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Hitched Hiker Vintage Cabin Elopement in Alaska

When I was Photographing this scene, I loved the little cabin but I felt like it needed a little something more. I had an idea in my head that they would be still and the image around them would look like it was moving. (The theme after all was traveling through time back to 1945)So I wanted it to look like they froze in time. I pulled out my glass prism and started shaking + moving it around while holding my shutter down focusing on them, hoping that I got at least ONE that nailed my vision.

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How did you direct your subject(s)?

I asked them to hold hands, leave their bodies facing me staying super still, and laugh and giggle at each other while holding their suitcases! They were ready to travel through time!

What did you say?

Okay guys, face your bodies square towards me, touch foreheads together while holding each other’s hand in one hand and suitcase in the other. Smile and giggle at each other while looking into each others eyes and don’t move!

How did you compose your image?

I knew I wanted them dead center with the cabin in the middle of the shot. I had them at the top of the stairs for a leading line leading up to them and I wanted the arch of the cabin to be in the middle. What didn’t work was that I was moving my prism so fast I didn’t get the top of the cabin in the photo at all.

How and what did you focus on?

I focused on the couple. I used autofocus because my other hand was holding the prism and I was moving it quickly to capture the blur. I wanted them to be steady while the rest of the photo felt like it was moving.


How did you use the light in your image?

I had an overcast, slight sprinkle of rain overhead. In Alaska, it is very moody on the coast! I used only natural outdoor light. This is my FAVORITE type of lighting scenario and I think it makes for beautiful moody photos with no shadows. I used the reflection of the prism with the light to create slight flecks of brightness.

Hitched Hiker Vintage Cabin Elopement in Alaska

What was the gear & settings you used?

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Canon 5D Mark IV


Sigma Art 35mm f/1.4





Shutter Speed






White Balance


HitchedHikerAlaskaCabinbeforephoto Hitched Hiker Vintage Cabin Elopement in Alaska

How did you edit your image & what did you use?

Presets – Campfire Presets in Dawn Photo – Film 2 and obviously adjusted to my liking. I love vintage and grainy tones split between blues and oranges. I shoot super dark in camera and then I lighten it up to where it is still a little moody, then I use adjustment brushes to dodge and burn all the areas I think it needs it, such as the couple’s faces. I didn’t clone or heal anything in the photo and the blur and movement are straight out of the camera.

Software Used

Lightroom Classic

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What challenges did you face?

The biggest challenge was that this was a Workshop that I co-founded called Dressed in Wilderness and there were 13 other photographers around! Using my prism and keeping my shot focused without getting in the way of others is always hard. If I could do it again I would have stood further back from the couple to get the entire cabin in the photo.

How did you solve them?

The only thing I did was just try my best to be aware of my surroundings and I kept the eyes on the back of my head open as I didn’t want to knock someone or be in their way.

Hitched Hiker Vintage Cabin Elopement in Alaska

Can you share any last thoughts or advice?

From this shot, I learned it is possible to use a prism in this way to where you can capture your model still and have the foreground moving. It was just an idea before I tried it. I could have gotten this effect in post but it is a big accomplishment for me to have gotten this in camera. I wish there was a more scientific way of giving advice but I really just shook the prism extremely quickly at the bottom of my lens and held the continuous shutter down. Give it a try!

The Hitched Hiker

Shooting since


Current Home

United States of America



Alaska based Adventure Elopement Photographer ready to travel anywhere.

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