When it comes to personal photographs, some of the most important images are those taken on a wedding day. That puts pros, as well as weekend wedding photographers, under a lot of pressure to get the shot.
In all the excitement of the day, pros and weekend shooters can make an in-camera mistake. What’s more, these photographers, in looking back at the event, may wish that they had applied a creative technique to a shot, changing the light being one example. That’s where digital darkroom techniques come in—saving shots and turning snapshots into more creative images.
In this article, I’ll share a few digital darkroom techniques for wedding shooters. I’ll use Photoshop CS4, but you can create most of these effects or similar effects in other digital image-editing programs. To illustrate the techniques, I’ve used images from istockphoto.com. Let’s go!
Great Black-And-White And Beyond
Black-and-white automatically adds a classic—and classy—look and is especially appropriate for wedding shots. Practically everyone is dressed in black and white, anyway! Here’s how to make great black-and-white from a color shot.
As an alternative to traditional flash units, the Litepanels Micro offers continuous lighting with adjustable brightness. The big benefit is that you can see right away the effects of the light you’re adding and adjust its intensity accordingly—perfect for event photography when you have to work fast. Estimated Street Price: $297. Contact: Bogen Imaging, www.bogenimaging.us. Open your image and go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Black & White. In the Layer panel under Adjustments, you’ll see your tone controls, along with a hand/double arrow icon. Click that icon.
Move your cursor (now the hand/double arrow icon) into your image and place it on a tone you want to change. Move your cursor from left to right to change that tone. This is an awesome control because you make your adjustments live while working on the image—not in the Adjustments panel.
Want more fun? Click the Tint box to create beautiful sepia-tone images.