• Adobe Lightroom CC
  • Personal Preset
  • valley
  • Turkey
  • symmetry
  • Sunrise
  • Sony A7 III
  • soft
  • Single Focus Point
  • Sigma 35 f1.2
  • Serious
  • Rule of thirds
  • Pro Mist 1/4
  • Normal
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Natural Light
  • natural frames
  • lower thirds
  • lower angle
  • Live View
  • intimate
  • Hand movements
  • full body
  • clear
  • Backlit
  • Autofocus
  • Wide

The story behind the image

I always dreamed of photographing in cappadocia. Seeing the hot air ballons for the first time is something I will never forget! We were lucky to get the chance to see them fly as this is decided every morning depending on the weather and winds. I planned this shoot for months and even that it did not work out the way it was planned it is still one of my most favorite shootings ever.
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Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

We talked a lot, I always try to connect and make the shoot a fun experience!
When I get an idea I simply give the couple rough directions to not take away there personality but still achieve what I just envisioned in my mind.

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What did you say?

I asked the couple to stand in the middle of the two rocks, her focusing on me and him focusing on her. Not much movement, just beeing intimate and little hand movements as my goal was to catch the first light between them.

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Tone of Directions



I wanted to add the hot air ballons I photographed separately that morning afterwards in Photoshop so I took a wide angle photo with a lot of space in the sky. I love rule of thirds composition as it makes every photo more dramatic which was perfect for the end result I had planned.

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Compositional Rules

Rule of ThirdsSymmetry


Lower ThirdsWideLower AngleFull BodyNatural Frames


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

Honestly, it is not even as sharp as it could be, good thing I was not aiming for a magazine cover portrait.

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Focus Mode

Live View

Focus POints

Single Focus Point

Focused on

the woman’s face

Equipment &

Sony A7 iii
Sigma 35 f/1.2
Pro Mist 1/4
1/2500 @ f/1.8 ISO200 WB-Shade

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 magical backlight was the rising sun between two rocks of a mountain in exactly the moment it peaked through the couple standing infront of me.

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Light Type

Natural Light

Light Quality


Time of day




Editing Workflow

How did you edit this image?

I did the following to achieve this result:
1.) LR: white balance (warm, but whites are still white)
2.) LR: my personal preset (high contrast, true to color)
3.) PS: erase the man walking with lasso and content fill
4.) PS: cut with content aware to give it even more space (rule of thirds and space for hot air balloons)
5.) PS: add hot air balloons from around 3 different images (select tool, copy, paste, mask layer to delete stuff I don’t want, adjust brightness so they fit in)

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Editing Software
Adobe Lightroom CC, Adobe Photoshop
Preset Used
personal preset


I use a pro mist filter because it is part of my style – the dreamy look. But this is difficult when you shoot directly into the sun as it lightens and blurries everything including faces.

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I needed to make sure the sun just peaks and the couple breaks the light with there bodys and not there heads,

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Location Name


Location aDDRESS

Göreme 50180 Göreme/Nevşehir Merkez/Nevşehir Türkiye

Loation Type




I always take my photos in continuous-advance mode in these kind of situations where I want to catch a specific and time crucial moment. Also play a lot with natural light to learn how it can add magic to your images or when it starts to ruin your photos by overexpose etc.

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