Namiko Candid Bride Portrait
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Namiko just after marrying my wife's brother, Shogo 菜美子さん、妻の弟の花嫁 -- Wedding of Shogo and Namiko -- Nagoya, Aichi, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/250 sec, f/1.4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Namiko
just after marrying my wife's brother, Shogo
菜美子さん、妻の弟の花嫁

For a while I was posting installments in the story about my brother-in-law's wedding last month, with the most recent installment being “Shogo and Namiko's Wedding: Reception, Part V (Entertainment)” three weeks ago. I stopped putting up new posts midstream because I suddenly had the idea to make a photo book of their wedding as a gift, and so dedicated a lot of time to it, and also because I wanted to hold back the rest of the photos until I could present the book.

The photo above is probably the best photo I've ever taken, except using “photo” and “taken” is probably not as appropriate as “result” and “accomplished” because I did some post processing in Lightroom to isolate Namiko from the background. The original is actually the first photo of this post.

All the post processing was in Lightroom, which doesn't allow me to extend the black background to the right; I'd think it'd look better to have her on the left side of the frame rather than the right. I could do it in Photoshop, but I'm too lazy.

In the photo book, though, I placed the photo square in the left-side page of a full two-page spread (the last two-page spread in the book), and added some pinstriping and fleurs, so when you open the book, it looks like this:

two-page spread in an 11”×13” photo book that I made for them -- Wedding of Shogo and Namiko -- Nagoya, Aichi, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
two-page spread in an 11”×13” photo book that I made for them

I dropped it off with them on Friday...

Checking Out Their Own Wedding -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 36 mm — 1/125 sec, f/5, ISO 2000 — map & image datanearby photos
Checking Out Their Own Wedding

They enjoyed it; it was gratifying to see their reaction.

Posts about the wedding are continued here; I've written up a post about how I create photo books, here.


All 7 comments so far, oldest first...

That is an excellent portrait and just goes to show how capable Lightroom is for photo editing and not just “adjustments”.

I’m toying with the idea of a photo book for some of the thousands of photos that sit languishing on my hard drive. Did you use a local/Japanese company or something international? How was the quality? Any tips for the journey from LR database to finished, in your hands product?

I’ve now done a full writeup about using Lightroom, InDesign, and Blurb, to produce photo books: here. —Jeffrey

— comment by JasonP on November 7th, 2010 at 10:09pm JST (7 years, 1 month ago) comment permalink

Jeff, , I’ve used apple and a couple of some other popular online sites for books, but only Apple was able to provide a decent book but not the 11 x 13 soft cover the you made. Where did purchase yours from? How was the quality?
Thanks,
Mark

I’ve posted here how I made them. They came out great. —Jeffrey

— comment by Mark on November 8th, 2010 at 5:30am JST (7 years, 1 month ago) comment permalink

That first photo really is brilliant – I so wish we had photos like that from our wedding (turns out our photographer was a jerk… and his photos weren’t that good either). These photos are very special to the married couple I’m sure!

— comment by AdelaideBen on November 8th, 2010 at 12:14pm JST (7 years, 1 month ago) comment permalink

Is there any chance this post is related to the Fed-Ex rant of a few days ago? 🙂

— comment by Steve Friedl on November 8th, 2010 at 2:26pm JST (7 years, 1 month ago) comment permalink

Beautiful image of a beautiful bride. You should try that as a pro 😉

But then my fun hobby would become work! —Jeffrey

— comment by Owin Thomas on November 9th, 2010 at 7:04am JST (7 years, 1 month ago) comment permalink

Really great image of the bride. I can imagine this looks stunning in the wide landscape layout of their photobook!

However, what interests me: how do you mask the background in Lightroom? Looking at the original I would have never thought that separating the bride from the background would be possible in LR. Obviously I missed some essential masking techniques in LR….

It was very dark behind them, and they were in the light, so I just lowered the exposure a bit and the background was gone. I then painted on some negative exposure to get rid of the out-of-focus-and-not-as-beautiful groom (sorry Shogo), and that was pretty much that. I set in B&W, and I’m sure I futzed with contrast and clarity and such, but everything after dropping out the background was relatively minor from a technical point of view (but huge from an artistic point of view, and if I were to attempt it again, I’m sure I’d settle on a completely different result). —Jeffrey

— comment by Peter on November 10th, 2010 at 9:08pm JST (7 years, 1 month ago) comment permalink

The portrait of your new sister-in-law is phenomenal. When you said you altered it in Lightroom, my reaction was similar to Peter’s (huh?! You did THAT in Lightroom? WTH?) Thanks for the explanation.

— comment by Marcina (USA) on November 11th, 2010 at 11:37am JST (7 years, 1 month ago) comment permalink
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