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Image & Video Galleries => Portrait => Topic started by: kennephoto on October 10, 2012, 12:19:05 AM

Title: Ruined photo, or rescue opportunity?
Post by: kennephoto on October 10, 2012, 12:19:05 AM
Hello I recently shot a wedding and during the group photos it became rather rushed as I was given a very short amount of time to set up for my shots. During the chaos and confusion I think one of my flashes malfunctioned or simply turned off, here is the resulting photo. My question, is this photo ruined or is there a way to rescue it? The shadows on a few faces is what is in question if you didn't notice right away :( Hopefully this isn't a huge fail on my part! Thank you everyone!
Title: Re: Ruined photo, or rescue opportunity?
Post by: Menace on October 10, 2012, 04:05:47 AM
Looks bad - especially guy in the background.

 I take it even in the haste, you took a couple of shots of this gathering? Are the shadows on the same faces on all the shots? Otherwise in PS one can transplant well exposed faces on top of the under exposed ones  ;)

Good luck
Title: Re: Ruined photo, or rescue opportunity?
Post by: Marsu42 on October 10, 2012, 04:27:48 AM
My question, is this photo ruined or is there a way to rescue it?

As long as the data is there you can rescue it, though it might involve some work. Even the guy in the back has some resolution left in his face, so you can mask (with smooth alpha-border) the shadow in PS & raise it, then correct for the white balance. As long as you downscale the shot to the resolution you posted people might not even recognize the edit & be more worried about the clipped whites and cut feet :-> ... but if you didn't take $10k for the wedding and the clients aren't amateur photogs I'd say you'd be still ok.
Title: Re: Ruined photo, or rescue opportunity?
Post by: pwp on October 10, 2012, 07:11:38 AM
Please tell us you shot RAW. If you didn't, let this be the day that you switch to 100% RAW shooting.

There is work to do with this image, but it's by no means lost. If this needs to be your money shot and you don't feel up to the task, pay someone to do it for you. If the result still looks a bit weird, it's extraordinary how much conversion to B&W can conceal. Good luck, and post the rescued image when it's done.

-PW
Title: Re: Ruined photo, or rescue opportunity?
Post by: K-amps on October 10, 2012, 08:09:06 AM
Please tell us you shot RAW. If you didn't, let this be the day that you switch to 100% RAW shooting.

There is work to do with this image, but it's by no means lost. If this needs to be your money shot and you don't feel up to the task, pay someone to do it for you. If the result still looks a bit weird, it's extraordinary how much conversion to B&W can conceal. Good luck, and post the rescued image when it's done.

-PW

+1
Title: Re: Ruined photo, or rescue opportunity?
Post by: joshmurrah on October 10, 2012, 09:07:05 AM

pwp's post is spot on.

If you shot this in RAW, it's definitely "improvable", I've saved shots worse than this.

And I agree that if it's not 100% satisfactory, it's amazing how much better it'll look converted to B&W.
Title: Re: Ruined photo, or rescue opportunity?
Post by: kennephoto on October 10, 2012, 10:49:07 AM
Oh I shoot raw always but I don't think I can post a 20mb file can I? I'm not very good with photoshop if you know of any guides or videos tht can illustrate how to do this that would help otherwise I will just try the ideas you guys listed.
Title: Re: Ruined photo, or rescue opportunity?
Post by: kennephoto on October 10, 2012, 10:50:42 AM
Looks bad - especially guy in the background.

 I take it even in the haste, you took a couple of shots of this gathering? Are the shadows on the same faces on all the shots? Otherwise in PS one can transplant well exposed faces on top of the under exposed ones  ;)

Good luck

The shadows are the same in the other shots I did get a shot where the flashes did it fire at all maybe I can use that somehow.
Title: Re: Ruined photo, or rescue opportunity?
Post by: Marsu42 on October 10, 2012, 10:52:30 AM
Oh I shoot raw always but I don't think I can post a 20mb file can I?

Either post the full-size jpeg to minus.com or the like and link it inline, or upload the raw to some file sharing service - yes, you can use the latter for things except copyright infringement :-p
Title: Re: Ruined photo, or rescue opportunity?
Post by: kennephoto on October 10, 2012, 11:06:58 AM
Oh I shoot raw always but I don't think I can post a 20mb file can I?

Either post the full-size jpeg to minus.com or the like and link it inline, or upload the raw to some file sharing service - yes, you can use the latter for things except copyright infringement :-p

I will have to do that when I get home from work  :(
Title: Re: Ruined photo, or rescue opportunity?
Post by: K-amps on October 10, 2012, 01:34:42 PM
Depending on how you want to compromise... you could recover some detail from the shadows of the guy behind the groom... IMHO he is the deal breaker the way he is...


