Not totally photo related, not just a journal. A bit of both.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

An appreciation for wedding photographers

So I completed editing a wedding last week. I have a new appreciation for those who shoot weddings and receptions all the time. And could appreciate more having an editor if I was doing that full time. The number of images to output even for a small scale wedding such as the one I shot was 30 fold more than I normally do on a good day. Or week. Or month. Eight hours of shooting and probably off and on about 70+ hours of editing ( I was tracking it but I lost count). I couldn't imagine that on a regular basis.

I used to think that high priced wedding photographers were, well, over priced and not worth the cash. I now beg to differ. As with all photographers, a good deal of that investment is experience. And post work time. Now, 400 bucks for a handful of baby pics might be a rip for less than half an hour's work and perhaps a couple more hours of editing, but $1500+ for even a basic wedding seems quite reasonable to me.

On occasion I find it challenging enough to keep sense in my head enough to make edits consistent on a handful of images from a single shoot - such as layer blending options, vignetting, bw filter options, or how much Gaussian I used on the last one, and all in what order did I use the effects... To apply consistent styles over hundreds of images is a different story. Had I not recorded a couple of actions in PS, I would have had more carpal than I did with the same clicking of each sequence. And more clicking back and referring to notes on what I was doing...

That's one thing about PS. You can go back in the history and it will say "blending change" but it wont tell you, for example, what percentage or whether you used a green or red bw filter. So on edits that span several sittings, I resort to notepad to recall the specific sequence of edits from before - such as some recent shots of Violet that I edited in the summer and then last week. I had saved a notepad on the effects and duplicated them fairly well but not exactly. If the notes don't tell all then they are really only a starting point.

Lightroom was great for synchronizing images on the non pixel level - warming up 10%, adding 1/3 stop brightness, more contrast, fill light, highlight recovery etc. I had only done batch work such as that once or twice before on shoots as most of the time I prefer to do it all in PS and leave LR to catalog and export work. But doing that to 25 images all at once, and then another 15, and another 30 and then doing selected pixel editing in PS saved a great deal of time. Batch renaming of files in LR is great too.

Now if I could only stop Windows picture importer and LR importing at the same time and locking up...

Oh and the LG 20X Super Multi External DVD Rewriter I bought earlier in the week kicks ass. Super fast. It does Lightscribe and I am pleased. Probably the best sixty or so bucks I have spent in years. :P


Mike Wood Photography

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