The Big Day the Lovegrove Way DVD ~ Kit & Settings

Feb 12, 2009 | Wedding | 81 comments

Here is all you need to know about the equipment we used at the wedding shoot during the making of the The Big Day ~ The Lovegrove Way.

Julie’s Kit:

Nikon D200 without battery grip (3 years old) We resisted the temptation to upgrade the camera and we are waiting for the D700x. It has saved us the cost of a D300 and a D700 by doing so.
Nikon 17mm – 35mm f/2.8 lens
Nikon 28mm – 70mm f/2.8 lens (Julie now has the new 24mm – 70mm f/2.8 lens)
Nikon 70mm – 200mm f/2.8 VR lens
Unbranded camera batteries from 7DayShop.com
Hoya plus 4 and a plus 2 Dioptre 77mm

Manfrotto carbon fibre monopod
Manfrotto 486 RC2 ball head with 2 camera plates.
Note: The extra quick release plate is mounted in reverse on the 70mm – 200mm lens bracket to allow vertical use without crushing hand.

Julie uses a Nikon SB800 flash fitted with it’s own diffuser and connected to the camera with a SC29 lead. She also has an SU800 commander for remote triggering her second SB800 because the CLS on the D200 has too much delay for wedding work.

Billingham 445 camera bag

————————————–

Damien’s kit:

Canon 5D camera
Canon 16mm – 35mm MK2, f/2.8 lens (not the sharpest lens I’ve seen)
Canon 24mm – 70mm f/2.8 lens
Canon 70mm – 200mm f/2.8 IS lens
7DayShop.com unbranded batteries
Hoya plus 4 and a plus 3 Dioptre 77mm

580EX ll flash ( I prefer the mkl version because it has a simple switch to go between remote and local use rather than the palaver of sub menu navigation.
STE2 transmitter Tip: The lower red lens pops of the front of these units from time to time. I Super Glued mine on to prevent this.
Sto-Fen Omnibounce diffuser

Manfrotto 684b monopod. No longer available – replaced with a far clumsier, heavier version with unnecessary safety catches and foot plates etc.
Manfrotto 486RC2 ball head

Billingham 445 camera bag

——————————————

The video trailer can be viewed here.

Please feel free to add reviews and comments on The Big Day here…

81 Comments

  1. Rob

    Damien you use the Sto-Fen Omnibounce diffuser. How often do you use this when using flash % wise. I have found myself using it less and less. and wondered if you have found the same. Thanks

    Reply
  2. Tino

    KIndly price of the Wedding DVD
    Pls
    Regards from Malta
    Tino & Martina

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Tino, Thank you very much for taking the time to comment. The Wedding DVD info is here :)

      Reply
  3. Tino

    Hi Damien

    it Tino by the way i a wedding photograher to you a very good job you and jul

    Tino

    Reply
  4. Martin Hodgkiss

    Hi Damien, Sorry to bug you about the 486 RC2.

    I can’t seem to locate one anywhere in-stock (also ur link to W.E. takes you now to a totally different head) instead I keep getting pointed to the 496RC2 is this an update? Cant’ get a response from Manfrotto if it is. On the product shots it looks as if the ‘opening’ on the top isn’t as rounded thus limiting the forward/backward tilt.
    Just wondering if you’d seen this head and if that was the case.
    Thanks, Martin.

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Martin,

      The 486 RC2 is an old head. I’m not sure what model has replaced it. As you say it’s difficult to see from the pictures. Get down to a Calumet and check out the whole range at first hand. If I was buying again now I’d probably go with Gitzo or Arca Swiss but my Manfrotto heads show no sign of wearing out so there is no reason to replace them.

      Cheers, Damien.

      Reply
  5. Martin

    Hi Damien,
    I’ve been a pro photographer for the last 17 years photographing industrial & commercial work.
    With work diminishing I’ve recently started to focus my attention on the wedding sector, which I’m finding very productive.
    Due to my work experience so far I haven’t had the benefit of working with a wedding photographer to learn the unique techniques & poses.
    So I felt that although I had masses of technical ability I was lacking what to shoot and the tricks of the wedding sector.

    I purchased the ‘Big Day’ & ‘Winter weddings’ DVDs from you at the Focus exhibition this year.
    I found that the DVDs have helped me significantly to improve in the sector by ‘filling me in’ on the shoot experience I was lacking.

    I’ve Just been out and purchased a Manfrotto 644CX Monopod with a 234RC head. As I’ve only ever used tripods before and liked the idea of using one for the overhead technique (which in the past Ive stood on a chair at a venue!)
    Although, I think I’ve taken the wrong advice from the supplier in the choice of head, I notice you use the 486. I’m a little worried about not being able to tilt just the camera down.
    I suspect only time will tell, but have you tried this head?

