Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Chris Elander Photography : Engagement Session with Laurel & Scott at Minter's

I was a little worried in the morning that we might be shooting in a bit of rain, but sometimes you just have to go for it! Luckily for us, the skies cleared up as soon as we started shooting. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Interviewed! The Importance of Raw vs Jpeg

I was recently interviewed by Ted Karlsalr and the Omnilargess Team from Raw Digital Image Editing. Ted is the owner/operator/editor with Raw Digital Image Editing and does a lot of editing for many International high end Wedding Photographers. In this interview we discuss the benefits of shooting in Raw format and what it can do for you. Feel free to discuss and comment as well! Enjoy.
Hello Raw-shooters,

    Ted: September was another busy month, but as promised last month, I came up with a new idea for our newsletter.

   I believe that as an artist it’s important to know the point of view of other successful artists. I recently interviewed a talented photographer from the Lower Mainland, Chris Elander. Some of you may remember him from the previous newsletters when he shared some of his amazing photos with us. Please check his photos on his Website.
If you have a special point or an idea you’d like to share with our readers, please contact us and I will be more than happy to interview you and publish your ideas.

Now let’s get started!

Chris, can you please introduce yourself to our readers?

Chris: Hey there! I'm Chris!  Wedding Photographer by day….professional hair comb tester by night. (Just kidding!) 

Ted: How did you get in to photography?

Chris: Funny story! My very first interview was at a Save-On Foods Grocery Store in my home town. The position I was being interviewed for was actually for the Bakery Department. It was the usual question and answer scenario and towards the end of the interview the manager excused himself to take a call. Upon his return he says "Oh by the way, do you want to work in the Photo Lab instead?" And the rest is history!

Ted: What format do you usually use?

Chris: I think I can count on both hands the amount of film I've shot. The medium of choice is definitely digital!  I shoot with a Nikon D700 and a D200 as back up.  I use the Nikon 24-70 F2.8, a Nikon 70-200 F2.8 and a Nikon 50mm F1.8. I always shoot in 14 Bit RAW.

Ted: Why RAW file?

Chris: Shooting RAW gives me the opportunity to bring out such a wide dynamic range in any image and push the camera to its full potential.  With the right software you can pull out so much detail with a RAW file.  It gives me the ability to fine tune the highlights and keep as much or as little detail in the shadows as I like.  JPEG is so limited with the amount of adjustments you can make to the file. I definitely try to shoot things right to begin with, but hey, we're all human, we all make mistakes and shooting RAW definitely helps with recovering information in the event that you're slightly under or over exposed.

Ted: I have heard some photographers claim that JPEG is good enough. What is your opinion? 

Chris: I think it's just a matter of educating yourself as a professional. I was a JPEG shooter for a long time, then with a good explanation and the right software I saw the vast difference in my own work between JPEG and RAW. Just have an open mind and don't be afraid to explore.  I always want my work to speak for itself and the better the quality of my work, the more confident I am in knowing my clients are getting fantastic quality photos.

Ted: For me “good enough” does not exist!  It is either “good” or it is “not good”.
I hear photographers insisting that JPEG is all you need; if you know how to shoot a picture!  What do you think?

Chris: I think if you truly appreciate the art in photography and care about the product your clients receive (whether they know the difference or not) then shooting RAW is a must.

Ted: I have seen many of your pictures and must say that you are very creative and talented.  I really like the way you use flashes and ambient light to create something different and dramatic. Why it is necessary for a photographer, especially a wedding photographer, to use some sort of strobe or flashes?

Chris: With flash, specifically off camera, you have full creative control over everything! I often take one shot with natural light only, then with the use of OCF (off camera flash) I can make the same situation look and feel completely different. Sometimes the situations you run into as a wedding photographer are extremely hard to work in (direct harsh sunlight or dimly lit ceremony halls) and the only way to execute it properly is by using flash.  With OCF the creative options are limitless.

Ted: If you want to hire a photographer for your wedding, what are the most important qualifications that you are going to consider?


1. Experience Level 
I want to hire someone who specializes in Wedding Photography. Not someone who is learning or just getting into shooting weddings.

2. Gear 
I want my photographer to be using high end professional gear. It's true that anyone can create fantastic images with any camera, but I have confidence in saying that high end professional gear is built to do the job. Whether you're shooting in a dimly lit church or shooting in the rain, pro camera bodies and lenses are made to give you the best result in the end.

3. Personality & Professionalism
It's definitely a must to have a photographer who is going to make you feel super comfortable in front of the camera. As a photographer, you get a good feel for how much direction a couple or person will need.  Punctuality is also a must! Usually when booking a wedding photographer you will meet with the photographer, and if someone is not on time for a meeting I'd say that’s a huge red flag. The other side to shooting weddings is the business side of things. Does the photographer run a legitimate business? Do they have insurance for themselves, their gear, and their clients?

Ted: Every now and then one style of editing or composing gets to be popular. For example after the movie Twilight or Alice in Wonderland, or tilting the camera; we have seen these styles become very trendy and fashionable. What do you think about this?  Do you still take the classical style photos or do you change your style according to the market’s demand?

Chris: I think following trends are not productive for your own personal style. Every photographer should develop his or her own personal style and become good at that.
I mean, how many times can you see hands in the shape of a heart on a pregnant belly, or shots on railroad tracks?  I find a good way of shooting involves using the lines of your environment, being creative with light, and conscious composition.  It's almost impossible to re-produce those types of images without thinking the same as I do, and being in the same location. 

Ted: Thank you for your time Chris; we wish you all the best in your business.
Please post this interview on your Blog and everybody is welcome to post comments.

That is all for this month. We hope enjoy the month of October and we’ll see you again with November’s newsletter.

Do you have suggestions for future tutorials? Please send your suggestions and comments to:   

Have fun and remember we love to hear your comments and suggestions.

Be creative with light,
Ted and Omnilargess Team
We love to hear from you - please send your feedback to:

For Archives of all our newsletters, visit our Blog
As always, we appreciate your feedback.  Please send comments, questions and suggestions