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    Posted by ScottJarvie at March 24, 2011

    Category: (i) Question & Answer

    Tags: , , ,

    I have some honest questions for past clients, present clients and future clients.
    They brought up a couple of issues I thought I’d ask here.
    If you feel to qualify your response with your photography experience (specially how much you hire photographers and buy images) that’d be great.
    Do you want less pictures to choose from?
    Am I giving too many… is it making your job too hard to pick.
    Would you print more images if I gave you JUST the top 20-40 creations instead of a choice of 200 images with my favorites at the beginning?
    More to think about:
    Think about it… This might be a scary proposition for someone just getting into photography that might not do a good job at that selection process. But as for me. Do I stick with the overwhelming them with tons of choices or limit it down already.
    They say it’s been proven that you will order more and larger prints and actually do things with them if they are selected down more. I want people to USE the images more (like prints) and to value them more.
    Should I share fewer?
    Question 2
    Would you rather me take 20 minutes setting up one dynamic image or use the 20 minutes to take 20 very good but not quite as dynamic images? (Which means more dynamic lighting and more epic staging)
    OK so the numbers can be changed around… but the question remains. I try to document the personality of the whole event. That won’t change… but I can stop (maybe break the flow of the shoot) from time to time and spend the extra time (by both you and me) to make those really impressive images.
    This will lead to less images in the long run but perhaps a few more dynamic works of art to go on the wall.
    Don’t get me wrong I get some pretty dynamic images at each wedding but… hopefully you know what I mean.
    Question 3
    Where are you using these pictures? (or going to?)
    What is it about to you? Are you going to put these images on your walls?
    What I’m getting at is… do I need that one dynamic image for the wall. Or are they about

    I have some honest questions for past clients, present clients and future clients.

    A photography seminar brought up a couple of issues I thought I’d ask here.
    If you feel to qualify your response with your photography experience (specially how much you hire photographers and buy images) that’d be great.


    Do you want less pictures to choose from? (no… seriously)
    Am I giving too many… is it making your job too hard to pick.


     063_J7S9489 064_J7S9494

    I was asked why do I spend a few moments to do individual portraits during an engagement pictures session.

    There are a couple of reasons.

    People do slideshows. So in the section where they’re showing each kid growing up they can use these ones towards the end. It’s nice for them.

    They can put themselves on facebook. They do the couple shots of course but lots of people like individual shots on FB or for that matter for head-shots for work and wherever.

    Third reason is it loosens them up and makes them less dependent on the other person.

    Helps me see what they’re capable of, how the interact by themselves and how when I put them back together I can work with and highlight in each individual during the couple pictures.

    We’ll see if they’re tough, cute, spunky, shy, what their smiles are like, over the top, or reserved) Some of that stuff we figure out when they’re together but it helps when seperated as well.

    They also tend to interact really well here… they’ll make the other person smile and like i mentioned earlier it looses them up. They’ll complain about feeling awkward but we’re all laughing.

    In the end we realize who cares we’re all friends and you can be a goof or a ham who cares.


    A good friend and awesome photographer David Terry asked about the lighting and settings in a picture of mine… so while I was in the midst of writing Blog Posts I thought I’d quickly turn it into a blog post… cuz why not?

    So if you have a certain picture you’d like to hear the story on let me know and I might do it.

    The Settings

    For those that didn’t know some things you can learn about how I took the picture right on SmugMug – I leave the info enabled for you to be able to see my settings. (Scroll over the picture and click the blue “i” as in information.)

    I’m gonna go check it it says I was at 8 seconds

    OK so the idea was that there were people roaming around and it was a little dark so i wanted a long exposure. The tripod was in the car and lets face it I was a tad lazy at that moment… I mean I was all the way upstairs. But I was able to set my camera on the railing in such a way I felt it wasn’t gonna move much.

    I did longer shots but most of them were much shorter. I kept making the aperture much smaller to get longer exposures (f/10) I also dropped the ISO for that purpose as well (ISO 250). I wasn’t gonna be able to light up the whole dang reception place with lights so the long exposure was the best.