    Thank you,

    Martin

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Martin,

      Thanks for your kind comments on my DVDs. You are right about the head. You need a ball and socket head. The ‘monopod head’ doesnt do the job of tilting up or down with the camera in portrait mode. Why the makers didn’t think of that I’ve no idea. Get yourself a ball and socket head.

      Cheers, Damien.

      Reply
  6. Alan

    Hi Damien,

    This DVD is very inspirational! I pick up new ideas and techniques each time I watch it.

    When using the 70 – 200 f2.8 lens hand held without the tripod mount, or when carrying the camera by the strap over the shoulder with this lens attached, is there any way that the weight of the lens could damage the lens mount on a 5D Mk2? I didn’t realise how heavy this lens was until I started to use it recently – you make it look like light work on the DVD!

    Thanks
    Alan

    Reply
  7. Alex

    Hi Damien,

    I watched the DVD few times already and I love it so much! It is the best I have seen so far.

    I know many wedding photographer always carrying two camera, but you and Julie just carry one. I do prefer to work with one camera, but sometime changing lens is a headache. After saw your DVD, it looks very easy to switch lenses.

    I also never thought about using a monopod. Now I think I will get one. I will also check out the bag that you use. I am using a backpack and was thinking about a roller. But those type of bags are not easy to change lens.

    Thanks,
    Alex

    Reply
  8. damien

    Hi Steve,

    Use a 24mm or wider on a full frame camera. Start with very wide until your confidence grows. I used a 16mm lens setting for the pictures in the Big Day DVD. Practice makes perfect.

    Cheers, Damien.

    Reply
  9. Steve

    Damien,

    Great book, DVDs etc – also love the blog. I’m not sure if this is the correct part of the blog to ask, but here goes…

    I attempted to do an overhead shot with my camera on a monopd high above my head and a remote release to fire off a whole bunch of frames. All I got was photographs of the grass and pavement around the couple. Any tips – or is it just practice?

    Steve

    Reply
  10. damien

    Hi Russell,

    Yes, I swap lenses with the camera on. I swap lenses about 50 times a day without any issues.

    I hope this helps,

    Damien.

    Reply
  11. Russell

    Thanks Damien,
    Absolutely awesome DVD, one question though.

    Do you swap your lenses without turning the camera off?

    Reply
  12. Rob ter Bekke

    I missed your answer when I submitted my second question – man, you are quick! And youj make sense ;-)
    Thanks a lot!
    Rob

    Reply
  13. Rob ter Bekke

    Sorry, I just read your answers on the other focus questions. This answered part of my question, but I still wonder though how you can prefocus when the camera is high up in the air on your monopod – isn’t the distance to your subject increasing a lot by doing so? When I try this, my subject is out of focus…

    Rob

    Reply
  14. damien

    Hi Rob,

    Thanks for your question and your kind words. When I use the monopod I focus on the subjects feet then raise the camera 6 feet into the air and the focus will be spot on. Below is the answer from the same question earlier in this thread…

    I use just the centre point for focusing and I occasionally flick the camera into manual focus for the odd tracking shot. Coming down the isle is one such time where it is safer to focus and reframe the first shot then flick the camera into manual focus and maintain the same distance between me and the couple. That way the focus doesn’t throw to the alter etc. This process is automatic for me because I’ve done it hundreds of times.

    I do spot focus and re-frame at times when I shoot overhead. Other times I focus at normal height and whilst keeping the shutter half pressed I put the camera in the air slightly in front of me so that the camera is the same distance to the subject.

    TIP: Imagine there is a piece of string between the camera and subject and you have to keep the string taught. Keep this in your mind when framing or doing tracking shots.

    When I take pictures from above my head it is automatic framing that I employ. It is like running back for a tennis ball and even though you are facing away from the court when you hit the ball you instinctively know where the ball has to go. I always use a wide angle lens setting and I can look up at my camera and know where it is pointing. When I first started using this method I used to cut off heads just like anyone else but before I lowered my hand I’d tilt the camera back look up at the screen to spot check. If I needed to make an adjustment It would be easy to do. If you lower your hand down and look at the camera you have to start from scratch if the shot needs repeating.

    Practice makes perfect. It’s like ice skating, difficult at first then after a lot of practice it becomes intuitive.

    I hope this makes sense.

    Damien.

    Reply
  15. Rob ter Bekke

    Hi Damien,

    Received your DVD’s a few days back and have watched them already twice. They are absolutely great! I have a question about focussing: In several instances you raise the camera above your head to take a picture. How do you focus, especially when you use your monopod in the air. Are you guessing the distance and focus manually, or is there another trick to do this? Very curious to here from you.
    Regards,
    Rob

    Reply
  16. damien

    Hi Chris,

    The finished album was square. We leave it entirely up to the couple to chose the size, shape and cover material for their album products. We use the Jorgensen range of albums and our clients can choose what they want. The price stays the same.