I did a quick and dirty Shadow pull in CS5 on a crop of your shot..  some exposure tune / NR / color/ hue adjustments to get it close..

Didnt bother with his neck since this was a proof of concept... with a RAW file and more time you could do much better.

Title: Re: Ruined photo, or rescue opportunity?
Post by: kennephoto on October 10, 2012, 03:01:28 PM
Depending on how you want to compromise... you could recover some detail from the shadows of the guy behind the groom... IMHO he is the deal breaker the way he is...


I did a quick and dirty Shadow pull in CS5 on a crop of your shot..  some exposure tune / NR / color/ hue adjustments to get it close..

Didnt bother with his neck since this was a proof of concept... with a RAW file and more time you could do much better.

This seems like good news to me!
Title: Re: Ruined photo, or rescue opportunity?
Post by: dirtcastle on October 10, 2012, 03:16:23 PM
Post the full-size, original file. That will give people a chance to post high quality edits. 
Title: Re: Ruined photo, or rescue opportunity?
Post by: kennephoto on October 10, 2012, 03:33:42 PM
Post the full-size, original file. That will give people a chance to post high quality edits.

I will do that as soon as I get home!
Title: Re: Ruined photo, or rescue opportunity?
Post by: marekjoz on October 10, 2012, 03:37:51 PM
It's definitely doable although unproper enhancing this picture may create problems with shadows in places, where they were not so present, so there is definitely some careful work to be done :)

Title: Re: Ruined photo, or rescue opportunity?
Post by: kennephoto on October 10, 2012, 11:10:28 PM
Ok here is the unedited raw file, hopefully the file host isnt a problem I did this very quick. Just finished a brake job on my girlfriends car. what a day!

Wedding.CR2 (http://www21.zippyshare.com/v/80284673/file.html)
Title: Re: Ruined photo, or rescue opportunity?
Post by: dirtcastle on October 11, 2012, 02:25:34 AM
Here's a quick pass in Lightroom.

I didn't do much to the face shadows. But if you use Lightroom, I think a combination of the brush tool with exposure, shadow, noise, highlight, contrast, saturation, and noise adjustments should be able to recover quite a bit from the face shadows.

My personal opinion is that the overall is more important than a few mistakes. You've got 23 people in the shot and most look good. But it is true that some client's might be unhappy with this.
Title: Re: Ruined photo, or rescue opportunity?
Post by: studio1972 on October 11, 2012, 04:41:04 AM
I had a quick go at it with aperture. Needed straightening BTW.
Title: Re: Ruined photo, or rescue opportunity?
Post by: Marsu42 on October 11, 2012, 05:05:44 AM
Post the full-size, original file. That will give people a chance to post high quality edits.

I just had a look in LR, too. The data in the face in the back is there, but with extremely low resolution and some noise. Btw that's exactly the reason why I'm always complaining about my aps-c and Canon sensors vs. Nikon, when raising shadows you'll run into exactly this problem.

Imho you cannot completely recover this shot, the best that'll be possible is some plastic look like K-Amps' version or you can moderately raise it to lessen the contrast - but it'll be still clear that the face was occluded when the flash fired, sorry. Or maybe you can really copy/paste the face from another good shot.

But that surely will remind you to check for the flashes firing next time  - or switch to radio triggers :-o - why did the flash fail to fire anyway? Wasn't the optical link working?
Title: Re: Ruined photo, or rescue opportunity?
Post by: 35mm Film on October 11, 2012, 07:20:31 AM
I’ll have a look for you too but I don’t think I can do much more then what’s already been done. I feel for you but I feel for the couple more. I don't know your background but it might help if you follow a wedding photographer for a couple of weddings and even do some study or just stick to your day job. Did you charge the couple for this and do they know you are amateur photographer?  I know some people say the best way to learn is to shoot lots, but you run the risk of running you name into the ground if you keep up with pictures like this. It’s not just the shadows that’s bad there are people’s heads that you can’t even see. I encourage people around me normally and I hate to be a stick in the mud.
Title: Re: Ruined photo, or rescue opportunity?
Post by: kennephoto on October 11, 2012, 10:45:19 AM
I’ll have a look for you too but I don’t think I can do much more then what’s already been done. I feel for you but I feel for the couple more. I don't know your background but it might help if you follow a wedding photographer for a couple of weddings and even do some study or just stick to your day job. Did you charge the couple for this and do they know you are amateur photographer?  I know some people say the best way to learn is to shoot lots, but you run the risk of running you name into the ground if you keep up with pictures like this. It’s not just the shadows that’s bad there are people’s heads that you can’t even see. I encourage people around me normally and I hate to be a stick in the mud.

