Last August, I did a very stupid thing. In my defense, it was a warm summer’s day, and I’d been enjoying a barbecue in the garden of a couple of good friends. The beer was flowing and the conversation was friendly. And then, they slipped the question in, subtly, under my defenses:
�Will you be the photographer for our wedding?�
Filled with the warmth of friendship and beer, I said �yes�, which is how I came to be stood behind a tripod round the back of a registry office in Weybridge last Saturday, and why I’m developing a new respect for Photoshop right now. You see, conditions weren’t exactly ideal that day. The early afternoon light was bright and contrasty, lending harsh shadows and burnt-out highlights to the happy couple’s faces. Eventually, some cloud cover gave softer light and I breathed a sigh of relief.
But I was still worried about those early photos. Tonight, I sucked them into iPhoto, exported the most troublesome ones into Photoshop and went to work. I am so very glad that I shot in RAW format, which saves pretty much the raw data from the camera sensor. It creates whopping 7 to 10Mb files, and eats memory cards like there’s no tomorrow (I shot 1.5Gb of photos that day), but boy, is it worth it. In Photoshop it’s so easy to work on the shadows and highlight separately and coax the detail out of both to give you a much more even quality of lighting. Back in my darkroom days, this would have been hours of work per picture. I can deal with even the most challenging one in just a few minutes now.
There are some lovely photos in this set. I’m delighted, Lorna seems impressed, so I hope the happy couple will be, too.
Goodbye, film. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
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