<<< o >>>Daniel and Catherine #2 15 comments + add yours

I don't shoot many weddings, maybe three of four a year, but when I do I really enjoy them. One of the main reasons is that they're simply nice events to witness, but they're also a great opportunity for 'people watching'. If you've tried street photography you'll know that one of the major problems is that a lot of people simply don't like being photographed, and a good portion of the rest of them have become increasingly suspicious of any form of public photography. At weddings though it's generally a whole lot easier: people are relaxed, your presence is legitimate, and so on. As such I often end up with a lot of great portraits that would have been much more difficult to capture in a public space.

On a more technical note: this one was converted to black and white using the channel mixer, a technique I discussed in quite a lot of detail in my latest video tutorial. If you're interested, there's some further info linked below, but the short explanation is that I biased the conversion towards the blue channel to accentuate the fine scale detail (stubble, hair, and so on). This is a technique that works well for male portraits, but biasing the conversion towards the red channel often works better for portraits of women and children as it produces much softer (and brighter) skin tones.


focal length
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
image quality
RAW converter
plugins (etc)
3.18pm on 11/9/10
Canon 5D Mark II
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
aperture priority
3x2 + people [portraiture] + no print + show the original + weddings
comment by Mark at 04:35 PM (GMT) on 16 September, 2010

Stray ear hair? It's a strong portrait, but for me it would be better just the left half. The bokeh is very distracting and adds nothing to the shot. I love it just as the portrait.

comment by djn1 at 04:42 PM (GMT) on 16 September, 2010

Mark: I just edited the ear hair following a comment on twitter, so it's gone now. As for the crop: I did try a square version, and darkened down the brighter area, but decided I preferred this version. The square crop felt a bit claustrophobic.

comment by djib at 05:10 PM (GMT) on 16 September, 2010

Perfect portrait. I love how the skin comes out.

comment by Nicki at 05:17 PM (GMT) on 16 September, 2010

Outstanding David - thats what I like. A deep impressive moment, full of feelings. This man seesm to be so interesting. And: The processing is delicate ... Dof, sharpness and composition - wow. I've seen a lot of you portraits, this will be my favorite for now. Critique: why not posting more like this? ;)

comment by Will at 07:41 PM (GMT) on 16 September, 2010

Really like this one. DOF is perfect. The BW really gives this portrait character. Absolutely stunning.

comment by csj @id7 at 07:49 PM (GMT) on 16 September, 2010

I should have had that frame, he was just a perfect option for a candid portrait. I missed the oppo.... better luck next time eh!..... CJ

comment by Xavier Rey at 10:42 PM (GMT) on 16 September, 2010

great portrait !

comment by Carlos Garcia at 10:59 PM (GMT) on 16 September, 2010

I feel like I have to edit my ear hair daily! Classic Chromasia capture and portrait! Congrats!

comment by Dan Kaufman at 01:28 PM (GMT) on 17 September, 2010

right on the money with ALL your comments Dave. especially appreciated the incite of the benefits to using the blue channel or red channel bias in a CM black and white conversion. I sorta "knew this", but only through trial and error. I couldn't have articulated the male/female aspects of it.

And a great portrait besides !!

comment by mikelangelo at 02:46 PM (GMT) on 17 September, 2010

Very nice! I love your B&W conversion. The skin texture/contrast is great. The only thing I really don't like is I believe it's far to black in the lower left corner. I the coat is dark, but it's this big black triangle drawing my eye... otherwise, i really like what you've done!!

comment by mike at 01:21 AM (GMT) on 18 September, 2010

I'd like a Mini PSd of this one....bringing all thatdetail out without getting too obvious. Brilliant

comment by djn1 at 10:15 AM (GMT) on 18 September, 2010

Thanks everyone :)

mike: OK, I'll consider this one as a Mini-PSD candidate :)

comment by Chris Yakimov at 04:06 PM (GMT) on 18 September, 2010


comment by Rob at 06:50 PM (GMT) on 19 September, 2010

Lovely portrait with great tonality. When looking at it on my laptop I let the screen tilt away from me which had the effect of darkening the image which made it stronger in my wiew.

comment by Matthias at 09:10 PM (GMT) on 19 September, 2010

a very very fine black and white portrait! great tonality and dateails at the face!