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When is a shadow, too much of a shadow?

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Posted

Alright folks!

I was wondering, when shooting events, you know like weddings, parties, etc, how much of a shadow behind the subject is acceptable?

I've been taking photos at wedding (just casually as a guest), but am very conscious about the shots I've got so far and if the way I'm using my flash (gun with diffuser) is, well, the right way. I do the usual and bounce the light from the ceiling when necessary to reduce the shadow behind; however there is always a faint, but noticable shadow behind the person (s).

When I get home I'll post an example of a couple of different picture I've taken as a comparison. Want to get feedback, criticism (constructive), etc.

Cheers!

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Posted

I think this would be easier to answer with a picture.

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Posted

If it's over 5 o'clock, it's too much.

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Posted

Well i'm against harsh shadows, however like noted above, a picture would help give better pointers. I found this image while googling wedding photography, its a good example of a harsh shadow done right, but then again, this probably wasnt a "spur of the moment" during the wedding.

IMG_4565.jpg

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Posted

Wow, that's just, wow.

It doesn't look like a spur of the moment thing that one. Looks like the photographer placed a flash gun mounted under an umbrella behind the bride and groom to get that effect. I think that's a stunning photo!

I'm more talking about things like this. Also, please ignore the quality of the images, remember I was just a guest/relative taking these photos and now using them as an example.

The first one is what I'm talking about; there's a shadow, but it's not took strong, almost bordering on acceptable. Could be easily shopped out.

The second one is what I would class as a crappy shadow, just shouldn't be there.

I prefer the second picture though, just need to crop my wife out from the right and would have been nice to have the light behind the bride & groom off, or not there at all, but sure :)

post-130223-0-60119500-1366451429.jpg

post-130223-0-85416100-1366451451.jpg

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Posted

I'm more talking about things like this. Also, please ignore the quality of the images, remember I was just a guest/relative taking these photos and now using them as an example.

The first one is what I'm talking about; there's a shadow, but it's not took strong, almost bordering on acceptable. Could be easily shopped out.

The second one is what I would class as a crappy shadow, just shouldn't be there.

I prefer the second picture though, just need to crop my wife out from the right and would have been nice to have the light behind the bride & groom off, or not there at all, but sure :)

Pretty good example!

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Posted

It depends how serious you want to be about this.

If its just for the memories then I wouldn't get to bogged down about this, as pictures they are fine. They aren't going to win any awards but i'm sure they captured the moment that you want to remember.

I would say on the first one the shadow is fine but IMO I would say the picture is a tad under exposed, seems quite dark.

The seconds one, again imo the more distracting thing about this is the light behind them rather than the shadow.

I am no professional and never aim to be so don't take what I am saying with any factual experience behind it, these are just my opinions. Exposing yourself to criticism in your pictures is however the best way to improve, hopefully someone can come in with some actual advice on how to ease your shadow problem in a candid environment.

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Posted

I am no professional and never aim to be so don't take what I am saying with any factual experience behind it, these are just my opinions. Exposing yourself to criticism in your pictures is however the best way to improve, hopefully someone can come in with some actual advice on how to ease your shadow problem in a candid environment.

Agreed, "Blank" the other day got offended by our suggestions, but I whole heartedly agree, the only way to improve, is to get actual feedback, good or bad!

Best way to difuse is either, bounce to ceiling ( at a right angle), use a proper diffuser ( those DIY are easily made), use an umbrella, bounce card, etc. though i'm sure someone will chip in and give more proper advice.

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