Tag Archive for: best wedding photography

What is a Filter in Photography?

A filter is a product, usually made of glass, but sometimes made of resin or other material, which is designed to have some impact on the light hitting your camera’s sensor. For example, a UV filter is designed to filter out UV light – a throwback from film days, as modern camera sensors tend to have built-in UV filters. A polarizing filter filters out polarized light, good for cutting down on reflections and making blue skies pop.

What does a Neutral Density Filter do?

A Neutral Density Filter reduces the amount of light that passes through it and therefore, the amount of light that ends up on the camera’s sensor. It is essentially a darkened piece of glass (or resin) that is designed not to change anything other than the quantity of light that passes through it. Other factors such as the color of the light or polarization of the light should not be affected.

This allows for creative effects such as using a wider aperture (for depth of field effects) or a longer shutter speed (for time-based effects) than would not be possible otherwise. They are most useful in bright conditions where there is a lot of available light.

Other helpful uses of ND filters include:

Reducing the depth of field in bright sunlight

Adding motion blur to moving objects

When using a wider aperture

Types of ND Filters

There are several types of ND available – screw in ones come in various filter thread sizes and slot in ones fit into a holder that screws onto the lens. They are available in different strengths too, known as the filter exposure factor as follows:

ND filters and their exposure factors:

2x one stop

4x two stops

8x three stops

64x six stops

1024x ten stops (Lee Big Stopper region)

Using an ND filter is simple, you just either screw on or slot into a holder and leave the camera’s automatic exposure system to work out the filter factor. If it’s an 8x, for example, the camera will reduce the shutter speed from, say, 1/125sec to 1/15sec to compensate for the three stops extra light required. Or the aperture will be opened up from f/22 to f/8.

What Is a Graduated Neutral Density Filter?

Some neutral density filters aren’t so “neutral” after all. A graduated neutral density filter blocks more light on side than the other. Half of the filter might block out 4 f-stops on one side and only one f-stop on another. Where might be this be useful? Landscape photography is an immediate candidate. When you are taking pictures of landscapes, the sky tends to be much brighter than the ground underneath it. By using a graduated neutral density filter, you can get the right brightness levels in the sky and the ground at the same time.

Waterfalls

Using an ND filter in this way is not its primary benefit though. Have you seen those shots of waterfalls that look ethereal with blurry cotton wool water? Well the chances are an ND filter will have been used. Here the filter is used to reduce the shutter speed so that blur occurs. If you are out in a bright location the shutter speed will be at least 1/125sec and ideally you need 1/15sec or slower. So pop on the necessary ND filter and you’ll gain the effect you’re after.

Buildings

Architecture photographers have a useful technique that often needs an ND filter to work. When photographing famous landmarks you often have problems with tourists getting in the way. If the shutter speed is slow enough it will be open long enough to ensure the moving people are so blurred they cannot be seen on the image. A 1/2sec exposure may record a streak of someone walking while a 4 sec exposure will make them vanish. Simple, but very effective.

Apertures

It’s not just the shutter speed that you may want to improve either. If you are shooting in bright conditions you may find the aperture the camera is selecting is small and the resulting picture will have far too much front-to-back sharpness known as depth-of-field. This is often the case with portraiture or flower photography where a distracting background ruins the photo. Using an ND filter will help you open up the lens and provide a shallow depth-of-field.

Flash

Another use for an ND filter would be when using flash. You can often reduce the exposure of the flash using auto settings, but for close ups that may not be possible. The ND filter will provide the key to this essential barrier.

Wedding Photography is a subject which cannot just be brushed aside, because it is not easy finding the right photographer to handle your wedding. Finding and interviewing potential photographers can be quite daunting and requires caution.

Your wedding photographs are supposed to remind you of that special day because they are going to remain long after the wedding day, so it’s only reasonable that you take your time to ask the right questions before making your final decision. 

Before you book that photographer, get answers to these big questions:

1. Do you have photos of entire weddings that I can see?

Before booking a wedding photographer request to see his portfolio. This should include photographs of complete weddings, instead of just a sample of several events. This way, you can arrive at a better judgment on his skills and see how he photographs the entire course of a wedding. 