    I hope this helps.

    Damien.

    Reply
  17. Chris Houke

    Hi Damien

    I think the wedding DVDs are great, I’m watching them loads – often picking up new ‘bits’ with each different viewing.

    I’ve just had a look at Jane & Paul’s album pdf which suggests that the finished product was ‘square’. I thought when I saw it on the DVD it was ‘landscape’, but I guess I was mistaken.

    That got me thinking – do you have a preference regarding the album size and shape, or is this left entirely to the clients to choose? If you do have a personal preference, can you explain why?

    Cheers,

    Chris.

    P.S. Started reading your book at the weekend too – another triumph!

    Reply
  18. Scott Wiggins

    Thanks Damien, it looked like you were screwing something on and I thought it might be a close up ring.

    Look forwards to meeting you at Focus next week.

    Regards,

    Scott

    Reply
  19. damien

    Hi Scott,

    Well spotted! I forgot to mention I used a couple of dioptres on my 24 – 70mm f/2.8. I have a Hoya +4 and a +3 in my bag and I use them for the ring shot and occasionally a flower close up or a watch shot.

    Kind regards, Damien.

    Reply
  20. Scott Wiggins

    Damien,

    Can you please clarify the ring shot in the DVD (The shot you took using natural light on the windowsill.) Did you use any close up adapter on your 24-70 lens or did you just crop in later during post production?

    Thanks,

    Scott

    Reply
  21. damien

    Hi Geoff,

    I use the centre focusing point all the time. The ones on the periphery are less sensitive. I point the camera at the subject, re frame and shoot. Obviously this takes practice as I’m not looking through the viewfinder but practice makes perfect. I suppose it’s like shooting a gun from the hip. Do it enough times and you get good at it.

    The tighter you make the lasso, the more obvious the adjustment becomes. If you use paths and accurately draw around an object before adjustment it then becomes like a cut out and looks completely false. What you see is what you get, so it’s easy to tell straight away if you have the wrong radius.

    I hope this helps.

    Damien.

    Reply
  22. Geoff Maxted

    Just rec’d and viewed the two wedding DVDs. Superb presentation and excellent, interesting content. Many thanks.
    Inevitably there’s a couple of tech questions:
    Do you use all the AF points? I mention this because you hold the camera aove your head – how do you ensure accurate focusing?
    Also, As someone who picks their way carefully around an area I noted your casual, loose use of the lasso tool on the bonus DVD. Do you find that feathering is sufficient to prevent an ‘overlap’ of curve changes?
    Thanks again for a great product. Geoff

    Reply
  23. damien

    Hi Pete,

    Thanks for your kind words and honest review.

    Reply
  24. damien

    Hi Shayn,

    We have a lot of Macs here. 2 big ones, one of them a 4 core duo Intel running at 2.4ghz with 10Gb ram and a 30″ screen. The next is a quad core G5 running at 2.4 ghz with 8Gb ram and a 30″ screen.

    Julie uses a 24″ Intel iMac to select the images in Lightroom and does the accounts on it too using Quickbooks on XP via Parallels.

    Laura and I have 2.4 Ghz 15″ MacBook Pros with 4Gb ram.

    The sales room has a 12″ G4 Powerbook.

    Laura has a desk computer too that is a 20″ G5 iMac.

    Our server is a G4 cube :) That has been specced up a bit.

    Our screens are all calibrated using a Gretag Macbeth Spectrophotometer with Eye One Match software.

    I think that’s about it.

    Damien.

    Reply
  25. damien

    Hi Les,

    I use auto white balance for almost everything. Marko or our new expert editor Luke, sort out the colour in Lightroom. It is never far off though.

    Reply
  26. Pete Williamson

    Hey Mr and Mrs Lovegrove,

    Bought and watched your wedding DVD.

    Frist watch I was a little uninspired… just appeared to be a camera man following two photographers around someones wedding.
    Second watch paying more attention and it all comes together. I think alot of people who buy the DVD are expecting a “Set your camera to this, push that, stand here and this is why we do this..” layout… where as I think and believe is a whole lot more valuable is the way in which you have shown how easy it CAN be to shoot a wedding with pre planning, good manners and freindlyness.
    I can’t speak for other viewers but I like the element of “you should have a basic grasp of photograpy if your shooting a wedding” without actually saying anything like that.. it just comes across to me that way.. intential or not.. which I like.
    Another thing I like is the relaxed shooting style which screams “find your style and work on it!”..

