Test drive

It’s been a while since I’ve joined any photoshoot events so I was glad to have received an invite to attend a wedding themed shoot. Last Friday, I joined some of my old classmates from Basic Photography class for The New White is Black photoshoot at the Emirates Aviation College. It was a great way to practice with my new-ish camera and also get back into the groove.

There were 3 model brides and 2 model grooms. One studio setup with grey backdrop and lights. The organizers grouped us into 3 and started talking about each group doing BTS first. BTS? WTF? I admire these guys for their own skills but come on, not everyone speaks the lingo. Took a few of us a while to realize that BTS stands for Behind The Scenes. Would you have figured it out on your own? Anyway, under the cut are some of my favourite shots enhanced very slightly in Lightroom and Photoshop (I’ll eat my shorts if anyone can spot any OTT touch-up on the models). Mostly did adjustments on exposure, colour balance, added some mood and texture filters (diffused glow, smart blur). Anyone who knows me from when I was playing with Photoshop will know I don’t blur out blemishes unless it’s on model request.

Don’t get me started on photographers who touch up their photos so much it looks unreal. I mean, FPS, Dubai has not had any clear blue skies and glorious sunset in ages and they expect me to believe they don’t touch up that photograph? Puh-leeeze! Fool those who don’t know any better but be honest with people who know a bit about the tricks of the trade.

Sorry about the mini rant. That topic just sends my blood boiling. Okay, so here are some of my favourite photos from last week.

Money shot? Maybe. I love this one the best. I was working on manual settings and with just 3 minutes alloted per photographer, and everyone looking in, the pressure was unbelievably high! First of all, I had no idea how to adjust the aperture on my camera. Duh! I looked like a complete idiot in front of everyone as they waited for me to get it sorted. Thanks to someone who shouted out “Info!” so I got started.

Anyway, I asked Rami Abou Diab (the male model) to dip Oksana Oks (the female model) and I just pressed the shutter and got this shot. I adjusted the exposure and colour balance on photoshop and added a dreamy diffused glow. Rami and Oksana are a real life married couple so working with them was fabulous. The gowns used for the shoot were designed by Afra Al Abdulla, a local Emarati designer.

The white gown had a generous train and, Ashley, one of the organizers of the event helped with this shot by throwing the train up in the air. I took two successive shots and this is the better of the two. The studio set up was in a classroom with a low ceiling so I had to crop that out. I used a Photoshop action called Dreamy Soft Illusion available for free at The Album Cafe.

Now this next shot came as a surprise. I was doing some shots testing out the lighting and my settings and this was one of them. I loved the candidness of this, if you can call it that. It’s as if she’s in mid-thought, about to take a step forward to get her footing right. I love it, I just love it.

Because of the limited exclusive time alloted, most of my other shots were stolen while other photographers had control of the flash. There were two continuous lights on either side so there was plenty of light. This was one of those moments which just clicked right. She’s mid-blink I think and didn’t intend to close her eyes, but I caught it. Just about. And I love the effect. She’s flushed to the right of the frame and I had to crop out a bit on that side as the bare walls of the classroom were peeking through the grey backdrop. The change in colour is due to Photoshop balancing.

Play with the veil. It was a good idea and provided lots of drama. This was another stolen shot which went well. I’m still not sure how I feel about the red nailpolish though.

I was unable to wait until later when both the white and black brides were together in the studio. But I did have some ambient light shots of the bride in black. Still sifting through photos and will post some photos of Karina soon.

I wish I had more time in the studio set-up but I enjoyed the 3 minutes I had. Definitely not going to be the last event I attend!

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