Before
the Shoot

Location Equipment
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This was basically an afterwedding shoot which took place one day before the actual wedding, which I absolutely loved! The couple decided to stroll around in Vienna and visit all the places that meant something to them and where they already made some memories together. I knew that we were going to be near a subway and I wanted to try this kind of shot. It took us a few tries because of people walking through the frame and waiting for the subway to arrive but it paid off and it was a fun experience.
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Location

Location Name

Volkstheater Ubahn-Station

Location aDDRESS

Burggasse, 1070 Wien

Country

Austria

Location TYPE

City

Equipment

Camera

Sony A7III

Flash

None

Lens

Sony 35mm f/1.4

Lens Filter

None

Other Equipment
No additional equipment was used.

During
the Shoot

Directions Composition Focus Light & Exposure
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Directions

Tags

Calm Holding Each other Posed Simple

Description

We talked through everything before we set up the shot because it gets quite loud when the subway arrives or departs and I never feel comfortable shouting instructions when strangers are around so everything was discussed beforehand. For this photo I wanted them to stay as still as possible since it would be a longer exposure than usual and therefore the pose had to be static – no movement etc.

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What was said

Could you please stay as still as possible and don’t move for as long as the subway needs to arrive or depart? Touching your forehead and nose should work best. I’ll let you know when we’re done – we might have to redo this a few times as it could turn out pretty cool or just meh.

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Composition

Why I composed the way I did

It was clear that I wanted to have the couple centered in the frame (as I do so often) and a bit further away from the camera to be able to include the subway. I wanted to give the image some “headspace” so I included the lights above them and also to have more “static” elements in the image. That way you’d be able to recognize better what part of the image is “moving” and which part is not. The way the door is framing the couple is pure luck and coincidence as I just held the shutter button for as long as the subway was moving.

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Tags

Rule of Thirds Center Framed Leading Lines Full Body Natural Frames

Focus

Focus mode

Single point auto focus

Focus Technology

Continuous Autofocus

Focused on

the couple

Focus description

As always I shot this photo with continuous autofocus on my Sony (focus area wide) and put the focus field right over the middle of the image where the couple was standing. This wasn’t really necessary since single shot autofocus or even manual focus would have worked perfectly or even better but usually, I’m just too lazy to change that and it works most of the time. That being said, continuous autofocus can easily mess up shots like these when people pass through the image or the autofocus starts hunting for something else. If you want to be safe – switch to AF-S or manual focus so there would be one less thing to worry about when the action happens.

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Shutter Speed

1/35

Aperture

f/1.4

ISO

125

White Balance

4000K

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

How the light was used

I love the lights in subway stations as they are this long string of lights connected together and when the subject is placed beneath them it creates a beautiful soft light that wraps around the subject and makes it stand out. The lights were above the couple so I just had to place them directly under them. There is just a bit of warm backlight from the subway which is a great contrast to that cool overhead light.

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Tags

Artificial Light Bright Indoor

After
the Shoot

Editing & Presets
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Editing &
Presets

Editing Software used

Adobe Lightroom Classic

Preset Used
How I edited this image

I used a modified version of the preset from Anni Graham called “yosemite 01” on this image. After I imported the photos and culled through them I usually apply the preset over every image and for these underground set of photos I wanted a bit of a cooler tone in the highlights. I changed the highlight tones from yellow to a blueish/greenish hue. Not a lot – just very subtle to emphasize that subway/underground feeling with these cold artificial lights. I adjusted the crop to make everything straight and symmetrical and also brightened and warmed up the image by using the exposure and white balance slider. Afterwards I added quite a bit of contrast since I was using a black pro mist filter (1/4 strength) and it would have looked a bit washed out. But I love using a pro mist filter with artificial light as the lights “bloom” and gives a bit of a hazy look.

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Conclusion

Challenges Solutions Advice

Challenges & Solutions

Events that were challenging during the shoot

We had to redo this photo a few times as people were leaving and entering the subway which wasn’t too bad since it wasn’t rush hour..or so I think. The subway was departing every few minutes so we had a few tries and didn’t lose too much time.

Solutions I found

We just tried a couple times to not get as many people in the shot. With an exposure time of 1/35s I had to keep the camera super steady so I crouched and held my breath and tried to stay as still as possible.

Advice

I’ve learned that it helps to use the maximum burst rate of your camera every now and then to have more options to choose from. I wish I would have experimented more with different exposure times. In hindsight I should have tried 1/2s or even 1s but then things might have been too blurry. I’ll have to try that next time :)
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Photographed by

Lukas Leonte

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