may appear a little flat.
Relative Colorimetric will give you more saturation, which is especially noticeable on matte media (fine art papers, matte canvas, and so forth). The downside to using this is in a photographic image with any gradation (like the skyline image mentioned above), because it will suffer from what’s known as posterization. This intent is usually best suited for images without any gradation, typically fine art reproductions.

The only real way to tell which intent to use is to soft proof your images before you print. To do this in Photoshop, go to View>Proof Setup> Custom. Within the Customize Proof Condition window you can select your output profile along with the appropriate rendering intent and black point setting.

WPPI Program Guide

As long as the preview box is checked, you will be viewing your image through the eyes of the output profile while taking into account rendering intent and black point compensation. Try all four combinations to see which one gives you the best results for your image (Perceptual and Relative Colorimetric/ Blackpoint Compensation on or off).

Miscast Magenta
There are two common reasons why some prints may have a magenta cast (besides clogged nozzles). As long as you maintain a tightly color-managed workflow, both of these can be eliminated.

1. Wrong Source Space Profile – If your Color Management Policies are set to anything other than Preserve Embedded Profile, you run the risk of misrepresenting the color data in the file. As long the images coming from your camera are tagged with their respective color space and you are always preserving the embedded profile, you will always have a properly color managed workflow.
If you are unsure whether or not your images are tagged, go to Color Settings and check the box labeled Missing Profiles: Ask when Opening. Then, open an image straight from your digital camera. If a dialog appears and says, “The document does not have an embedded RGB profile,” it is not tagged, so Photoshop doesn’t know which color space the file was created in.
Most cameras that don’t tag the images usually capture in sRGB. However, check the owner’s manual for your camera to be sure. If you confirm that your camera doesn’t tag the image, find the color space your camera does capture in, and make sure it is your RGB working space in Color Settings.

2. Double Color Management – This is quite common when people use a custom profile for the first time. When using Epson media, the printer’s driver typically does all of the color management for you. Also, Photoshop defaults to allowing the printer determine color management.
However, when using any third-party media with a custom profile, you must let Photoshop control the color management by selecting the profile in the Print with Preview screen. This is also where you apply the appropriate rendering intent and black point settings. Since Photoshop is doing the color management, you must make sure you tell the Epson driver not to. To do this, select the following:

On a PC – When in the driver, on the main tab, select Advanced. In the Advanced screen, in the upper-right corner labeled Printer Color Management, select Off (No Color Adjustment).
On a Mac – When in the driver, go to the third drop-down from the top (this usually defaults to Copies & Pages) and select Printer Color Management. In this menu, select the button labeled Off (No Color Adjustment). Whether you’re working on a Mac or a PC, if you do not turn off Printer Color Management both Photoshop and the print driver will be doing their own color management, resulting in a double-color-managed print. The end result is typically a very strong magenta cast

Carnival Themed Love

May 4, 2010

engagement1engagementbridalgroomalcollagebridalgroomal1bridalgroomal2Templeluncheonreceptionreception1reception2reception3reception4reception5reception6

I loved photographing this event, but I have decided instead of me telling everyone what a great time I had, I am going to let you read a few things that the bride learned about the wedding day and what she felt about the day.

The one thing I learned……

Weddings are best with a theme. I find it unfortunate that that most people think luau or princess when it comes to themes. There are great themes that could be as simple as your favorite foods. I know that our carnival theme was followed in everything. From the decorations to the invite it was all carnival. But I also kept in mind that I was planning a wedding not an 8 year olds birthday party. There is a way to class up almost everything. We had a lot of people who came to the wedding just to see what it was about. We had so many people say that the invitation was just so intriguing….they had to come.

How I came up with the theme…..

It is all about the dress. I knew exactly how I wanted my dress. I wanted big and colorful and that is what I got. I also knew I wanted a casual atmosphere where people could come and have a good time. And, of course, I wanted unique. It all just came together from there. I love carnivals…especially pictures of vintage carnivals with the pennants and striped tents. I just started making a list and the carnival theme was born. But really, it really did revolve around the dress.

My favorite part of the wedding……

I have two favorites. I loved the flower girls. Their dresses just came together so great. I really played up the fact that nothing really had to match and that I had such fun little girls. I also loved the food. Although I did not even have a bite of anything I just loved the feel. So many people milled around the cotton candy and popcorn. And the hot dog cart was a huge hit!

How Ed and I met……

Ed and I met here in Utah in our singles ward and it was love at first sight….for me. I chased him for about a year before he finally decided to date me. We dated for a year and on October 10th 2009 Ed surprised me and flew me to Disneyland where he proposed in front of the castle.

Vendors

Cake – Aubry Bennion
Cupcapkes – Aubry Bennion
Food – Brown Brothers Catering
Dresses – Riva Juarez
Flower Girl Dresses – Shabby Apple
Photographer – Andrea Hanks
Headbands and Veil – Ann-Michelle Neil
Make-up – Ashlee Winegar
Hair – Chani Chapman
Luncheon -The White House
Reception – Wheeler Farm Activity Barn