• Bright
  • Natural Light
  • urban
  • symmetry
  • Stairs
  • Soft Light
  • Rule of thirds
  • Parking
  • natural frames
  • calm
  • Natural
  • Leading lines
  • kissing
  • Indoor
  • holding each other
  • Center Framed
  • Wide

The story behind the image

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The couple and I met up and, open to everything, went out and about around the Port of Hamburg and the Speicherstadt. I knew that one of their favorite things to do was to take walks together and discover places. Especially in the Hamburg harbor area.

We passed this multi-story parking garage and somehow parking garages always have a special appeal to me. But the problem is, at least in Germany, that there is always a security guard somewhere who forbids access.

This time, however, we were in luck and so we could take a few photos in the parking garage and on the top floor. When we were at the top, I looked down and felt attracted by the architecture of the driveway. So we all headed down a floor or two. The whole scene already looked very cinematic to me.
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Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

I didn’t give them too many instructions. What I did was direct them from my position so that they were centered in my composition and relatively centered and symmetrically in line with the columns.

I wanted to add intimacy to break the empty and rather bleak scenery and in this case a cinematic kiss provided it easily.

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What did you say?

“Picture this: you’ re in this parking garage. You had a wonderful day together, but unfortunately one of you has to leave town for over a month. Both of you have parked your cars here, but on different decks. So unfortunately your ways have to part right here, this will be the last kiss for some time.”

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Tone of Directions



I have deliberately placed the two completely centered in the image. I did not want any distraction. They are absolutely the focus of this picture.

The leading lines of the building draw the eye to them. Additionally, the color of her jacket helps draw attention on them.

As I said before, I wanted to create contrast through intimacy in this cool, harsh environment.

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Compositional Rules

Leading LinesRule of ThirdsSymmetry


Center FramedMiddle ThirdsWideFull BodyNatural Frames


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

Focusing was pretty easy here after all, I set my Canon 5D Mark III to the center focus point, used autofocus and then composed the image as I imagined it. Due to the color contrast from the two to the surroundings, the camera had no problems catching the focus.

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Focus Mode

Live View Single Shot

Focus POints

Single Point

Focused on

Couple's bodies

Equipment &

Canon 5D Mark III
Sigma 35mm f/1.4 ART
1/320 @ f/2.0 ISO800 WB-Auto

The way the EXIF is written out follows the common photographic method (with the inclusion of White Balance at the end). Here it is broken down:

Shutter Speed @ Aperture ISO White Balance.

Light & Weather

The lighting situation in this case it is more complicated, but nothing at all to shy away from. The parking garage does have fluorescent lights in many places, which I used as mood lighting. But the main source of light was the sun, which illuminated the roundel of the driveway directly from above through an opening. Since the day was also cloudy, I had the opportunity to work with very soft light.

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Light Type

Natural Light

Light Quality


Time of day




Editing Workflow

How did you edit this image?

I used one of my own presets (from my Hafenliebe For The Hearts Still Beating Pack 02) as a base. I knew I wanted to create a cinematic image, so I started by cropping the image to 16:9. To do the mood of a farewell scene justice, I wanted to add to the coolness of the parking garage, so I added some teal in the highlights during color grading.

Normally I also still try to use dodge & burn to draw focus to my subject, but in this case it wasn’t necessary since the environment was already providing everything so perfectly.

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Honestly, I can’t think of anything challenging this time, as there was no security guard around.

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If there would have been one, I would have tried to explain what we were up to and kindly ask for a few minutes of time.

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Location Name


Location aDDRESS

Große Reichenstraße 14, 20457 Hamburg

Loation Type

parking garage



Over and over again I wanted to shoot in a parking garage with a couple, this time it worked. Never give up! If you run into security guards, be kind, explain your ideas and if they tell you “No”, respect it. They’re only doing their job and don’t want to lose it.

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