• almost kiss
  • lower thirds
  • Rule of thirds
  • Rim Light
  • nude
  • Natural Light
  • Natural
  • Moody
  • light streaks
  • Back lit
  • holding each other
  • Harsh Light
  • gentle
  • full body
  • Energetic
  • Dark
  • cave
  • Wide

The story behind the image

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As we were popping our head out of the water (the entrance to the blue cave is a big hole in the sea) we were flabbergasted by the beauty of the place, almost as if we were in a sacred place. We started taking a few shots from a point and then moved to another side of the cave and couldn’t believe it, it was even more stunning! The light was almost palpable.. We started shooting with the couple in the middle of the light, as touched by it, it just looked so stunning, and as they were still in swimsuit and that was clashing with the purity of the place, they suggested taking off their clothes, and as everyone was comfy with the idea we kept going in birth suits.
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Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

As the models were naked, I was being conscious to keep it artistic and descent, so I asked them to face each other and be slightly turned. I also didn’t want them to be too stiff and leaning on one leg while the other is slightly bent helps getting a more natural pose and gives a nice shape of the bodies. The importance was having a relaxed couple, and getting them in a communion, enjoying the moment in that unbelievable place. Other directions were to have their heads really closed to each others and occasionally softly kiss. And voilà!

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What did you say?

What you could do is face each other, get really tight and comfy, just rotate slightly, awesome, it looks absolutely fantastic, guys, this is epic!!! Yeah so you can hold each other tight and get your heads really reaaaally closed to each other, and whenever you want you can softly kiss each other

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I wanted to show the place, as it is a really special location, I wanted to be able to see that light and where it comes from, but also the water and the blue hole in the back. So I had to stand quite far. Regarding the gear, as we had to swim underwater to get in and we hadn’t any wetbag with me, we could only take one lens in our underwater case and that was the 28mm (was still shooting Nikon back then and the case is for the D750 only) so that was perfect to showcase the immensity of the cave.
Then I wanted to have the light in the middle of the pic and that light on the couple to get that natural lightning (the rest of the cave being pretty dark)

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Lower Thirds


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

Focus was on the couple, autofocus with a single point. Because we had this spot of light on our couple, it meant that finding the focus was actually quite easy.

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Focus Mode

Single Shot Autofocus

Focus POints

Single Point

Focused on

Couple bodies

Equipment &

Nikon D750
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 28mm f/1.8 G
1/125 @ f/2.2 ISO500 WB-Cloudy

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 light was definitely dim which was difficult but there was a skylight which was very interesting to play with! The couple stood in the middle of the skylight so they could be illuminated by it. We were very lucky with the good weather that day, on a cloudy day, you don’t get that amazing skylight. Having the couple directly in the spot of light also helped to make them pop out from the dark background and while it was definitely harsh light, the contrast & intensity of it added to the overall atmosphere.

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Light Type

Natural Light

Editing Workflow

How did you edit this image?

I used Gold 100 by VSCO as a base and increased the exposure to properly expose the couple. I reduced the highlight to minimise clipping in the sunlit water. I used the brush tool to add a bit more contrast in the light rays coming from the hole in the ceiling.

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Editing Software
Preset Used


We were afraid the skylight would disappear (if there would have been clouds) and we would miss the opportunity for the money shot!

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We had to be as quick as we could and take advantage of the light while we had it.

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Location Name

Blue Cave

Location aDDRESS

Blue Cave, Tanna, Vanuatu

Loation Type




Don’t be scared of creating art, with a little spontaneity and spice! I would definitely go back to that spot and shoot again there! And I would bring a wetbag this time to be able to take my iphone and film some behind the scene 🤪

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