For Wedding Photographers – Post Production 01

I’ve been talking a lot about post production in my wedding photography workshops and I’ve noticed that there is a huge misconception about it among photographers in India. So here is something to start your creative juices flowing. My new ‘column’ on post production will be running on this blog every week and will hopefully get you going big time. I will be sharing before and after images and telling a bit about the process. I hope you will all find this helpful.

This is not going to be a super technical column but something more along the lines of showing you what can be done in post and hopefully help you develop your own appetite to start playing around a little more.

Post production does not mean that we are going to ‘photoshop’ our images to death or apply some kind of a filter to make them look overdone. It is however, the final stage of our creative process as photographers. Our signature. It is of course at times also a way to salvage seemingly ruined images and bringing them back to life.

And so, the first picture seen below is from a reception at Udaipur city palace. I shot with a Fujifilm X100S at ISO 3,200 and exposure was 1/160 at f/2.5. Flash did not fire but I did use a hand held LED light. The LED would have been enough but at the moment the picture was taken a bright light from the spots around the dance floor hit the subject and ‘burnt’ them. It was a nice moment of the groom with his close friend and I really wanted to save it.

 

Here is the before and after of the develop mode in Lightroom 5.6

Screen-Shot-2014-09-26-at-4.40

As you can see, I have mainly used the BASIC part of the develop mode. Nothing fancy. I later proceeded to the split toning mode and adjusted the skin tone a bit to eliminate the green.

Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 4.57.08 pm

This, plus a bit of vignetting and some highlight correction and that’s it.

I hope you like it. Please feel free to ask any question that comes to mind and I will try my best to answer.

 

  • varun

    Hey sephi … Loved the transformation of the picture… Just wanted to ask what led light so u use… I tried using one before but found that the light wasn’t enough and lacked reach… So maybe yours could be of help…
    Regards
    Varun

    • Sephi Bergerson

      Hi Varun, It is just a simple Chinese LED light I got in Bangkok last time I was there. There are many good products in this field and you can easily find something in India. The brand all the videographers use is good enough.

  • Thanks for this section Sephi…looking fwd to it 🙂 My qs is, in a similar lighting situation like ur above picture. I would assume using LED or Bounce flash would be a matter of personal choice. However i had a situation where the grooms father was gave an impromptu speech and the lighting was not only low but the colourful led lights by the dj were ON. my camera wasn’t being able to focus. how does deal with at. Using LED was not an option as it wld not cover the distance and wld kill the ambiance as it was a closed room .Any suggestions on this plz ?

    • Sephi Bergerson

      Hi Payal, this has nothing to do with post production but let me try to answer. In every situation we shoot there is light and there is shadow. Dark areas do not mean we are not allowed to use them. A picture can be dark with only a little bit of well exposed areas. It is called ‘Low Key’. You need to walk around your subject and find the angle that will allow you just enough light to tell a story of a father talking in the dark. I agree, flash or LED would be too intrusive and I would also not use them. I hope this helps.

      • Thanks Sephi, will keep this mind and try next available opportunity 🙂 sorry wasn’t directly post related im aware but I tend to struggle with such images in post so thot if its a way I can deal with at the time of capture so asked. 🙂

  • Hello Sephi.

    Thank you so much for this practical hands on information on post production. I’m really looking forward for more of your before and after work. I think there wont we a single wedding photographer who wouldn’t have not faced a situation like the one shown by you. Thank you for educating me and many like me.

    I wish you all the luck for you book ( BEHIND THE INDIAN VEIL ) and hope you reach your goal very soon. Cheers.

  • Punit D Desai

    Hi Sephi
    thanks a ton fr this blog.
    My question to u is, u r clicking these pictures at a very high ISO, is Fuji X100S is performing better than even full frames at incredibly high ISOs?

    • Sephi Bergerson

      Thank you for this question Punit. The thing is that I now allow myself to go to the high ISO without fear as I know the level of grain is acceptable by my standards. If it is a bit high then I can fix the noise in Lightroom. The Nikon D700 was the first that enabled extreme low noise in high ISO and this has pretty much become the industry standard. The Fuji cameras also give very satisfying high ISO performance. Don’t forget that the D700 was introduced more than six years ago and other companies have caught up with high iso technology. I would not say that the X100S performs better that the Nikons but it is good enough for me. I am now playing with the Nikon D750 and the low light performance in iso 128,000 is unfathomable!