Image by Pye Jirsa of Lin and Jirsa Wedding Photography

Background and Vision

One of our recent weddings took place at Monaco Mansion in Orange County. Monaco Mansion is an absolutely beautiful property. It has a massive pool, a man made cliff line, and a full on view of the canyon. I had decided that before the night was over, I really wanted to get a shot of our couple near the poolside where we could capture the entire beauty of the property at night.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have time until around 2am when all of the guests were leaving and vendors were packing up. I quickly ran out to setup my shot, not actually intending to do a composite image. I was actually intending to do a shutter drag with a last second flash pop from my beauty dish to light our subjects.

However, after I had setup my tri-pod and shot my first couple of test shots, virtually all of the lights on the property were turned off. So, I decided to get my light guns, take several exposures and simply paint in the light where I wanted it.

How It Was Shot

Shot with: Canon 5D Mark III
Lens & Focal length: Canon EF 17 – 40 F/4L @ 17mm
Shutter: 20 – 30 seconds each shot
Aperture: F/11
ISO: 100

In the image below, you will see the order that the images were shot. Luckily, I was able to get that first shot before all of the lights in the mansion were turned off.


For each shot, I had my assistant man the camera while I moved through the scene painting in different objects with our video lights. You will see that the 4th shot has our couple in it. When our couple had finished saying goodbye to their guests, they came down for the shot. I posed them and used a beauty dish which you can see lighting up in image 4 off to their left. For that one shot, I used a quick shutter speed, wider aperture and higher ISO to capture enough light on them. The rest of the images were all shot at F/11. Because they were tired, we sent them on their way right after taking the shot while we finished up the remaining images for the composite.

The final exposure was exposed for the sky and pool and white balanced in camera to make everything extremely blue. I then took the images into Photoshop, aligned the images and then simply masked out which areas I wanted to reveal in each photo. Hope you all enjoyed!

Final Image