30
Nov
08

family photo album

When we had a compact camera, my wife and I would look through and keep a couple hundred images of each shoot. Blurry images, under-exposed images, images of the back of a lens cap, it didn’t matter. Now, I take a couple hundred exposures and only end up showing between three and ten of them. Another difference is that I no longer choose photographs based on their value as documentation. I now choose them based on whether they are artistically valuable.

Needless to say, my wife does not appreciate this change. Being a mother, she naturally cares more about documenting the life and times of our family, and less about my attempt to make art. So here I am posting my favorites of our Thanksgiving trip to my brother’s house. The rest of them can be accessed by family and friends by clicking this link.

WHAT I LEARNED DURING SHOOT:

Most of these images were shot using the new 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6 VR which is not the best indoor lens. I just love its wide angle capabilities and could not resist. Unfortunately, I was using aperture priority and the shutter speed dipped way below where I would have liked it. Next time I will use shutter priority and just up the ISO if I have to. Many of these are blurry on account of my carelessness.

WHAT I LEARNED DURING DEVELOPMENT:

The high ISO required much noise reduction. I use a great Photoshop plug-in called Noiseware by Imagenomic for this work. I do all of my edits in LR 2 and then export to Photoshop for noise reduction. This is a very slow process when editing a large set of photographs that were shot at high ISO. One thing I learned is that I should only do noise reduction at the end of editing the entire shoot. Here is why: After editing all of the photographs from a single shoot, I look back at all of them to get a sense of their uniformity. Many times I find that they’re exposures or white balance are too different to be put side-by-side in a slideshow or an album. So, I will go back and edit them. Because I want to make edits only to the RAW files, I have to redo the noise reduction and delete the first noise-reduced PSD. I can avoid this extra step by simply waiting to do noise-reduction until just before final export.

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