Ha ouch! Good thing I have a day job, eh? My background is I've been in the automotive industry for 9 years and playing around with photography for about that long. I am no professional, and this was my second wedding. My first was for a friend who wasn't even going to have a photographer because of money issues, I never asked to be paid since I've never done anything like that. This wedding again everyone knew I'm no professional and as far as I understood they didn't want to pay premium for professional either and they said they enjoyed my photos and style from the previous wedding I did. I didnt ask to be paid for this either because I wasn't sure if should charge anything. i suppose its a good thing I didnt cash the check they gave me. Everything was running behind and it was a out 15-20 minutes prior to the ceremony when the group photos began. Yea I screwed up in the hustle, I guess I could stick to my day job but seriously car business isn't as fun or rewarding as you might think, so I will learn and do better next time. Thanks to everyone taking a look at the photo and giving me advice how to fix it. I greatly appreciate the members on this forum.
Title: Re: Ruined photo, or rescue opportunity?
Post by: kennephoto on October 11, 2012, 10:57:14 AM
Oh and I would love to follow a photographer around and learn, so any help there I would appreciate. How do I find one to mentor me, I know I started a thread on here about it and I found one that took me to a bike race which was fun! But I'd love to learn even more so any advice how how to find someone that would let me follow them would be great.
Title: Re: Ruined photo, or rescue opportunity?
Post by: dirtcastle on October 11, 2012, 01:42:08 PM
It's a good idea to check your big group shots while you're shooting, to look for problems like this. Of course, equipment failure has only one solution: backup equipment.
Title: Re: Ruined photo, or rescue opportunity?
Post by: K-amps on October 11, 2012, 02:02:14 PM
I’ll have a look for you too but I don’t think I can do much more then what’s already been done. I feel for you but I feel for the couple more. I don't know your background but it might help if you follow a wedding photographer for a couple of weddings and even do some study or just stick to your day job. Did you charge the couple for this and do they know you are amateur photographer?  I know some people say the best way to learn is to shoot lots, but you run the risk of running you name into the ground if you keep up with pictures like this. It’s not just the shadows that’s bad there are people’s heads that you can’t even see. I encourage people around me normally and I hate to be a stick in the mud.
Ha ouch! Good thing I have a day job, eh? My background is I've been in the automotive industry for 9 years and playing around with photography for about that long. I am no professional, and this was my second wedding. My first was for a friend who wasn't even going to have a photographer because of money issues, I never asked to be paid since I've never done anything like that. This wedding again everyone knew I'm no professional and as far as I understood they didn't want to pay premium for professional either and they said they enjoyed my photos and style from the previous wedding I did. I didnt ask to be paid for this either because I wasn't sure if should charge anything. i suppose its a good thing I didnt cash the check they gave me. Everything was running behind and it was a out 15-20 minutes prior to the ceremony when the group photos began. Yea I screwed up in the hustle, I guess I could stick to my day job but seriously car business isn't as fun or rewarding as you might think, so I will learn and do better next time. Thanks to everyone taking a look at the photo and giving me advice how to fix it. I greatly appreciate the members on this forum.


Hi Kennephoto:

Don't feel so bad. You came here to ask for help and thats what we should do. No one should judge you or tell you that you did somthing horrible. We all make mistakes, we learn from it and we move on. For a seasoned pro, that pic would not be a success... no 2 ways about it, however.... People either get paid based on a product they provide (deliverable) or time and expense. Time and exp is cheaper for the customer but there are few guarantees of a proper deliverable, though with Good faith, it is implied.

I think you should cash the check since you did make an effort... especially if the check was less than what a pro would have charged them. They got what they paid for. I too feel a bit bad for them, but I also feel that you spent time/effort and probably gave them several memories to Cherish...

Learn from this, take good advice from this group of nice helpers and don't feel bad.  ;)
Title: Re: Ruined photo, or rescue opportunity?
Post by: Marsu42 on October 11, 2012, 02:23:09 PM
It's a good idea to check your big group shots while you're shooting, to look for problems like this. Of course, equipment failure has only one solution: backup equipment.

To be fair, it really hit him where he didn't see it coming because he was probably looking through the vf when the flashes fired - or failed to do so. But good to learn from this myself and watch out for this possibility.

