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I’m dedicating this post to Rany Horne of Rany Horne Photography an up and coming photographer. We recently met in person, after we bought a lens from him. On the phone, I was generically introducing myself as Juma and he was like “Yeah, from Relate Studios”. He’s a good guy with a desire to grow his craft and learn more. Plus he listened to my ramblings while standing in the sun of an unsheltered carpark.
Rany, keep at it, you’re doing well, continue to build right.
Juma

Image Info
All images taken between 4:50pm and 4:57pm
Lens: 35mm 2.0
Aperture: f6.3
Shutter: 1/200
ISO: 100
For the full wedding gallery, check out our wedding blog HERE

We always look forward to trying new things in new locations and this was the first time we had been to Tyrico Bay for any type of photography. Of course the challenge with any beach on a Saturday, is that you have to navigate a gauntlet of beach goers, which includes; running children, people dancing to absurdly loud music in front of temporary bars (Trunk of their car) and of course many games that involve balls. All of these applied on this day. With those things in mind, we wanted to find the place of least resistance that would offer a uncluttered, un-photobombed background. Fortunately, Tyrico has a very large rocky structure which provided “shelter” from the rest of activity happening on the beach.

Irwin and Amanda were already wet from some of the bridal party portraits earlier on, and we were very happy when they agreed to get even more wet, for the sake of this shot…but of course this meant we would be getting wet too. A shot like this requires an assistant because you can’t place your light stand securely in the water, not only would fall over in short time from the shifting sand and the waves but the salt in the water would rust the stand, if you didn’t wash it off very soon after.

For this shot, we got two of the groom’s men, Ikechi and Kevin, to help us hold the stand with a flash on it (THANKS GUYS!). Ikechi had done this type of thing before so it was easy to give instructions on how and where to hold.

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Ikechi & Kevin at work positioning the flash

THE SET UP
We started by shooting a few frames to test the light. We used one speed-light and Initially we positioned it lower to ground (Around 6 feet) and we had a shoot through umbrella mounted. This set-up produced an image that was too “flat” and the light was spilling all over the background. Also we had to set the light so close to I&A, to get the coverage and exposure we wanted, the light began to “leak” back into the lens and produce some undesirable over exposure in the top right of the frame. As a result, we decided to go bare bulb (No modifiers).

irwinamandablogmain-3Our first shots testing the light, too much light and flat.

irwinamandamainedit-1Getting better, but light is leaking back into the lens.

We wanted to “spotlight” I&A with a somewhat narrow beam of light, but we didn’t have a grid with us, so we elevated the speed-light, reduced distance between I&A and the flash as much as possible (Without compromising the composition) and we set the speed-light at maximum zoom. This helped control the light in two ways:

1. Reducing distance from the light source to the subject – While light travels in straight lines, light from almost any source naturally diverges, (Spreads out) the farther it travels from the source. Therefore the closer the subject is to light source, the smaller and more intense the cone of light that hits the subject will be.

2. Zooming the flash – Most higher end flashes have the ability to move their internal components, in order to illuminate subjects well, at varying distances i.e. You can actually match the focal length of your flash, to the focal length of the lens used to take the photograph. This will ensure that if your subject/s are close and your shot is wide, the beam of light emitted, will immediately and drastically diverge, providing full light coverage to your subject/s, conversely, if your subject is far away, a fully zoomed flash will constrain the beam of light emitted to a narrower cone, in order to maximize its reach and still provide good illumination.

One of the drawbacks, with trying to get a more controlled beam of light using the methods mention above, is that you can’t shoot very wide because of how near your light source and your assistant holding your light source is standing.  You can compose your shot so that then space in the frame, is mostly on the opposite side to where the light is positioned but depending on what you want visually, this isn’t always desirable. As a result, while all of them aren’t, many of these photographs we did, are shot in portrait.

In the final setup, the flash was positioned about 8-10 feet away from Irwin & Amanda and it was held about 10 feet in the air at around a 60 degree angle, aimed over the sides of their shoulders directly at them. We adjusted the power a few times but we finally settled around 1/4.

THE PROCESS
The sun was setting behind the rock, so a shadow was being cast on the front of the rock, which was excellent for contrast in lighting we wanted. At first, we positioned Irwin and Amanda together with Irwin standing behind Amanda, in a nook of the rock, right in the place where the sea water had carved a hole through the rock over time, so while we were shooting, water was gushing through and splashing on Irwin and Amanda…fun times! I was actually hoping for a big splash to get caught with the flash, but that never happened.

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Photograph composed with more space in the opposite side of the light

COUPLE LIGHTING TIP
Most of the time when we light couples with one light source, we always bias the lighting slightly to the bride, this is because when it comes to facial details, brides have put more effort into preparation (make up, veils, tiaras, etc.) and as a result, they lift the image if well illuminated. The groom is just as important but the shapes and forms of his face can be discerned even with little light. This is not a hard and fast rule but it has served us well when we are deciding how to light couples with one light source. Coincidentally in this particular instance, we didn’t change the speed-light position, so while it started off with Amanda getting the be “better” light, Irwin eventually got it, when they faced each other later in the session.

We did different compositions, some with more water, some with more of the rock. We got all the shots we needed in about 7 minutes.

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Photograph composed with more of the sea in the frame.

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100% (Actual Size) crop of the image above. This would have been better if the light had favoured Amanda. 

 

 

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