Thursday, April 19, 2007

Michelle & Jonathan's Wedding. Pleasant Hill

Ceremony at St. Catherine of Siena in Vallejo and reception at the Contra Costa Country Club in Pleasant Hill.

Michelle is a big fan of South Border,
a popular seven member Filipino R&B band now based in LA. Someone knew someone who knew someone who was the cousin of someone that knew someone who is the road manager for South Border and Michelle managed to hire them to perform at her wedding/anniversary! Um, did I mention she is a huge fan? I think some of her bridesmaids enjoyed the private concert too ;)

I was pretty nervous the days leading up to the wedding because the forecast was for rain... and lots of it; we had planned to shoot outdoors. Someone must have been saying "Hail Mary's" and "Our Father's" for us because the sun began to poke through at the start of the ceremony. Michelle and Jonathan have been married for 10 years but were never able to have the church wedding they really wanted or the big reception. On April 14th, their 10th anniversary, they were finally able to celebrate both!

Fresh from Maxwell's Lounge the night before, South Border kicked off the evening by performing for the bride and groom's first dance just after dinner. These guys are pretty good!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Joan & Kerry's Prewedding Shoot.

San Francisco climate is quite unique and can vary drastically from one side to the other. When we started it was a bit overcast and drizzling. Joan and Kerry planned ahead and brought cardboard to sit on as they went down the slides on Bernal Hill. Evidently, all slides are not equal when racing and - as you can see - Joan was the winner.

How many of us take the time to ride the vintage F-line down Market? The BART and Muni underground are much faster but the street cars have quite a history. We waited at a stop in the Castro debating which one we should take. Yellow? Red? Orange? The inscription "sooner than I thought" is certain to be a psychological ploy developed by Muni to convince us that we really were not waiting that long. At least it wasn't raining. We did make it on to a beatifully maintained car originally from Milan, Italy which is one of Kerry's favorite. Check out that neat Muni wall mural too, it's in the Castro on Church Street.

Joan and Kerry are both wine lovers so ending at Hotel Biron - a neat alley wine bar - was a natural. We enjoyed a young De Tierra Monterey Pinot Noir in the very dark back room. Nice wine, very drinkable, I'll have to make a note-to-self. Afterwards, we entertained the valets and diners at Zuni Cafe.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Strobe Lighting and Color Correction.

How many of you readers are photographers? Keep reading, I hope you will find this interesting.

I have to admit it, I am not a preeminent photographer - yet ;) - and as with most things in life, there is always room for improvement. Over the last couple of weeks I have been thinking about lighting - speedlights to be exact. Have you noticed how your foreground at receptions might be nice and color balanced (i.e. white dress) but the background has a strange green or orange cast? This is generally not a significant issue but can become annoying for someone that wades through thousands of images every week. The problem is related to the existence of multiple light sources, one being your flash. Photoshop is not the answer unless you like masking and playing with curves on every shot.

What is the solution? You can crank down your ambient exposure in which case you get the black hole effect where your subjects looks like they are dancing alone in complete darkness. You can light the background to overpower the ambient light (how much lighting do you take to a wedding anyways?) Or you can try what I picked up from a Christian LaLonde Masterclass at WPPI 2006 and gel your speedlight. AHHHHH magic! Gelling every light in the reception room is the alternative but I can't imaging bringing enough gels or a ladder to do that. The concept isn't new and many photographers are well aware of this solution. But it is still worth talking about every once in a while. Rosco and Lee are big suppliers to the industry and have plenty of info on their websites to help you accomplish this.

This leads to another thing. I came across an incredible blog today I just had to share, The Strobist. The author provides some great information!