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Archive 2013 · Maybe my first hero shot?
  
 
Jamesbjenkins
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Maybe my first hero shot?


So, I'm your typical weekend warrior. I own and operate an insurance agency, and I shoot weddings because I absolutely love it. A pretty good number of you guys and gals on here are full timers, a there are lots of shots posted here that seem like a full blown production. Very cinematic.

For the last wedding I did, I had a lot more time to be creative, since the bride had timed things out much more conservatively. So, I knew ahead of time that I wanted to try to start developing the next level in my work. My portfolio is full of great standard images, but very few "hero" shots. Nothing that's worth putting in a magazine.

Let me know what you think of this image. I was trying to really capture the moment, and be more dramatic with the lighting and processing than I typically am.



I'll post the full highlights as soon as I'm done. Thanks for looking.



Aug 17, 2013 at 09:47 PM
swoop
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Maybe my first hero shot?


How did you manage to book Jesus' wedding?


Aug 17, 2013 at 09:55 PM
scot1
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Maybe my first hero shot?


I think the couple will like it. As far as magazine quality, no quite. Because of the flare the faces are kind of lost. I like to see more of the brides face but in this shot it is an unflattering profile. Also a different background maybe with guest watching on would work better. It is difficult to know where they are here? my 2 cents

I should add. The thing I really like about FM is that for the most part you get honest critique of photos when you ask for it. I know I for one have a hard time evaluating my shots in a totally neutral way. Many times I see my photos better than they actually are probably because I want them to be! FM always brings me back down to earth and helps me improve.



Aug 17, 2013 at 09:58 PM
sherijohnson
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Maybe my first hero shot?


I have a question, what is that hanging behind her, it looks like an arm coming through a window?


Aug 18, 2013 at 12:15 AM
Jamesbjenkins
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Maybe my first hero shot?


Sheri, that's a jacket on a chair, I believe. My eyes didn't even go there. Interesting.


Aug 18, 2013 at 12:25 AM
Robin Usagani
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Maybe my first hero shot?


Yeah, sorry man. I feel like you could have picked better background. Ugly door, HVAC controller, messy chair usually I try to avoid. This kind of shots sometime just need a lot of tries. you need to cover the light a little bit to get just enough light. Right now the face is just so washed out. Maybe also need more light from your side.


Aug 18, 2013 at 02:24 AM
Jamesbjenkins
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Maybe my first hero shot?


Cover the light a little bit? It's already at 1/8. I'm certainly not going to snoot it.

So when I clone out the HVAC box and burn the chair, then what else is going to be wrong? I didn't have any choice in background when I'm trying to put myself precisely opposite my OCF from the couple as they're moving around the dance floor.

Thanks for the feedback, but I wasn't exactly expecting to hear twice about a jacket on a chair...



Aug 18, 2013 at 04:29 AM
Robin Usagani
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Maybe my first hero shot?


What I meant was, cover more of the light behind the subject.

I am sorry.. I thought you can handle constructive criticism better.



Aug 18, 2013 at 04:37 AM
Robin Usagani
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Maybe my first hero shot?


You just now pointed out this was first dance? Your original post said you had more time to be creative because the bride did well with time management. I personally thought this was a posed shot.


Aug 18, 2013 at 04:44 AM
Jamesbjenkins
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Maybe my first hero shot?


Robin Usagani wrote:
What I meant was, cover more of the light behind the subject.

I am sorry.. I thought you can handle constructive criticism better.


No need to be an ass. I handle criticism just fine, I'm just surprised to have heard twice about a jacket on a chair that is 90% in shadows. I have several other shots from this position with them completely backlit, but their faces aren't as well defined in those.

Too many people here seem to major in the minors when it comes to C&C.



Aug 18, 2013 at 04:46 AM
 

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Jamesbjenkins
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Maybe my first hero shot?


Robin Usagani wrote:
You just now pointed out this was first dance? Your original post said you had more time to be creative because the bride did well with time management. I personally thought this was a posed shot.


Creative with the day, yes. Not the first dance. This shot was totally on the fly. Sorry if there was confusion about that.

Obviously, if this were posed, I'd have a completely different bg. Come on, Robin.



Aug 18, 2013 at 04:49 AM
Robin Usagani
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Maybe my first hero shot?


You responded like I had a doh moment. Go read your original post. Probably the people who thinks this was a first dance shot are the people who didn't really read your post. I did, hence the confusion.

If this was a first dance, ok I agree you had to work with what you have. I still think it is not strong enough. Like I said before, the light needs to be blocked more by the subject. I also rather see guests in the background unless you totally make everything pitch black. The way you have it right now, the reception looks dead.

Jamesbjenkins wrote:
Creative with the day, yes. Not the first dance. This shot was totally on the fly. Sorry if there was confusion about that.