    I too was wondering abuot your output workflow and sharpening and was pleasantly reminded that yes, sharpeness does start with good focus, technique and lenses.. All too often sharpening is added to a workflow whether its needed or not.

    Top Job…thank you.

    Pete

    Reply
  27. Shayn Parker

    Hi Damien,
    Fantastic DVD’s by the way, even better than the Lighting DVD’s I bought before. Inspirational stuff and its fantastic that you provide so much useful information on these blogs that we can use for free, well done.
    Just one question regarding kit you use in the post processing dvd. What spec Mac do you use and what calibration hardward/software do you use on it?
    Regards
    Shayn

    Reply
  28. Les Thomas

    Damien

    Great inspirational DVD, just a quick question, do you set your camera to AWB for all your images that are taken, if not how do you ensure consistancy on your white balance.

    Regards

    Les

    Reply
  29. damien

    Hi Jan,

    Thanks for your kind words.

    Album design is a DVD in itself waiting to be shot. We have run full day workshops on album design and construction in the past. I will get the album plan published soon. We are flat out on the run up to the SWPP convention later this week.

    Sharpening: We never need to sharpen our images beyond the standard default amount that Lightroom adds by default when the conversion from RAW to TIFF takes place. In my opinion adding sharpening tends to make pictures look digital and unnatural. Too much emphasis is often given to absolute sharpness and not enough to the soul of a picture. The best way to sharpen ones images is to buy better lenses ;-)

    Kindest regards, Damien.

    Reply
  30. Jan

    Damien

    I can only agree with everyone else in this column: Your DVD’s are excellent and truly invaluable for upcoming photographers. After viewing the Big Day disc set I only missed seeing how you work with setting up the albums. I have heard about the JAD software for Jorgensen albums, but haven’t come around to working with it. Seeing you working with setting up your albums would therefore be very useful, and seeing the album pdf would be nice too.

    Another thing that spring to mind is that I have never seen you fiddling around with the sharpening tools in either Lightroom or Photoshop, in any of your DVD’s. I think this is quite refreshing, since it is so exploited in other forums like photography magazines, in Photoshop podcasts and workshops, etc. I would really like to hear what you have to say about this.

    I really admire your work and look forward to anything you come up with next. It is truly inspirational!

    Cheers,

    Jan

    Reply
  31. damien

    Hi Jason,

    I don’t use any exposure lock on my 5D. I use it in manual and I use the flash on normal TTL. I am aware that there needs to be some flash exposure compensation dialed in all the time on some 5Ds. If you do it at the flash gun end it will stay there all the time and you can forget about it.

    Exposure locking s a faff and must be avoided if you are going to capture the moment.

    ‘Keep it simple’ is the technique I use.

    Damien.

    Reply
  32. damien

    Hi Nigel,

    We only show our clients twice what they will end up buying and we work on every image just like you saw on the DVD. A client won’t spend £35 an image when viewing camera files no matter how good the Champagne is that they are drinking ;-)

    Top tips:

    Don’t exceed the 2:1 ratio – A client of ours that sees 380 pictures ends up buying about 190 in their album.

    Don’t spend more than 2 minutes on each image. We spend 60 seconds in Lightroom and 60 seconds in Photoshop for each image. A wedding set of 380 images takes Marko a day and a half to prepare for the client viewing.

    Damien.

    Reply
  33. damien

    Hi Lyn,

    I suggest you use Matrix metering on your D700. It is very good indeed and may need far less overriding than our D200.

    Thanks for your kind words,

    Damien.

    Reply
  34. damien

    Hi Allan,

    I suggest you use a Sto-Fen on your 580. Tip the flash up so that it is pointing in an upright position. The direct light that lands on your subject will be about 1/4 of the flash gun output and will easily controlled by the TTL system.

    I often use the flash to the right of me as well as the left by crossing my arms.

    The direction of the flash is determined by the direction the subject is looking in. Get out there and practice to determine what works for you.

    Kindest regards,

    Damien.

    Reply
  35. Jason Little (JLMedia Ltd)

    Sounds good to me Martin, I will experiment a little bit more at home. I was told that when you do a focus lock it should do a pre flash and a flash exposure lock on the focus point, bearing in mind that I always focus on faces I would expect it to be right but it doesn’t seem to do that for me, hence I use the FEL and it seems ok.
    Thanks for the reply.

    Reply
  36. martin

    Jason: With Canon TTL flash (not sure about Nikon) the flash exposure compensation is independent of the regular exposure compensation. This means that if you are doing TTL flash you need to dial in plus or minus on the flash depending on whether the scene averages to lighter or darker than a mid tone, just the same as you do when shooting in ambient light. For e.g. the canon flash will always underexpose a white dress hanging on a white door unless you dial in a stop or more extra light on the flash.

