Chicago Area Wedding and Commercial Photographers


Life lessons through the lens

Some things don't go as planned...your softbox becomes airborne, taking your light stand with it, the outlets you were told were active were dead as a door nail, forcing you to use a 100 foot extension cord that you end up tripping over, etc, etc....

You carefully place your flash on a light stand, throw an umbrella on it, position it perfectly, creating the ideal highlights and shadows on your subject...then it doesn't go off. 

Nikon speedlights, you see, have their own personalities. You can have all your settings programmed correctly and the flash says "nah, I don't need to listen to you". The frustrating thing is two seconds later, once the subject inevitably changes their expression or pose, FLASH: it goes off. 

So you stick your SD card into your computer, and cull your photos, discarding this flashless creation from your selection. You give the photos to your client, retiring this failed photo to what we refer to as the digital graveyard. 

A few days later, you reexamine your photos and think to yourself "meh, let's see if I can give this photo CPR (creative photo restoration) and bring it back to life."

Open RAW editor, boost that exposure, check your metadata and exclaim, "YAAAASSS I USED LOW ISO!" In other words, little to low noise. 

Using noise reduction techniques and, my fave retouching procedure, frequency separation, BAM: the photo has transformed into a beautiful butterfly. 

So, tips for my fellow photographers: SHOOT IN RAW AND USE LOW ISO. 

Tips for prospective clients: Hire photographers who know what they're doing.  

The moral of this story: don't throw anything out without attempting to fix it, both in life and photography. Livy's words of wisdom for today. 

The image that inspired this post