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How You Shot It: ‘Amazing Sunset’ by Marius Igas

By Guest Contributor on April 15th 2014

How You Shot It is a series where you show us how you shot an image. Many who use our presets love to share their special processing recipes. You can join the SLR Lounge Textures and Presets group on Facebook and share your favorite images and recipes as well! For our wedding and portrait photographers, please join the SLR Lounge Wedding and Portrait Photographers group.

Today’s post comes from Marius Igas, a wedding and portrait photographer in Romania. You can see more of his work on his website or Facebook.


This is a after wedding photo session. It was pretty cloudy that day, and I said to the couple: “If the sun comes out at the sunset, combined with those clouds we will take an amazing photo.” Sure enough the sun came out, I chose the longest pontoon for them to stand, and I started taking shots from different angles. This particular shot was my favourite.

How I Shot It: The Raw File

raw file

The Settings

28 mm//F16 // 1/80//ISO 100

I made the exposure for the sky and over exposed it with 1 or 2 stops to bring back some details for the ground.

I used a Nikon SB700 triggered by Pixel King to light the couple. My assistant was holding the flash.

lighting-diagram-1396996202The Gear Used

Nikon D800

Tamron 28-75 mm

Nikon SB700

Pixel King  trigger

The Post Processing

I imported the photo in Adobe Lightroom.

The settings in LR looked like this:


After that I worked on color saturation and luminance. For blue, I saturated the color more, and made it darker, for green I saturated the color and made it just a bit brighter.

I used a graduated filter to darken the sky more.

I used the brush tool to add more clarity tot the ground and clouds.

I used graduated filter to warm the ground and cool the sky.

After that I went into Photoshop to clone stamp my assistant and the dust spots.

Added the flare, and done.

Before:raw file



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Q&A Discussions

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  1. Jacob Jexmark

    Way overdone for my taste. I think the original RAW with a moderate amount of shadow recovery and a small boost in overall exposure would make a very nice image. The posters end result looks way overdone for me.

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  2. michelle ford

    nice job taking your assistant out! by any chance, did you gel your flash?

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  3. Chad Whiting

    I like the composition. It looks like a happy little lake on a nice summer evening. There is plenty of natural color to work with in the original, and the timing of the sun’s position was only a hair early. Good stuff there.

    The flash on the white dress is overpowering. It looks like the photographer took a studio shot (without a softbox) and shopped it over a landscape. Perhaps it would have been better to dial down the intensity of the flash, or at least bring it back a bit to highlight the whole couple.

    The enhanced golden glare from the sun and its reflection look appealing in their own right, but they distract from the couple and the scenery at large.

    Some people think lens flare is really cool. If you think so enough to add it into a photo that doesn’t have it in the first place, then make it less prominent. Like the woman’s dress, this looks very unnatural. The entire picture has too much clarity for it to be a direct sunlight shot.

    As for the fast and furious HDR treatment, all I can say is WOW. The photographer took a natural looking sky (albeit a bit dark in the top of the frame) and made it look like the destroyer/cityscapes from Independence Day combined with a nice winter day over Pittsburgh. With extra blue. Don’t do that. Soften and brighten the upper clouds, and you will have a dreamy skyscape worthy of anyone’s manipulated wedding memories.

    The green stuff looks OK with its hue, but the saturation is too much. The contrast is strong. I understand this was a deliberate decision, and that the whole image was obviously HDR overtoned (as evinced by the telltale halos around the treeline). Just remember to use moderation in all things. For example, if anyone ever feels the need to ratchet the clarity up to +57 on what really should be a soft photo, then leave the photo overnight and think more carefully about it when you look at it again.

    This photo may have been well-intentioned, but it screams “look what I can do”. When producing an aesthetic quality, try to make it match the actual emotional quality of the shoot (especially for weddings and other predictable moods). I don’t know what the rest of the wedding package looked like, but this image was a flight of fancy.

    I request that SLRlounge give us something other than a 600×300 jpg to view. I can’t really examine anything in these photos if I’m stuck with a big thumbnail.

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  4. Hanssie

    Nicely done! Really liked the sunflare in this image!

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