BDG27072021

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I often shoot in natural light. And by often, I mean 99% of the time. I’ve made the golden hour and backlighting my signature style. Knowing that I do like artificial lights, (coming from a photography studio background ), I don’t know why I don’t ask my couple if they would like to try something different. So for this shoot, I wanted to go the opposite of my usual photos.

I had ideas in mind I wanted to try. I was inspired by the retro mood we find lately in films, tv shows or music videos. So I asked my couple if they’d be keen to experiment with me and they were keen.

I felt super excited to go out of my comfort zone, and now shooting in artificial lights is definitely an option I give to my couples.

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How did you direct your subject(s)?

After I set up my light, my initial plan was to have the couple walk and cross in front of the light but when they did this, I noticed how the light affected them and so I changed the concept. I had them go for a more posed shot where I had them stand close to each other, so close as if they were about to kiss and to just keep it there while I got my shot.

What did you say?

Can you stand face to face very close? Arthur stay on the left side please, and Angela can you go on the other side. I’d like the ray of light to be between you. Now get your mouths very close as you’re about to kiss.

How did you compose your image?

I wanted to use the light as a wall between the couple. While Arthur is in the dark, we can see Angela taking him like she was from another world, brighter and invites him to join with a kiss. It’s a representation of how a couple can support each other when needed. I used the light as a leading line almost in the middle to seperate the frame into two stories.

How and what did you focus on?

As I was standing on Arthur’s side, and it was his story I wanted to tell, I focused on him. I used single spot and continuous autofocus. I moved the focus spot to be on his eye.

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How did you use the light in your image?

I put the room into complete darkness and I used an artificial light behind the couple. To get the wall effect, barn doors were used to help control the spill of the light and the direction it was falling. I really like backlighting my subjects because it creates this image of mystery as a lot of the details are cast in shadow. It creates wonder for the viewer.

What was the gear & settings you used?

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Camera

Sony A1

Lens

Sony FE 50mm f/1.2 GM

Filter

None

Other

None

Shutter Speed

1/125

Aperture

f/1.2

ISO

800

White Balance

Auto

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

I used my own preset and tweaked it to be more contrasty and colorful.I saturated the red a little bit because my base preset is usually set up for desaturated reds and oranges. In this image, as red is the main color, I had to bring it back. I also brightened up the highlight to get a more vibrant mood.

Software Used

Lightroom

Preset

Own personal preset

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What challenges did you face?

The biggest challenge was to start from a completely dark room and build the lighting set up from scratch. As mainly a natural light photographer, it was a challenge to use a technique I didn’t have much experience in.

How did you solve them?

Test, shoot, test, shoot, test and shoot again. The only way to get to a perfect image was to move the light, change my angles and repeat until I got the results I wanted.

Can you share any last thoughts or advice?

The biggest challenge was to use the light to get the result I had in my mind. After years of shooting natural lights, I found it pleasant to compose and shaping the story around a light.

Also, finding the perfect studio that can be completely dark was very useful. The best advice I could give to someone who would like to work with artificial light is to try and try again. Test different sources of lights, brighter or darker, change angles, and see the effects for a better understanding of how to use it.

Beatrice The Quirky

Shooting since

2009

Current Home

France

Website

Instagram

Hey! I’m a photographer, half of The Quirky team, and I’m based in Bordeaux, south west of France (yep, the wine area!).

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