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Blurring tha Background

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Old 06-08-2005, 04:44 PM
mfgriggs mfgriggs is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Camden,SC
Posts: 35
I created this thread for two reasons. First of all I needed to know how to properly blur images with poor backgrounds......Secondly, I was hoping to get an idea how you guys might approach a situation during a photo shoot. This shot was taken at a wedding reception. It was very hot and cramped and no parking was available. Therefore all the cars were forced to park in the front, the back and along the sides of the building. As a result pretty much all outdoor shots had cars in the background. First I thought "Hey I can fix this in photoshop". I used my 1D Mark II with a 24-70 mm lens to shoot the bulk of the shots, especially those that had more than one person in them. However, I just don't like the idea of using photoshop as a crutch. So I attached a 85mm lens to my digital rebel and opened the aperature to 1.2. I focused very closely on the girls eyes and took the pic.

My question is this.....How do the photoshop experts(you guys) approach a difficult shooting situation like this? Is your first thought "I can fix it with software" or "I can fix it with hardware". I know that both methods have advantages and disadvantages, I am just curious how you do it.

I appologize if this thread offends anyone.
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Old 06-09-2005, 02:00 AM
Gary Richardson's Avatar
Gary Richardson Gary Richardson is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Yorkshire, England
Posts: 2,717
Depends on the situation and what you're trying to achieve.

Usually its much easier just to take the shot, but there are occasions where a software solution can rescue the image.

Personally I have no hard and fast rules, and judge each picture as I see it.

I don't suppose this helps you a lot, but I suspect a lot of members use this pragmatic approach to picture taking.

In the case of your image, if I wanted the cars out of the shot, and I couldn't get the subjects to pose another day, I might try taking the background shots another day, when the cars weren't there, then transposing the figures onto the "clean" backgrounds. Of course this would require a lot of work, and a similarly lit day. Depends on how important the pictures are to you, as to whether this is worth doing.

Last edited by Gary Richardson; 06-09-2005 at 02:06 AM.
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Old 06-09-2005, 01:17 PM
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creeduk creeduk is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 297
This might be one to take to a photo driven forum maybe they have members that do everything hardware and never use software some that do both. I think (maybe I am wrong) most here are into some form of retouching so maybe a more biased opinion.
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Old 06-09-2005, 02:34 PM
Cameraken's Avatar
Cameraken Cameraken is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Lancashire (UK)
Posts: 1,158
I was a professional photographer for 20 years and a wedding photographer for over 10 of these so I’ve done hundreds of weddings.
When customers booked their weddings we used to plan where the photographs were to be taken if it was fine and an alternative if it was raining.
If there were no suitable ‘backdrops’ at the church or the reception then we would plan a detour to the nearest park for all the main guests/family.

All this was pre photoshop but I’m sure that a little thought like this today would save hours sat at the computer trying to fix things.

Mfgriggs. You obviously understand depth of field and you are using you camera correctly but a little thought about the background at the taking stage will save you a lot of work later.

Take the shots the best you possibly can at the time. Insist you subjects walk a little further to another location or where the lighting is better. They will thank you for it later when they see the results and you will save time trying to ‘fix’ them.

There are some well lit trees in your background. Had you asked your model to step back to the rear of the cars this would have made a big difference.

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