Concerning the occluded faces: I recently saw a pro shoot a wedding, and he also just took a couple of shots of a (admittedly much larger) group, some faces are bound to be not visible if there's no assistant around to watch out for this or if the group is in a hurry (buffet's ready!). It really depends on the $$$ paid what to expect and what is just "nice, but optional".
Title: Re: Ruined photo, or rescue opportunity?
Post by: dadohead on October 11, 2012, 02:48:01 PM
This is where a mastery of Photoshop comes into play. You can only do this kind of retouching with layers in PS. You then create layers and adjust them to whatever level of realism looks best to you. Each layer attacks some part of the problem. Some small amount of retouching in the darker areas around the right eye to create a new eyelid and roll off some of the shadow above the right brow. Total time in PS: less than 5 minutes. More time, more layers, better job. Good luck
Title: Re: Ruined photo, or rescue opportunity?
Post by: Canihaspicture on October 11, 2012, 04:13:40 PM
Not the greatest... I'm assuming the flash that forgot to fire was above your head in order to not create shadows on faces...

Title: Re: Ruined photo, or rescue opportunity?
Post by: kennephoto on October 11, 2012, 06:35:31 PM
I’ll have a look for you too but I don’t think I can do much more then what’s already been done. I feel for you but I feel for the couple more. I don't know your background but it might help if you follow a wedding photographer for a couple of weddings and even do some study or just stick to your day job. Did you charge the couple for this and do they know you are amateur photographer?  I know some people say the best way to learn is to shoot lots, but you run the risk of running you name into the ground if you keep up with pictures like this. It’s not just the shadows that’s bad there are people’s heads that you can’t even see. I encourage people around me normally and I hate to be a stick in the mud.
Ha ouch! Good thing I have a day job, eh? My background is I've been in the automotive industry for 9 years and playing around with photography for about that long. I am no professional, and this was my second wedding. My first was for a friend who wasn't even going to have a photographer because of money issues, I never asked to be paid since I've never done anything like that. This wedding again everyone knew I'm no professional and as far as I understood they didn't want to pay premium for professional either and they said they enjoyed my photos and style from the previous wedding I did. I didnt ask to be paid for this either because I wasn't sure if should charge anything. i suppose its a good thing I didnt cash the check they gave me. Everything was running behind and it was a out 15-20 minutes prior to the ceremony when the group photos began. Yea I screwed up in the hustle, I guess I could stick to my day job but seriously car business isn't as fun or rewarding as you might think, so I will learn and do better next time. Thanks to everyone taking a look at the photo and giving me advice how to fix it. I greatly appreciate the members on this forum.


Hi Kennephoto:

Don't feel so bad. You came here to ask for help and thats what we should do. No one should judge you or tell you that you did somthing horrible. We all make mistakes, we learn from it and we move on. For a seasoned pro, that pic would not be a success... no 2 ways about it, however.... People either get paid based on a product they provide (deliverable) or time and expense. Time and exp is cheaper for the customer but there are few guarantees of a proper deliverable, though with Good faith, it is implied.

I think you should cash the check since you did make an effort... especially if the check was less than what a pro would have charged them. They got what they paid for. I too feel a bit bad for them, but I also feel that you spent time/effort and probably gave them several memories to Cherish...

Learn from this, take good advice from this group of nice helpers and don't feel bad.  ;)

Well thanks Kamps, in my opinion this photo is the worst and or the only one that was a huge error on my part. The other group photos were smaller and more spaced out and turned out well. I should have arranged everyone differently but there was someone else barking out orders and rushing this along. I have a lot of photos I am very pleased with how they turned out, almost 150 so far.  How much do Pros charge for weddings typically?
Title: Re: Ruined photo, or rescue opportunity?
Post by: Marsu42 on October 11, 2012, 06:52:27 PM
How much do Pros charge for weddings typically?
That's easy - $100 to $10000 :-) ... but with nearly no experience $25-$50 per actual shooting hour might be imho ok, depending on the equipment you carry.

Look here: http://photo.net/wedding-photography-forum/?category=First+Timer+and+Newcomers+to+Wedding+Photog. (http://photo.net/wedding-photography-forum/?category=First+Timer+and+Newcomers+to+Wedding+Photog.)
Title: Re: Ruined photo, or rescue opportunity?
Post by: kennephoto on October 11, 2012, 06:58:45 PM
How much do Pros charge for weddings typically?
That's easy - $100 to $10000 :-) ... but with nearly no experience $25-$50 per actual shooting hour might be imho ok, depending on the equipment you carry.

Look here: http://photo.net/wedding-photography-forum/?category=First+Timer+and+Newcomers+to+Wedding+Photog. (http://photo.net/wedding-photography-forum/?category=First+Timer+and+Newcomers+to+Wedding+Photog.)