    It might be that in using FEL you are inadvertently fooling the meter by taking a reading from a lighter or darker part of the scene.

    Just a thought.

    HTH

    Martin

    Reply
  37. Jason Little (JLMedia Ltd)

    Hi Damien,

    Hope you and the team had a great festive break. I watched your video and employed some of the techniques into my Winter wedding on the 29th Dec, the couple were extremley happy with the results and I have another booking this weekend as a referral from that wedding so it’s good news all round.
    One thing I did want to ask though, I’m still getting to grips with the 580 Flash guns and metering etc, I still find it hit and miss. I went on a training course with the Canon seminar people about flash but I have to say I found the whole course a little poor and walked away just as confused.
    Do you use the Flash Exposure Lock (FEL) button on your 5D before you take a picture. I find that I get a good flash power level exposure if I do this but normally quite a poor one if I don’t use the FEL first.
    I use evaluative metering so I wouldn;t have thought it would make a difference but it seems to.
    I’d be interested in hearing how you do this.
    Oh BTW, The monopod tip is fantastic and I will continue to use mine forever more.
    I agree with you about the new pod and the stupid little trigger lock, I will probably remove that lock as I find it annoying.

    Best Regards,

    Jason

    Reply
  38. Nigel

    Hi Damian

    I just watced your bigday DVD about the post processing brillient as usual and was wondering if you post process all your images both for weddings and portrait work before the client sees them.

    If so, do you feel that it is work done on images you may never sell as there are a lot of images to go through from a wedding.

    Regards Nigel

    Reply
  39. Lyn

    Hi Damien,

    I have been watching ‘the big day the Lovegrove Way’ and reading your book time and time again and they are simpy amazing! Thank you.

    Just a quick query – what metering mode do you use/recommend. I have a Nikon D700.

    thank you so much for sharing your wonderful insight and talent with us.

    Lyn

    Reply
  40. Allan Scott

    Hi Damien,

    Firstly well done on both the new DVD’s. They are excellent and truely inspiring for me in my early days as a wedding photographer.

    I am keen to move to off camera flash as I have a few weddings over the next couple of months where I know that most of the photos will be inside. I am looking at going for the Canon ST-E2 (I am using a 40D with a 580 EXII). My question is you tend to hold the flash up to the left . Do you have any particular method on the position to achieve the best results?. For example does pointing the flash up in a high room give enough light on the subject. Also in TTL mode off camera do you generally leave the flash on a standard power setting or increase and decrease depending on the room.

    Some more detalied advice on off camera flash would be really appreciated.

    Allan

    Reply
  41. David Jones

    Thanks for the info on the focussing Damien. Al makes sense. Your years of practise makes it look effortless! Still surprised that at f4, maintaining a visual constant distance whilst walking backwards down the aisle results in such sharp shots – time to get practising!

    Cheers
    David

    Reply
  42. damien

    Each of our frames is a custom design. For the ‘signing print’ we size the mount based on the number of guests at the wedding. The print would have been 350mm on it’s longest side by whatever the other side ended up.

    I hope this helps.

    Damien.

    Reply
  43. Craig Thomas

    Hi Damien,

    Thanks for the name of the framing company could i ask the details of the one in the DVD frame style image size.

    Many thanks again

    Craig

    Reply
  44. Paul Gallagher

    Thanks Damien, that does make sense.

    I would try an overhead shot, take the camera down to eye level and check it but should just look up at the screen and re-frame, simple when you know how.

    Thanks
    Paul

    Reply
  45. damien

    Hi David and Paul,

    I use just the centre point for focusing and I occasionally flick the camera into manual focus for the odd tracking shot. Coming down the isle is one such time where it is safer to focus and reframe the first shot then flick the camera into manual focus and maintain the same distance between me and the couple. That way the focus doesn’t throw to the alter etc. This process is automatic for me because I’ve done it hundreds of times.

    I do spot focus and re-frame at times when I shoot overhead. Other times I focus at normal height and whilst keeping the shutter half pressed I put the camera in the air slightly in front of me so that the camera is the same distance to the subject.

    TIP: Imagine there is a piece of string between the camera and subject and you have to keep the string taught. Keep this in your mind when framing or doing tracking shots.

    When I take pictures from above my head it is automatic framing that I employ. It is like running back for a tennis ball and even though you are facing away from the court when you hit the ball you instinctively know where the ball has to go. I always use a wide angle lens setting and I can look up at my camera and know where it is pointing. When I first started using this method I used to cut off heads just like anyone else but before I lowered my hand I’d tilt the camera back look up at the screen to spot check. If I needed to make an adjustment It would be easy to do. If you lower your hand down and look at the camera you have to start from scratch if the shot needs repeating.