    They had turned off the main lights in the place and lit a lot of candles (you can see the main lights up at the top and how they’re off) However lights on the downstairs sides were on… they weren’t that bright and weren’t a threat of entering in directly through the lens and effecting the pictures

    How it came about

    Anyway so I did a few pics of just the groom because he’s into photography and always up for me expirementing. I was happy that there was some down time before the reception got into full swing… there isn’t always ops like that.

    They knew what to do because we did something similar on the other side but with a much shorter exposure. But I was pushing this to 8 seconds dangit.

    It worked out… because there were lots more people in this picture than what you see… in fact a child walks by the bride… right there between the table and her dress.. during those 8 seconds. So where is she… not there… because she traveled the course of the picture during the 8 seconds. They stayed still during all 8 seconds.

    What you can’t see in the INFO is that I did use an LED light to light them up a bit… I probably shined that down on them for about 1-2 seconds.

    You can see I put them in the shady area of the picture, with reason. The lines lead toward them. And since it’s shady that means not much light hits them meaning I can determine and control what light I was happy about hitting them.

    Now for BW


    Recap: Why did I decide to take the picture?

    Simply because I was trying to take an awesome picture of the venue and I saw the groom walk by and called out to him and figured why not try to get them in there as well. Why Not indeed.

    Here’s that


    Another picture I took while up above


    But I had to shoot this one at f/1.6 because of style and to get enough light to shoot hand hold

    There’s a couple others I think that I have selected but I haven’t got them edited yet in the current batch… so look through the gallery later next month.

    Since this has become a very popular post I’ll re-edit and say how things are 8 months later

    (I also wrote a follow up post a while back here SEE UPDATE HERE)

    Use A DeskTop if you can

    First I must say that if I were you I’d stick with a desktop to edit pictures.
    Much much less expensive,
    Much more expandable,
    You can get 2-3 monitors on it no problem
    No hassle for adding extra hard drives.
    You are forced to work at a desk… which can be good.
    And you won’t ever feel tempted to waste your time using something other than a mouse (or even better a tablet)
    And you’ll most likely be using a good sized monitor (23″ and up)

    Looking for a kickbutt photography editing laptop.

    I’ll be gone a lot this summer on wedding assignments.
    For instance in may I’ll be gone a week to alaska and I’ll need to edit while there.
    I’ll also be gone later that month on a trip that will include weddings in Arizona and NYC

    I need to keep on top of my editing and my old single core laptop from a while back won’t cut it.

    So I need a good laptop that will substitute nicely.

    I suppose I’m looking for:

    • Fast processor
    • Lots of Memory
    • big Screen – at least lots of resolution
    • good battery life for the airplanes
    Tell me if there is anything else I’m missing.
    So I’m even willing to go to Mac did a similar review

    Base System

    I will compare the prices based on system that has more or less the following:
    They all have 17″

    • 2.93 processor
    • 64bit operating system
    • 4GB ram 1066 ddr3 / And also showing 8GB
    • 320GB HD

    (Please note that prices have gone down since i wrote this in march)

    Macbook Pro 17
    = $3149
    8GB ram = $4199
    QuadCore = NA
    Dell 17″
    = $3875
    8GB ram = $4915
    QuadCore = 5715
    Lenovo w700ds
    3.06 processor
    dual HDs in raid 320GB 5400rpm
    Built in wacom tablet
    8GB = $4919
    Quad Core 2.5 = 5319
    Sony vaio AW series
    18.4 screen
    = $2798
    8GB = $3298
    Quad = NA
    HP HDX18t
    2.8 processor
    8GB = $2389
    Quad Core 2.5 = 2989
    Other things to note:
    Obviously some of them have lots of toys and tricks that I didn’t mention, which accounts for some of the price difference.
    But the question is… why is the HP so cheap in comparison?
    And only a couple of them assured me that it was truly 1920 resolution.
    And what other toys are necessary to compare that I overlooked.
    Please weigh-in in what you think.


