San Fran Wedding Preview

This year is epic for our family: Both of my ‘little’ brothers are getting married! They’ve found the most amazing, perfect women who my kids have already been calling “aunt” for years, and who I am so excited to have as sisters.

I was just out in San Francisco for one of these couple’s engagement parties. While there we visited their wedding venue, which they choose because of the gorgeous 360 degree city views. I hadn’t been there, but based on their descriptions I got an idea in my head… I wanted to create a silhouette photograph of them with the window views. So I brought my big ol’ camera out to Cali, and they let me shoot away!

DC couple engagedDC couple engaged_CA Engagement Weekend-89_CA Engagement Weekend-92

These images illustrate why shooting RAW + Lightroom/Photoshop = amazing. RAW images contain the complete image data as captured on your camera’s sensor. They’re huge, uncompressed files that require post-processing to view an image. That means there is all this data to work with to create the image you desire.

My post-processing is minimal in typical shoots, but I knew this vision required work to create. I needed to capture enough data in the blown-out background view to retrieve that scene, while also enough getting enough data in the couple and foreground to create a dreamy look there. Settings: ss 1/250, f/22 (to max out depth of field), ISO 2000 (way higher than I usually shoot, but it was so dim inside).

Here’s a quick before-and-after of one of the bay-view images. You’ll see the background is really light, very washed out. It was the limit of how far I could overexpose that, with just one of the buildings was completely blown out (by the bride’s torso, I can’t retrieve that data). In the foreground, the couple is so dark that you can just barely make out their pose, but it’s not completely lost; I wanted to lighten it enough so that you could see their arms wrapped around one another, but keep it intimately darker and in contrast to the background. Adjusting the highlights and shadows, tweaking saturation and luminance, and voila!

I can’t wait to do a real engagement shoot with these two here in DC!


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