And Here’s Another Reason Why I Don’t Do Wedding Photography

Working On It

Please understand, this does not mean I don’t want to do Wedding Photography.  Actually, I would really like to give it a shot.  I think it would be a great experience.  By “great”, I mean I have no idea how difficult it would be, and I’m just guessing about how cool it would be to try it.  This is the same way that I think running a marathon would be cool, by just sitting on the couch watching the Big Bang Theory, eating cheese puffs and thinking “I bet running a marathon would be cool.”

While I don’t know much about wedding photography, hardly anything actually, I do know one thing.  You get one shot at it.  If, for whatever reason, after the day is done and the bride and groom have gone off for their night of marital bliss, while the rest of the party is either partying on or partied out, if at the end of the day you find that you haven’t got the shots, it’s over.

No going back.  Are the pictures are blurry, out of focus, badly exposed or has your dog eaten your memory cards?  Then you’re done.  Game over.

How does this relate to the above picture?

On my lunch hour, I go out walking.  I’ve talked about this before, how I love walking.  Walking on a daily basis means I stay at being simply obese and stops me from becoming morbidly obese.  Fact.

I like to explore the neighborhoods around where I work.  And as I’m walking down a street today I spy a sweet, classic Cadillac convertible.  And, if you know anything about my work, you know I’m a sucker for Caddy’s.

I pull out my new camera, the Pentax K-01.  Mostly, I’ve been shooting with my 35mm DA f/2.4 lens, which is the sharpest lens I own, and I’ve been getting some truly great stuff with that combo.  With this, though, I felt I needed a wider angle to get the whole, beautiful package in the shot, so I go for my old school manual focus 28mm f/2.8 SMC-M.

So, for those of you in Rio Linda, manual focus = no auto focus.  So, there’s that.

Also, one of the loudest criticisms of the K-01 was “It doesn’t have a viewfinder”.  Just an LCD screen like a smartphone, or regular point and shoot.  Now, no auto focus + no viewfinder is usually a recipe for trouble.  The K-01 does have focus peaking, which is a fancy-shamcy thing that shows you what’s in focus and what isn’t, but because I was shooting at such a low angle here, the focus peaking wasn’t really helping.  I was winging it.  You know where this is going.

I get home, get the photos uploaded and guess what.  Out of focus.  I messed it up.  Not horribly, but enough.  The car will probably be gone tomorrow.  The light might be different.  Those clouds, obviously, will be gone.  There is no why I can replicate this shot.

Game over.  Or is it?  I mean, I love the shot, and I want to save it somehow.

So, I take the easy way out.  Here’s a secret, kids, take notes.

If you have a crappy photography that you want to try to improve, just convert it to black and white, add a little noise and bump up the contrast.  Le voilà!  Slam dunk.

You’re welcome.

But I can’t even imagine doing that for a full wedding ceremony.  How horrible would that be?

So, here’s to getting it right the first time.  And wondering, how the hell did we get by without auto-focus?

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2 thoughts on “And Here’s Another Reason Why I Don’t Do Wedding Photography

  1. Ah yes. The greatest solution to improving a craptastic photo is to convert to a B&W and fiddle with contrast. I’m a master at that one. Yea, I strive to get things right in camera but there are so many factors than can and do contribute to a less than stellar shot that you have no choice but to either convert it or send it straight to the trash bin.

  2. Before autofocus, camera’s were set up to allow you see if it is was in focus or not. No LCD screen that doesn’t look any different one way or another. Or it was just a cheap camera and you took your chances.

    Now people want to just push the button and take a picture…

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