the Shoot

Location Equipment
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This picture was taken at one of our friends’ place at an Inspiration Indoor Workshops in September 2021. I wanted to introduce our students to the use of light and to give them an understanding of how light can be used to reinforce different emotions and tell stories.

In this image, the couple was placed against the wall in such a way that the window light + the shadows of the window frame illuminated their faces and were the focus. The challenge was to find the right photo settings since the sun was shining very strongly and the goal of the picture was to still remain “soft”.
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Location Name


Location aDDRESS




Location TYPE

Old House



Canon EOS R6




Canon 50mm f/1.2 L

Lens Filter


Other Equipment
No additional equipment was used.

the Shoot

Directions Composition Focus Light & Exposure
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Calm Posed Sitting


I asked the two to sit on the floor, “knotted” together but with their faces positioned in the light. I wanted the two to have their hands on each other to increase their bond and passion. The coolness and nonchalance of the two should be reinforced with the scantily clad outfits and the cigarette in his hand.

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What was said

Guys, let’s have you sit on the floor and get yourselves into a knot. I want you to look into the lens, as cool as you can. Calm. Arrogant. And just give me that look.

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Why I composed the way I did

In this picture, I decided to crop it so that the picture appears intimate and the play of light remains in the foreground. The intimacy is favored by the interaction of the couple, the cigarette in his right hand, and the light clothing.

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Center Framed Leading Lines Mid Range


Focus mode

Single point auto focus

Focus Technology

Live View Single Shot

Focused on

Her Face

Focus description

In this picture, I focused on the couple’s faces. It wasn’t exactly easy as the sun “burned out” the structure of the faces and it wasn’t that easy for the two of them to look directly into the sun and keep their eyes open all the time. So I asked the couple to close their eyes and only open them at “3” so that they both had their eyes open at the same time.

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Shutter Speed






White Balance


Other Light Sources
No additional light sources were used.
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Light &

How the light was used

I wanted the direct sunlight, which was shining through the window and projecting the window frame as a shadow on the wall, to be positioned on the couple’s faces so that they were framed by the sun. The couple’s pose is already intimate and close enough that the focus should be on the emotions on their faces.

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Harsh Light Front Lit Dark Moody Window Light Natural Light Indoor

the Shoot

Editing & Presets
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Editing &

Editing Software used

Adobe Lightroom Classic

Preset Used

own custom preset

How I edited this image

I used my presets, which I usually only have to adjust for temperature, brightness, and black tones. I used the brush to paint the burnt-out faces darker, i.e. reduced “highlights” and “white”. I also straightened the image. I always shoot with a warm temperature (about 6000k) and prefer the temperature a little cooler afterward.

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Challenges Solutions Advice

Challenges & Solutions

Events that were challenging during the shoot

The biggest challenge was the direct sunlight, which was really strong and I had to close the aperture. But I didn’t want the image to be too sharp, high in contrast, and too hard, so I worked with a 1/30 shutter speed and stretched cling film in front of the lens to soften the light. Shooting through a Pro-Mist filter and cling film is another challenge.

Solutions I found

I communicated with the couple and asked them to stay in their pose and not open their eyes until I asked them to so I could focus on shooting with a steady hand.


Learn to play with light. During the shoot, it was difficult to suggest this lighting situation to the participants, as they had to get out of their comfort zone and use camera settings that they otherwise never use. Creativity is only possible if you are willing to step out of your comfort zone and think outside the box. And seeing and using light makes you creatively independent.
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Photographed by

Kathrin Krok

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