How We Shot It – Sunset Shot with a Bridesmaid Light Stand
Whoever has shot a Wedding as the primary Photographer, will understand how fast and chaotic it can be. So it can be a struggle at times to think about something creative when you have very few minutes to produce something for them.
Fortunately, I already had this sunset shot planned for the Bride & Groom, and I even looked up on the internet what time the sun would be setting to schedule this shot. But as with all Weddings, nothing really goes according to schedule.
The sun started dropping earlier than expected and I guess I didn’t account for the height of the trees.
I barely had enough time to round up the Bride & Groom, let alone setup the light stands etc. so I enlisted the help of one of the Bridesmaids.
I whipped out my Tripod and whilst setting that up, I directed the couple so that the sunset would be behind them. As most of you probably know, cameras do struggle with Dynamic Range and the immense light from the sun would have the couple underexposed which in turn, would make them silhouettes. I wanted to illuminate the couple with off-camera flash, so I asked the Bridesmaid to stand next to them, and point a bare flash down on their faces and set the Nikon CLS Trigger to TTL.
Once I attained the shot of the couple illuminated, I then re-took that shot with the flash off, and with the Bridesmaid out of shot.
During the post-processing stage, I exported the untouched RAW files into TIFF files.
I laid the shot of them as silhouettes as the base layer, and had another layer on top with the shot of them illuminated and then simply erased the Bridesmaid with the Eraser Tool in Photoshop, and hey presto, it looks as if she was never there!
I then saved this file as a TIFF and re-imported into Lightroom 4, at which point I did make use of the SLR Lounge’s Lightroom 4 Preset System to give it that Vintage vibe. I wanted it to have a really dark sunset vibe when the sun is at its goldest, so I then went up on the white balance temperature quite a bit.
Finally I went for a crop. Not because I miss composed the shot or anything, but I wanted the image to fit perfectly on a 16:9 screen, which is the standard wide screen ratio.
Click here to view more images from this Wedding.
1) Camera: Nikon D800
2) Lens: Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8>
3) Flash: Nikon SB-900