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Photography Question 
Gail Hammer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/17/2001
 

Photographing a bi-racial couple


I have been photographing weddings for the past 4 years mainly in a photojournalistic style with black & white film. Needless to say couples still want some traditional family shots etc. with color film etc. Next week I will be photographing a bi-racial couple who are getting married. The first problem is that the bride (who is black) does not like having her picture taken! The second problem is that she does not like seeing such a visible contrast between skin colours - she so black and he so white. The third problem is mine - how best to meter, and is there a good color print film that is complimentary to all skin colours? The guests will be a mix of black & white. Most of the photography will be done out of doors (hopefully it won't rain). Does anybody out there have any advice or better yet, experience in shooting in this type of situation? I just want to get some well exposed photographs without having to spend tons of time metering everybody's face! Help!


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5/17/2001 6:44:03 PM

 
Robert Torrence   I do this type of shoot all the time. First get the right film Kodak Portra 160NC or 160VC the NC is for Natural Color and the VC is for Vivid Color and the 160 ISO. The film has a great latitude of 4 shops either direction so it works great for this problem. Rate the film at 100 ISO and shoot away. Try to put the white person on the side where the light trails away from. The natural color would be the best for skin tone but would leave out the color of the brides maids dresses but as long as the the people look alright they won't mind. One other thing what type of light do you use? or are you going to use a reflector?


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5/20/2001 2:40:27 PM

 
John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/27/2001
  Having used both 160NC and 160VC, I'll side with preferring the "NC" for this. The "VC" has relatively low highlight contrast (will maintain the wedding dress details), but higher shadow contrast. I've only used it at EI160, its rated speed, and haven't "pulled" it to EI100 though. If I understand correctly what pulling a film does in general (without lab compensation in developing), using EI100 will should reduce contrast overall, including the shadows.

-- John


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5/21/2001 11:21:07 PM

 
John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/27/2001
  Printing thoughts:
The adage about negative films probably applies here: expose for shadow detail and print for highlight detail. This fits with the suggestion to use EI100, 2/3 stop more exposure than its ISO rating. A good pro lab that prints wedding work should do this (print to get highlight detail if it exists in the negative).

-- John


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5/21/2001 11:41:10 PM

 
Gail Hammer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/17/2001
  Thank you both for your responses. If it doesn't rain most of my photographing will be done outdoors with the exception of inside the church. If it does rain I will be shooting indoors in a small inn (with small, little rooms) or on the covered outdoor patio. (I am praying for clear weather). If I use any kind of lighting it will be a flash either as a fill (for out doors) or bounced (indoors). Originally I was considering using Fuji Pro 400 and rating it at 200. I have used it before (rating it at 400) and I liked it quite alot. I have never used Kodak Portra before although I think alot of wedding photographers do use it. Usually I like to test a film first but I don't have time in this case - the wedding is this weekend. I am also shooting with T-max 400 and will rate it at 200. I would like to hear any comments about the Fuji film. I would be willing to try the Kodak although as I said I usually test a new film. Thanks again.


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5/23/2001 3:29:13 PM

 
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