Thanks Marsu42 I will look there but based on your figures you gave then thats what I was offered, so that makes me feel better.
Title: Re: Ruined photo, or rescue opportunity?
Post by: Marsu42 on October 11, 2012, 07:04:34 PM
Thanks Marsu42 I will look there but based on your figures you gave then thats what I was offered, so that makes me feel better.

... but I have to mention the prices depend much on your local competition, too, so the main factor for a beginner should really be to take some money just to appear "pro" though actually these shots should be done for free given the experience gained. If the clients are happy and you didn't ruin your reputation that's the most important thing you can't buy for money.
Title: Re: Ruined photo, or rescue opportunity?
Post by: kennephoto on October 11, 2012, 07:12:12 PM
Thanks Marsu42 I will look there but based on your figures you gave then thats what I was offered, so that makes me feel better.

... but I have to mention the prices depend much on your local competition, too, so the main factor for a beginner should really be to take some money just to appear "pro" though actually these shots should be done for free given the experience gained. If the clients are happy and you didn't ruin your reputation that's the most important thing you can't buy for money.

Thats all very true as well. Good point, I will take that to heart and let her decide what she thinks. I didn't ask for money at either wedding I shot.
Title: Re: Ruined photo, or rescue opportunity?
Post by: 35mm Film on October 13, 2012, 05:04:27 AM
I was a bit rude with my early post. I think you've got a great attitude, your seem down to earth and honnest. I've been there in a situation where Ive stuffed up a family portrait too, it's not nice to bring a picture up and see you've made a mistake.
Title: Re: Ruined photo, or rescue opportunity?
Post by: dirtcastle on October 13, 2012, 02:06:07 PM
IMO, the money is irrelevant. The responsibility is on the wedding planner. They pick the photographer. If you screw up the shots, they have only themselves to blame. When people go cheap they are taking a huge risk. But this does provide a valuable learning opportunity to an upstart wedding photographer like yourself. Plus, this shot here is salvageable, so don't sweat it.
Title: Re: Ruined photo, or rescue opportunity?
Post by: lukaszb on October 13, 2012, 03:10:14 PM
Just wanted to share my advice.  I started doing weddings few years ago and started doing it with a local photographer.  To find a studio that will take you on in any capacity is challenging.  I think out of 30 I called and emailed 29 told me no.  Most of them insisted that they either have someone already or they exclusively shoot alone and don't need anyone that they need to mentor.  But there was one guy with whom I shot for one year for free.  I don't agree with everything he does, but it was a good learning experience.  Right now I shoot alone.

If you want to do traditional weddings research some books and look through wedding magazines/web sites.  I would highly recommend looking into David Ziser books (Captured by the light is the title i think).  The book actually shows you how to arrange for group shots.
Title: Re: Ruined photo, or rescue opportunity?
Post by: Darkmatter on October 13, 2012, 05:12:37 PM
You must have other shots of this guy right? Even better, do you have shots of him from the same position you are in now from before your flash failed? If you don't have that, even one where the shadow isn't as dark could be fixed up and used in place of the current "head."  I just ask because a well done replacement would look more natural then what you would likely get from trying to brighten the original head. Do you have a shot like what I've described that you could also put online?

And grats, I've lurked around this site for a fair while and you made me register. :)
Title: Re: Ruined photo, or rescue opportunity?
Post by: kennephoto on October 13, 2012, 08:35:47 PM
I was a bit rude with my early post. I think you've got a great attitude, your seem down to earth and honnest. I've been there in a situation where Ive stuffed up a family portrait too, it's not nice to bring a picture up and see you've made a mistake.

Thank you! Glad you came back down to earth! And darkmatter I don't know how I got you to register but welcome to a pretty great community. I actually did what you suggested and took others advice, and corrected the photo. I actually heard from the bride and bride's mother both loved the photos I took. They were both very impressed. Thanks again everyone.
Title: Re: Ruined photo, or rescue opportunity?
Post by: Ryan708 on October 13, 2012, 11:34:16 PM
I shot my first wedding for a friend this summer, same situation as your first wedding was, money issues, so I volunteered. It was a very small wedding, with divorced parents that didnt get along. My group shots weren't the best. Reception was in a small room, so for the cake cutting to have an audiance the bride and groom were pretty much backed against the wall, with a long table infront of them. No good angle. In the end after PP work was all done and I gave them the shots, they were so ecited about how great the shots were and that I am so talented yadda yadda. Im sure they will love them. Also being a mechanic for 9 years i know what it is like to work a whole day for crap-pay. gotta love the family's broken stuff. If they insist you take the money dont hesitate lol.