• calm
  • Center Framed
  • Cool
  • Desert
  • Directional Light
  • Looking out
  • Mid range
  • Posed
  • Rule of thirds
  • Serious
  • Soft Light
  • Sunset

The story behind the image

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This image was taken during a road trip through Morocco. It was our very first trip to this amazing country and we decided to travel together with our dear friends. So starting in Marrakech we passed Desert d Agafai, crossed the Atlas Mountains, and made it all the way to the impressive dunes of Merzouga. After a few days spent in a Berber camp in Merzouga with unforgettable memories, we were heading back towards Marrakech. The sun was about to set and we went off-road to the top of a hill in order to watch the sunset. We were literally standing in the middle of nowhere watching the sunset behind the Atlas Mountains. The sky was crystal clear as we’ve only experienced it in the desert. Once the sun has set, this amazing skylight hits them right from the front. It was actually not our intention to do a proper photoshoot but we just could not resist doing a few snaps. We are still blown away by this beautiful lighting and we will always connect these images with all the amazing memories we’ve made in the Moroccan outback.
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Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

We told them to stay in the exact same place where they’ve watched the sunset. They would face the bright sky where the sun has set minutes before. We told Fabienne to stand behind Denis, to get really close so that she can lay her head on his shoulder. We told them to take a deep breath and enjoy this peaceful moment in the middle of nowhere.

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What did you say?

Fabsi could you stand behind Denis and hang around his shoulder.. maybe put your hand on his chest while you both look towards the mountains where the sun has set. Take a deep breath and enjoy the moment.

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Tone of Directions



We put Fabienne behind Denis but moved her a little towards his left shoulder so that their faces would be almost next to each other. That way they both would see the beautiful mountains ahead. We kept the couple slightly right in the frame so that there’s a little breathing space in front of them.. We got them close enough (half-body, portrait), to put the couple in focus and to blur out the background… Even though it was quite dark we felt like the many stones on the ground (Stone-desert) could distract the attention from the couple.

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Center Framed


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

The focus point was on Fabienne’s left eye. We took the picture in a diagonal angle to the couple (let’s say 45°) in order to have both faces on the same level. That way both of them would be in focus even though using an open aperture. Due to the open aperture, the Stoney ground in the back gets blurry. We shot it through the viewfinder.

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Focus Mode

Single Shot Autofocus

Focus POints

Single Point

Focused on

Her left eye

Equipment &

Canon 5D Mark III
Sigma Art 35mm f/1.4
1/160 @ f/1.6 ISO1250 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 sun was already gone but the couple was still facing the bright sky where the sun had set. That means the couple was illuminated from the front but the surrounding was fading out beautifully. We took the picture slightly from the side in order to create more depth.

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Light Type

Natural Light

Time of day


Editing Workflow

How did you edit this image?

We used our CxR Preset to give the pic the color look we love and we put some noise reduction, due to the higher ISO. Due to the AMAZING light, we didn’t need to adjust a lot concerning the skin tones. We then used Photoshop to create smoother skin.

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Editing Software
Adobe Lightroom Classic
Preset Used


This image was one of the last ones we did from this session.. The challenge was to realize that the light was getting even better about 30 minutes after sunset and to not stop before.

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Just shoot until it’s pitch black.. don’t be scared to push the iso high.

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Location Name

Sahara Desert Morocco

Location aDDRESS

goulmima morocco

Loation Type




Invest your time and money in traveling whenever it is possible and in real memories. This “Photoshoot“ was not on purpose but happened spontaneously during a road trip. These kinds of pictures look the most authentic. We didn’t do the trip to create content but to make memories!

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