This wonderful couple had their wedding day on July 29, 2011 at the James P. Davis Hall (Wyandotte County Lake) in Kansas City, KS. Jake and Bonnie planned for the perfect amount of time for Bride and Groom photos. This is where I love landing that ‘signature’ shot! Certainly found my signature shot and went to work in post-production.
The all-important capture! You want to try and get as much of the photo right at the time you click the shutter. Full disclosure, I am a pixel punishing Photoshop ninja. This day was a very bright (and extremely hot) day. In order to try and balance the exposure I fired an off camera flash to avoid creating a silhouette. The pose we were going for mixed with the temperature meant I wanted to spend as few minutes here as possible! Some shots had better exposure but this was my favorite out of the camera. I’m not entirely happy with the photo out of the camera… I began the pixel pushing! Thank you RAW!
First step was to bring out the sky, it’s over exposed. This was done by creating a LARGE adjustment brush, and getting the sky how I wanted it, popped the saturation a bit and erased over the mask over the couple. Then I added a few gradient maps to pull focus even more towards the couple. Created another adjustment brush for the dress, removing the blue overcast which kept it a more pure white! The tux being black needed a slight adjustment, trying to restore some detail in the dark shadows. I then put a lowering exposure gradient on the grass. Then I did some spot healing as the aperture was pretty small, so there were some dust spots, small, but they bug me. The result without firing up Photoshop below.
This photo could stand as is. In fact I did put it out for a few photographer’s critiques. As anticipated the rock in the foreground dominated the feedback. While I love putting something in the foreground in landscapes, this was about the couple and ultimately was distracting. So, I removed the rock and actually cropped down out a bit of the grass. This crop changed the layout too much for me, moving the couple too far to the left. I then created a small sliver to add to the left of the photograph, putting the couple at a ‘rule-of-thirds’ intersection.
The final image (click it for larger resolution)
See a few other photos from this wedding on my Facebook page: Link