Background and Vision

Recently, I attended a friend’s wedding. Even though I was a guest for the wedding, my friend Justin from Lin and Jirsa Wedding Photography thought it would be a great idea if I brought my Einstein studio strobes to do a couple of lighting setups.

The building was just amazing to look at. The architecture from the outside reminds me of those rustic Italian villas, so for this scene, we wanted to to have a painterly image that evokes a feeling of romantic grandness to it, as if they were already in their honeymoon somewhere in Italy.

How It Was Shot

Justin’s camera was a Canon EOS 5D Mark III equipped with a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM zoom lens and set to the following:

Shutter: 1/160
Aperture: F/8.0
ISO: 100

How We Shot It - Lighting Diagram
I used two Paul Buff Einstein strobes on camera right, one with an ePhoto 22″ beauty dish with a grid as the key and the other with a 64″ parabolic light modifier (PLM) umbrella as the fill light on camera right. The fill light was about 1 1/2 stop under the key light.

Wedding Set up - Gridded beauty dish as key, parabolic as fill

The gridded beauty dish is one of my favorites modifiers, and I use it in a lot of my work on for my fashion and commercial work. It creates a semi-soft light that falls off fairly quickly around the edges, creating a natural vignette and more drama. Here, because we were working with two people, we split the key light between them in order to expose them evenly.

The Extreme Silver PLM’s fill light adds a little bit of a wrap around the subjects and opened up some of the shadows around them. We had the PLM without the sock close enough to the couple so that the fall-off doesn’t cover the entire balcony for a more intimate scene.

There is also sunlight bouncing around the walls to the left of the balcony, which means that we did not have to light that portion of the wall. The sun also added some highlights to the pillars closer to the camera.

I used the Cyber Commander wireless trigger made exclusively for the Einsteins in order to remotely control the power settings right from the trigger. It’s a really fast and convenient way to dial in your adjustments, especially when the strobe is high up on a C-stand. It also has a built-in flashmeter on the back on it.

Final Image

J&J Wedding by Justin Lin of Lin & Jirsa Photography
J&J Wedding by Justin Lin of Lin & Jirsa Photography

There was very little post-processing done to the images. No vignetting was needed in post, and I only cloned out a few marks on the wall itself. The bride and groom was very lightly retouched.

The location had a lot of angles to work with, and the lighting can also work for a more dramatic look. In the photo below, I shot one of our assistants from across the balcony from another window, just to show how the same lighting can create an entirely different mood when shot from a different angle.

Above the Bazaar
Above the Bazaar by Joe Gunawan |