    Practice makes perfect. It’s like ice skating, difficult at first then after a lot of practice it becomes intuitive.

    I hope this makes sense.

    Damien.

    Reply
  46. damien

    Hi Craig,

    The framed picture from the PW shoot is put together by Kaleidoscope picture framing. The aluminum rim means it it easy to slide the glass between the mounted print and the backing board for signing and back in front after the wedding.

    Damien.

    Reply
  47. Paul Gallagher

    Good question David, also on this topic Damien do you use only the centre focus point for all photos, eg. a full length portrait of a couple?

    If I only use the centre point at f4, mine always come out soft at their faces for a full length portrait

    Paul.

    Reply
  48. David Jones

    Hi Damien and Julie,

    Thanks for sharing so much with us in the new DVDs. They’re great. Just have a quick technique question regarding focussing. In the DVD of ‘The Big Day’ you are taking many shots above your head and also really quick shots e.g. some of the ones of the groom getting ready. You don’t appear to be centre spot focussing and reframing and yet everything is spot on for sharpness. Given that most of the time you are shooting around f4 what is your secret for getting focus spot on time after time, particularly with the overheads?

    Thanks again for sharing so much and Happy New Year to you all at Lovegrove Studio

    David

    Reply
  49. Craig Thomas

    Simply awesome, i now have all you DVD’s and as someone who has only really bitten by the photography bug little over a year ago, this really lets you see how it should be done, for a relative newbie like myself these are Inspiring and just seem to top up my already overflowing enthusiasm for photography. All I can say is thank you very much for sharing.

    In this DVD there was the large framed photo of the couple for everyone to sign which was a great idea. Do you put those together in-house.

    Also the bonus DVD on post production was fantastic to watch and see the work flow. If you ever do a post production DVD with Marko I would be first in line along with many others I’m sure.

    Thanks again for sharing your wealth of knowledge with the masses..

    Craig

    Reply
  50. Coventry Bob

    Wow – what a superb DVD, the content. production and quality of the “Big Day” are superb. Lovegrove not only lead the pack but are way out in front of any other wedding photography trainers. This DVD is light years ahead of other wedding DVD’s trust me I have a shelf full.
    All aspiring wedding photographers should beg, steal, borrow or even buy a copy of this DVD immediately.
    Thanks Damien we now know the secret of your fame – behind every successful man their is a woman!

    Reply
  51. Aynsley Cooper

    Hi Team
    Just worked my way through the latest DVD’s, and now I have read the list (above) of pretty much all the questions I had meant to ask.
    I found these (and the earlier) DVD’s to be great motivation for me, and hopefully I’ll find time for a course too.
    Well done to all involved, and best wishes for 2009.
    Aynsley

    Reply
  52. Paul Gallagher

    Thanks Damien, that would be just super.

    Paul

    Reply
  53. damien

    Hi Paul,

    Thanks for your feedback. I’ll see to it that we publish a pdf of the album design here in the new year. Great request.

    Damien

    Reply
  54. Paul Gallagher

    Hi Damien,

    Just watched the big day DVD 1 last night and found it first class, very well made and produced another great product.
    I can’t wait to watch the other 2 DVD’s over the next couple of evenings.

    Just one thing I would have really loved to see on the first DVD is the full album, the way it looked and its layout with all the images.

    Thanks again

    Paul

    Reply
  55. damien

    Hi Steven,

    Thank you for your kind words. We let the bride and groom choose their pictures. After all, only they know what they want. Once the bride and groom have made their selection they choose the album style and cover etc. They also settle up the extra fees due and we go ahead and design the album based around the couple’s selection. They get a pdf of the design by email and then feedback any changes required. A month later a fantastic Jorgensen album arrives on their doorstep.

    I hope this helps.

    Damien

    Reply
  56. Steven

    Damien & Julie

    I must say a superb set of DVD’s. I was very impressed with your first set but these two are brilliant. I wonder what your going to produce next???

    Damien/Julie I have a quick question if you dont mind me asking. I noticed right at the very end of the Big Day DVD that the couple were at your studio looking through the photos and Julie was performing some work on her laptop. Can you tell me if you sit down with the bride and groom and go through each image for them to decide if they want it in their wedding album? Or do you design the album bespoke but based the picture selection you both choose? We do the latter but I am interested to see what you guys do and the reason behind it.