Ensure the photographer puts all his completed projects on display, so now you are seeing what a finished album would look like, rather than the favorite pictures he puts on display. You may also want to enquire on “what percentage of his work is composed of weddings”.

If you find a photographer that specializes then you are in luck. It should not be only wedding photography but the style of wedding photography that you should consider.

2.  Do you post the proofs online, or will I receive negatives?   

Good reviews and ratings from customers show that a photographer is doing a good job, and if he has pleased numerous customers then the chances that he will do an awesome job for your wedding is on the high side.

So your question should be, “is there a website where I can read other clients experiences, reviews and ratings?” with the reviews of former clients you can easily arrive at the right decision.

   3.  Can I meet with my photographer personally?

It is quite significant that you meet face to face with the person photographing your wedding. This is owing to the fact that different photographers have their peculiarities and dispositions, (no two photographers have identical styles).

If the photographer is part of a large studio, it is advisable that you ask for an interview where you get to meet him\her personally so as to get a sense of their temperament and nature.

 

4. What are your provisions for the unexpected?

Even though its necessary to focus on making plan “A” work, there is also a need to make provisions for the unintended. The photographer should provide contact information of an alternative. 

A professional photographer or should have access to other experts who can be placed on call in the occurrence of any complication on that day. You could also ask for sample photographs of the backup. It is the most important day of your life, nothing should left to chance

5. What are your terms of service?

First of all if the photographer doesn’t provide you with a sample contract it would be wise to pick someone else. You should go over the terms of payment, mode of operation and all other relevant aspects of the contract before you make any agreement. Any agreement made should be mutually beneficial.

6. How long have you been in the business of photography?

In the business of photography just like any other aspect of life the significance of experience cannot be overemphasized. You should make sure the photographer has been in business for at least five years. Trust me you don’t want your wedding photos taken by the dude who started taking pictures last Christmas.


 7. What do you charge for overtime?

This should be part of the contract. Your choice photographer should make clear if his/her package includes any extra charge. For example, he should make known if he charges for any further use of his service after the time frame agreed upon. 

This question should be asked to all the professionals working at your wedding including your wedding DJ.

 

8. What percentage of your samples is the work of associates?

As said earlier, every photographer has a particular style so when going through their collectionyou may want to ask what percentage of the job was done by associates and assistants. You don’t want the most memorable day of your life being captured by an apprentice.

 

 

9. What is your primary style?

You want to be able to tell the story of your day in pictures, and ensure everybody present has an enjoyable time doing it. The aim is to get shots of you that all you guests would be willing to put on their walls. The photographer’s style should be really simple and catchy and yur photographer should be able to deliver without any difficulty.

10. Do you have adequate backup equipment?

It could be very embarrassing when the photographing got delayed because the photographer’s camera went bad so he had to go to the hardware store to get a replacement

Your choice photographer should have a replacement for all his tools ranging from camera lenses to computer equipment. To avoid the unexpected you may want to find out if the photographer has a solid insurance package Also he should have backups of your files so you don’t lose your wedding pictures because a malicious hacker broke into his system and destroyed all his file.  Remember you don’t make provisions for insurance when you need it.

11. What do you intend to put on for the wedding?

Its your wedding! even though your photographers should be dressed properly, they shouldn’t steal the show. Discuss what they’ll be putting on – they should blend into scenerySome professionals prefer to dress in black so as to go unnoticed

12. Have you ever shot at our location before?

It can be really soothing to hear that the photographer is familiar with your venue. If they haven’t shot there before, it would be wise to ask if they would be willing to visit your venue before the wedding to acquaint them with the layout as each venue comes with its peculiarities. The photographer should be aware of the lighting conditions of the venue

13. Can I have a custom-made package?

We all have different likes and preferences. You should ascertain if your photographer will be able to deliver EXACTLY what you want.

Hopefully, these scrutinizing questions should help you make the right choice when it comes to your wedding photography at a price that fits your budget.