Obviously, if this were posed, I'd have a completely different bg. Come on, Robin.




Aug 18, 2013 at 05:07 AM
stevez32
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Maybe my first hero shot?


Yeah, really looks like an arm coming out of her hair, thats the first thing I saw, but it could be downplayed with some more post processing.

The background overall is a bit too busy, but could be cleaned up if you are really attached to the shot.



Aug 18, 2013 at 05:25 AM
widjayaman
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Maybe my first hero shot?


First - good job in striving to get a certain look and accomplishing that. However I don't think the shot is as well executed as it could've been.

In your mind, what qualifies this as a 'hero' shot? Is it the backlit flare? If backlit flare dance shots is your goal, then I wonder if there was a better speedlight placement that would have prevented the distracting background element to appear in the shot. I agree with the others, my eyes were drawn to the background first.



Aug 18, 2013 at 05:26 AM
Ziffl3
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Maybe my first hero shot?


Robin Usagani wrote:
Yeah, sorry man. I feel like you could have picked better background. Ugly door, HVAC controller, messy chair usually I try to avoid. This kind of shots sometime just need a lot of tries. you need to cover the light a little bit to get just enough light. Right now the face is just so washed out. Maybe also need more light from your side.



^^^^^^^^ this

While the flare in backgound of couple is going on ..... way to many distractions.

This is a good start.... but the entire frame has to be considered along with good timing/capture of the couple.



Aug 18, 2013 at 05:47 AM
joelconner
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Maybe my first hero shot?


Not going to critique the shot for one reason...

I know what it feels like when you know you have hit a new high mark in your work, and that is something to be cherished for what it is. In your heart, you know you did something better than you have ever done before. That is awesome...huge congrats. In time, you will look back and see the things that were imperfect and could be better...just like you look back now on other photos you loved.

Well done...and keep pushing forward!



Aug 18, 2013 at 06:43 AM
Tony Hoffer
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Maybe my first hero shot?


Jamesbjenkins wrote:
For the last wedding I did, I had a lot more time to be creative, since the bride had timed things out much more conservatively. So, I knew ahead of time that I wanted to try to start developing the next level in my work. My portfolio is full of great standard images, but very few "hero" shots. Nothing that's worth putting in a magazine.


You know what's interesting is that 99% of the bridal magazines out there just show standard and traditional images. So if you're saying that a lot of your images are standard, then don't get so down on yourself. There's lots to be said for someone who can execute a well lit and composed shot, even if it's not world-changing.

With regard to this particular photo, it's a bit hard to critique as a 'hero' shot without first knowing what you wanted to accomplish. I think for some a 'hero' shot means pretty light and for some it means that they incorporated lots of different elements. For some it's simply a beautiful detail. So maybe telling us a bit more specific idea of what your goals and brand are would help people be on the right track for critique.

I know that for me, something I would consider a hero shot is usually made up of 4 different things:
-Composition
-Light
-Expression/Pose
-Something Extra

If I can accomplish all 4 of those things successfully, then I feel that I've got a 'hero' shot. If this happens once in a session or wedding, I'm psyched. Usually I only take a few a year that qualify for all 4 of those. So in breaking down your photo as a 'hero' shot, I'll look from my perspective on it.

I'd say that the expression is your strongest attribute in this. They look good and you caught them at the right moment. For me, the light is ok. It's not great, but it's interesting. The areas where I think the image is lacking are compositionally and with giving the viewer something extra to discover.

The hardest thing with weddings is to pull back from what you normally do and to step up to the plate and try something new. I really commend you for doing that. Seriously. In this image it looks like you stepped up and you hit a single. That's fine. Everyone needs to hit singles before they swing for the fences. Now you build on this and get a double next time.... It's good to see you pushing yourself, good job!



Aug 18, 2013 at 12:55 PM
Jamesbjenkins
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Maybe my first hero shot?


Thanks for the input all. I'm hearing what you all are saying, and I understand that the shot wasn't as polished as I thought it was.

Here's my finished product, given the perspectives expressed here. This still isn't a Hoffer Hero shot, but I think it's as close as I can get this particular image.



For reference, as a couple have requested, here's one of the other shots from the same segment that show the crowd and the couple completely backlit.




Aug 18, 2013 at 04:40 PM
Ziffl3
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Maybe my first hero shot?


The dance shot is cleaned up nicely. Much better.
The 2nd shot here needs some additional touch up.

In lightroom 5 it is so easy to remove 'exit' signs .... or lets change the crop.
Change this to an 8x10 or 8x11 and remove the exit sign and also help focus the viewer to the subject.
There is a tilt in the image also.

FYI... the 2nd shot is side lit not back lit. Sorry ... it the engineer in me.

just my 2 cents....



Aug 19, 2013 at 01:05 AM





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