    BTW: The tip on the formula you use during the shooting of the couple as they walk out the church on your winter weddings DVD is superb…

    Regards

    Steven

    Reply
  57. Chris

    in the last 3 months I’ve dug out my old minolta IV lightmeter and started to use it again, and fine tweaking the exposure in manual after checking the back of the camera

    Reply
  58. martin

    Same system (i.e. establish exposure and shoot in manual) works for any subject where the background is changing. Birds in flight, moving vehicles etc etc. I prefer to work in AV and dial in plus or minus depending on whether the scene averages to lighter or darker than a mid tone, but when the background is changing quickly, for whatever reason, manual is the way to go.

    Reply
  59. damien

    Hi Jason,

    My heart would shoot the 1Ds mk3. It’s a fabulous camera but my arms would be killing me at the end of the day. A Canon 1Ds mk3 with a 70 – 200 mm f/2.8 lens is heavier than my Hasselblad H2 with it’s Phase One back and the 210mm lens.

    Cheers, Damien.

    Reply
  60. damien

    Hi Joe,

    Yervants system is to establish the correct exposure with the camera in manual and just shoot ignoring the camera settings. That way you can frame the shot just how you want it without having to compensate for different backgrounds. It makes perfect sense, especially if like him you shoot sequences. However, and it’s a big however. If you shoot A or Av you are nearly always within a stop of the correct exposure as you go from scene to scene. With the camera set to M it can really catch you out. You can shoot wildly incorrect exposures and suffer the consequences. Bride and groom coming down the isle for instance. You start inside at ISO 800 1/125th at f/4 perhaps and you exit the church still shooting. If you were using A or Av the camera would likely choose ISO 800 1/4000th at f/4 – it’s not ideal but it does make usable pictures.

    I hope this helps. Damien.

    Reply
  61. Joseph Adams

    Hey Damien,

    what’s “Yervant’s system”?
    Joe

    Reply
  62. Jason Little (JLMedia Ltd)

    Damien,
    Glad you liked the question, please don’t go filming everything again on my account though, I’m not sure I could handle the guilt LOL.
    I did suspect you used Evaluative but wanted to check.
    I want to take the “guess work” and “luck” out of my photography and start using reliable methods that guarantee the same results time after time, this is something I picked up from your DVD’s and I thank you for that.
    I have just had a quick look at the custom functions on the 5D and I can not see a way of changing the wheels around, I’m sure there is on my 1DS MKIII, that poses another dilemma, I do wonder if I should use my 5D at weddings as it’s light weight and the file sizes are plenty big enough, but I always feel I may be doing an injustice to myself and my client by using the lesser of my two cameras. I know it’s crazy and it’s purely a mindset as it’s very clear you can produce outstanding results with 5D and probably a 40D for that matter. I’d be interested to hear your views on this if you had a 1D series, which would you use.
    Oh I also bought the new Manfrotto monopod and am looking forward to building it into my work flow.

    Best Regards.

    Reply
  63. damien

    Hi Jason,

    Great question. It’s very remiss of me to leave out that key information. My camera (5D) is set to (o) multipatterned or matrix metering mode. and Julie’s D200 was set to the Nikon equivalent.

    When I’m in Manual shooting mode I use the linear scale to assess the amount of plus or minus exposure compared to the cameras estimated correct exposure.

    When I’m shooting in Av (Aperture Value) or A (Aperture Priority) I count clicks on the wheels to set the exposure. Each click is exactly 1/3rd stop change.

    When I switch between Av and M on the 5D the aperture adjustment switches wheel. This is the single most annoying function of the 5D and I think it is still not sorted on the 5D mk2. I assumed you can change it in a menu but I’ve never found a way.

    Julie shoots in A mode all the time. I did too for 5 years or so but went to manual and adopted Yervant’s system a couple of years ago.

    I hope this helps.

    Kindest regards, Damien.

    Reply
  64. Jason Little (JLMedia Ltd)

    Hi Damien and team, I have your Natural light, flash photography, Winter Wedding and Big Day DVD’s and one thing I may have missed is that you don’t mention metering modes, Iwondered what metering mode you use on the 5d, you refer a lot to 1 stop under and over etc but I would love to know what metering and program mode you are in.
    I have a 1DS MKIII and a 5D and prefer manual to a certain extent but I may start using AV mode with evaluative with exp compensation a bit more as I feel this could give me more reliable exposures.
    Best regards,
    Hopefully see you at SWPP if not probably Focus.

    Jason

    Reply
  65. John Okpala

    Hi Damian and Julie – just wanted to say thanks for sharing so much in the wedding DVDs – it helped so much reiterate the things you taught at the winter wedding training recently.

    Have a wonderful Christmas – looking forward to seeing you guys sometime in the new year – the master printing course with Marko requires doing soon now i can take much better pictures.