    See that I ended up getting a MacBookPro – I decided that the price difference wasn’t as much as I expected or that usually exists between PC and Mac

    I have used it as I stated for several of my trips. It’s been durable, small enough for my camera bags (that allow laptops)

    I haven’t used it a ton for editing because i’ve gotten so used to the speeds of my desktop which this doesn’t even compare.
    And now i’ve gotten used to my 30″ monitor and 17″ doesn’t make me feel confident I’m making the best editing decisions.

    If I were to do it again I would. There’s a lot to be said about the small form factor for traveling and the long battery life.

    If I were to buy a main computer – i’d still be putting together a top of the line PC.

    It appears that for actual editing and processing (speeds or quality) that there is no advantage in Mac (that I’ve ever hear(… I just happened to like the computer.

    Email from a follower:
    Hey Scott! Since we first talked last year I’ve been keeping up with your shoots and studying them to see what the difference is between yours and mine. Because your’s have a completely different look to them! And they’re totally awesome by the way!
    Besides general style of shooting, I’ve realized it’s the color and feel to the picture. So I have a couple questions!
    First of all, what camera(s) do you use? What lenses do you use most often?

    Do you use Photoshop or Aperture? I’m looking into getting Aperture and wanted to know how it is compared to Photoshop but I don’t know anyone out here who uses Aperture on a regular basis. Also, do you shoot in RAW or jpeg?

    One thing I loved about all your pictures is the super RICH color. What do you attribute that to? Is it your camera (beyond just correctly exposing the image in the first place), image format, what you do to it after, etc? 

    Thanks Scott!


    Scott Jarvie
    I shoot in RAW which gives me the leniency in Lightroom to minimize shadows
    I develop the picture with more contrast and usually aim for a generally brighter picture.
    Believe it or not I usually don’t make changes to saturation controls.
    When you up contrast it usually punches the colors anyway.

    Mostly it’s the camera and the lenses and the way i shoot. Which is usually a low aperture like 2.8 or less and often with a thrown out background.

    I have used everything from the d70 up to the d700
    right now it’s the D700
    Which means I’m able to go pretty high in ISO

    So i already mentioned it but I use Lightroom
    I teach it too.
    But that’s hard when you’re living out of the state.
    But the last one i did was recorded and perhaps I’ll put it online so more people can see.

    But RAW definetly lets you pull out shadows and also a big part is it lets you up contrast without affecting the saturation too much.
    Because on JPG you up contrast and I’ve seen that it messes with the saturation of the faces and stuff in a way I don’t like.
    Plus JPGs have a pretty high contrast already… but it isn’t really a style of contrast I prefer.

    Hope that helps to answer the questions a little bit.
    I’m gonna throw this answer on my blog so more people can see and hopefully learn something knew.

    If I were face to face with an adobe developer what would I personally ask him/her?

    Obviously: How do I make lightroom faster?

    Would i have a better experience if I upgraded to 64bit operating system?

    The answer is probably yes… but then I would ask… How much better and how?
    What I’m getting down to… Is it even worth bothering?

    Would things be better with more than 4GB of Ram?

    Again the answer I expect is yes…. but then I would ask…
    How much better and how will I notice the effects?
    What I’m getting down to… Is it even worth bothering?

    How big can I make my catalogs?

    He’ll say… it depends.
    I’ll say of course it depends… that’s how computers and technology works…
    Now expand on that thought.

    Is there a perfect way to install Lightroom and set the preferences?

    He’ll probably say there’s no “perfect” way or it depends.
    Then I’ll ask ok… what’s the “best” way you know of?

    Would a sub $2000 mac be better than a quad-core PC with 4GB of ram 5-6 HDs?

    Follow up if the answer is yes… would it be worth giving up my 3 screen setup? (And having to classify myself with annoying Apple Fan Boys… I mean I did get an iPhone so I don’t suppose it’s way out there)
    Because if it’s only a tiny bit faster then what’s the point?

    Why does it seem that Lightroom is specially sluggish when I leave for a while. Or when I wake in the mornings?

    I don’t turn off my computer or even shut down lightroom.
    Is that a terrible thing and the root of all my problems?
    Does lightroom need to be shut down from time to time just like a computer?

    Will add more to the post as I think about them or you suggest them.