DK10122020-3

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The couple in this photo was originally set to travel to the USA to elope in Yosemite (with myself tagging along for the adventure) however 2020 had different plans in store for all of us! When it became clear that traveling to America wasn’t going to be safe or possible, they came up with a plan B… Glencoe, Scotland!
Everything was all planned at the very last minute but the day couldn’t have been more perfect! The couple drove up to Scotland from England accompanied by their close family who joined them for their ceremony amongst the epic backdrop of the Scottish highlands.

After a relaxed morning getting ready in a cabin nestled in between the mountains, the couple walked literally a stone’s throw away to a beautiful, secluded spot down by a river to say their ‘I do’s. It wasn’t the adventure they had originally planned but it was still an adventure and most importantly, they didn’t let 2020 stop them from celebrating.

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How did you compose your image?

The couple had already chosen a beautiful ceremony spot that was private and a short walk away from their accommodation. During the morning preparations, I walked with the groom down to the spot to chat together about which direction the triangle structure should be facing and where we should place it. In the end, we decided that it would be best to position it so that if the sun came out later (which it did) then they would be illuminated from their sides (which would create a really neat 3-Dimensional effect and allow them to ‘pop out’ in the scene).

The amazing triangle structure which they had built and decorated was the centerpiece feature of their ceremony pictures. In order for the composition to work well, I asked both of them in the morning if they could try and remember to stand in the middle (at least for the first part of the ceremony) so they haven’t placed off-center to the structure and therefore causing the composition to look off.

I composed the shot with the couple in the middle of the photo so that the viewer’s eye gets drawn straight to them. Although this photo is photographed at eye level, a lot of the photos I took during the ceremony were angled slightly upwards so that I could incorporate the peaks of the mountains into the photos to create a more grand image.

How and what did you focus on?

Single point continuous focus (center frame) with the viewfinder, I focused on the bride’s face, locked the focus, and then recomposed the shot (‘focus and recomposing’ technique).

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How did you use the light in your image?

It was crazy how quickly the light was constantly changing during the ceremony! It was windy so the clouds were moving quickly and every minute or so the light was changing from soft and diffused to bright and sunny! Whenever the light changed to bright and directional I consciously tried to shoot from this direction (over their shoulders) because it was the optimal angle to capture the light when it was hitting the side of their faces (creating a 3D effect).

What was the gear & settings you used?

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Camera

Nikon D780

Lens

Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 G

Filter

None

Other

None

Shutter Speed

1/3200

Aperture

f/2.0

ISO

100

White Balance

Auto

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

First I applied our Emotive preset and then increased the exposure as I slightly underexposed in-camera to keep the highlight details in her dress intact. I then warmed the photo with the white balance slider and used the exposure brush tool to bring out a bit more detail in the couple. Lastly, I globally desaturated the green channel a little in the entire photo however this reduced the green color in the groom’s suit so I used the brush tool on his suit to bring back the saturation.

Software Used

Adobe Lightroom Classic

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What challenges did you face?

The biggest challenge was the constantly changing light. I had to keep a close eye on my exposure and camera settings to make sure that I wasn’t underexposing too much when it becomes cloudy and not overexposing too much when the sun suddenly came out again. Every minute or two it was going from one extreme to the other and it was a real challenge to keep up.

How did you solve them?

I’m very aware of trying to nail the exposure as accurately as possible in-camera so that I can maintain as much detail in the shadows and highlights as possible which in turn makes post-production and editing much easier. I made a conscious effort to memorize the exposure settings (shutter speeds) so that I could quickly switch back and forth.

Can you share any last thoughts or advice?

There’s nothing wrong with previewing your LCD screen every once and a while to make sure you’re exposures are spot on and that you’re maintaining the maximum amount of details in your exposures. That’s what it’s there for! Usually, when shooting outdoors I will spot meter off of the dress (or if there is no white dress I will estimate the exposure) and then preview the photo on the LCD screen (paying close attention to the details in highlight areas). I then know if I’m in the ballpark and will just adjust the exposure slightly to the left or right if needed.

The Kitcheners

Shooting since

2011

Current Home

Scotland

Website

Instagram

We’re Dylan and Joanna and we’ve been photographing weddings and elopements since 2011. Lovers of the great outdoors, an adventure and meeting new people, it was our passion for all of these things that led us to find one another in Australia 11 years ago. We didn’t waste time, we got engaged after 3 months and tied the knot pretty soon after. It all happened pretty quickly but sometimes you just know when you know! For a long time we were both looking for a way to express ourselves creatively and after searching high and low we discovered that photographing people in love and their stories was what made our hearts race. We’re passionate about the real emotions, the honest moments and capturing how it all really felt. To us that’s what it’s all about! Today we live in Edinburgh, Scotland documenting elopements and weddings around the UK, Europe and further abroad.

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