    Reply
  66. damien

    Hi Nigel,

    I tend to use manual more when the light level is constant. It saves me from having to correct for bright or dark backgrounds all the time. It is just easier to get the exposure right once, set it to manual and then forget about it. That way I can concentrate on timing and the subject.

    Julie uses aperture priority nearly all the time and she has got into the habit of adjusting every exposure using compensation. She just sees the scene and knows if it is +0.7 or +1 stop intuitively. I used to shoot that way but because I often re frame at the last minute I need to lock the exposure first.

    Getting the exposure right is the key to the success of our final images. Marko, our picture editor needs enough exposure in the image to boost contrast whilst keeping the noise at bay. I often hear photographers say things like ‘my D200 is unusable at ISO 800’ when the real problem is they are leaving the exposure assessment to the camera. The camera usually airs on the side of caution and has a tendency to underexpose high contrast scenes. This is fatal when shooting at high ISO.

    I hope this helps,

    Damien.

    Reply
  67. Nigel

    Hi Damien & Julie

    Just finished watching your Big Day DVD, it arrived in the post this morning and I would like to thank you both so much for providing a fantastic insight to the way you and work on a wedding day.

    Just a quick technical question I noticed that the majority of you inside photos were taken in manual and out side most were aperture priority, is there any particular reasion for this or is as I think due to more changing lighting outside, would love to know your thoughts, offf to watch the bonus DVD now.

    Best christmas wishes to you and your family
    Nigel

    Reply
  68. damien

    Hi Dave,

    Our Billingham bags are the 445 model. If I was buying again I’d buy the 555 – It’s 2″ longer.

    Have a great Christmas.

    Damien.

    Reply
  69. Scott

    Damien & Julie,

    Well done on the DVD’s, I’m half way through the Big Day and the production quality is stunning. Lots of little tips tucked away in there as well with the thought processes. It’s great to see the still photo after seeing you take the image.

    Have a great Christmas, you’ve certainly provided a better option than the inevitable James Bond or Great Escape repeat to watch.

    Scott

    Reply
  70. David Lowerson

    Hi Damien,

    Love both of the DVD’s – well done, the drinks are on me!

    Only one problem, getting grief from the wife as production at David Lowerson Photography has ground to a halt due to me watching these DVD’s.

    Take care, and have a fab Xmas.

    David.

    Reply
  71. Dave Causon

    Hi damien any idea what billingham model bag you have? cheers.

    Reply
  72. Chris

    Just a small post to the prophotonut blog readers.
    I received my beautifully packaged DVD’s and spent most of last night in front of the TV. The quality, production and presentation were as usual outstanding. The content is invaluable to photographers wanting to take their photography to another level. Enlightening to the enthusiast or student who is thinking of becoming a wedding photographer. Inspiring and reassuring to the seasoned pro. Well done to everyone on the project, you should be very proud of this.

    Reply
  73. John Rahim

    Hi Damien thanks for the reply. I remember reading in your book that you used primes on your hasselblad. I have never tried the 135 f2 however I agree with your point on the 70-200. I dropped mine at a wedding I did in October and since then has been a bit creaky however takes great pics. Cheers John

    Reply
  74. damien

    Hi Dave,

    I’ve amended the kit list above to show ‘IS’ Thanks, D.

    Reply
  75. damien

    Hi John,

    I used 3 prime lenses on my H2 / P25 camera for three years exclusively. Julie needs zooms because she is fixed in one position at the front of the church during the service. I like the Canon zooms and if I was to have a prime lens in my kit it would be the 135mm f/2. I much prefer the 135mm perspective on a full frame camera. It is also lighter than the 85mm. However my 70mm – 200mm lens has such a beautiful bokeh and is as sharp as a pin I see no reason to get a prime.

    I hope this helps.

    Damien.

    Reply
  76. DaveBulow

    Damien, thank you for another very interesting post. Just out of interest, you say you use the Canon EF 70-200 f2.8 lens. Are you using the IS or non-IS version of this lens? I’m just curious to know if you had any views or preference or reasons for choosing one over the other?

    Reply
  77. John Rahim

    Hi guys out of interest why don’t you use any prime lenses? I bought a 85 1.2L last year and use it for all of my portraits as well as in dark gloomy churches. That said I love your pictures so if it aint broke…. however I love my 85mm it’s by far the best lens that I have owned in over 25 years. John

    Reply
  78. damien

    Hi all,

    Thank you for pre-ordering this seasons DVDs. I am happy to say that all orders have now been dispatched.

    The post van collected 15 mail sacks full of DVDs from us yesterday (17th). They all went 1st class or Air Mail.

    UK mainland orders should be with you today (18th). Thanks for your custom and support in 2008.

    Kindest regards,

    Damien.

    Reply

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