• Bright
  • calm
  • Leading lines
  • Natural
  • natural frames
  • Natural Light
  • off center
  • Rule of thirds
  • Soft Light
  • Walking
  • Wide

The story behind the image

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I had been DYING to shoot at this location in Canberra, Australia for quite a number of years now. My couple, wanted something different for their wedding. After their first look at the hotel, we travelled to two locations in Canberra for their portraits before returning for their ceremony – yes, we captured their wedding photos before they were married!

This location is the James Turrell’s Skyspace exhibit titled “Within Without” at the National Art Gallery in Canberra. It’s open air, and free to access by the public. We were lucky on the day to have overcast skies which made the light inside the exhibit uniform without shadows, as well as only encountering 2 members of the public – it’s a popular spot and this wedding was held on a Tuesday, and we were there approximately 1pm. We were fortunate for the day and time to essentially have this exhibit to ourselves for the time we were there, as, were we there on a weekend I highly doubt we’d have been so fortunate.

The exhibit itself is open-air, with a dome as the centerpiece, surrounded by a teal-colored pool of water, and pink-toned angular walls. The paths around the exhibit would be wide enough for a normal couple walking through, but with a wedding dress with a wide train, coinciding with angled walls, it just meant the couple had to walk closer together or one leading the other through. I managed to put my camera in the water twice, forgetting that it was water as I was composing this series of images to get the best use of the reflection. My biggest regret from my visit to this location and what I will now know for next time is that I wish I had my 24mm with me. I took only a 35mm and 85mm with me to this location, and I really would have preferred to have gotten wider with my shots and been able to really capture more depth of space with my couple.
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Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

This was super simple in this situation, I just directed my couple to head up the path and once they’d arrived at the corner to face each other and get super close.

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What did you say?

Alright guys, head up the path – mindful of the water! Once you arrive at the corner, I want to you both face each other, get super close and just chat with each other about everything you’re feeling in this moment. I’ll be down here shooting from far, so I won’t be able to hear a thing that you say. Just be in your own moment.

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Tone of Directions



This location is literally a photographer’s dream – there are reflections, leading lines created by the textured walls – I really didn’t have to do too much! My goal for this image was to showcase the reflection, whilst also showing the scale of the location we were in (the walls are super tall!).

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Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

I just focused on the couple as my main subjects of this image. As they were talking, I wasn’t sure whether they would move, laugh, etc – so kept my focus on continuous autofocus.

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Focus Mode

Continuous Autofocus

Focus POints

Single Point

Focused on

The couple

Equipment &

Sony A7iii
Sony 34mm f/1.4
1/800 @ f/2.0 ISO320 WB-Auto

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 location was open-air and we had overcast skies. The light therefore was flattering and uniform- perfect conditions to shoot at this location, especially for the 1pm timing that we were there (if it was sunny, it would have been quite harsh light). It was easy to create what I was wanting to at this location due to literally perfect lighting conditions on the day, we got really lucky!

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Light Type

Natural Light

Editing Workflow

How did you edit this image?

I have my own custom presets that I’ve created over the years, and continue to tweak to create lineage in my work. I had to adjust the red and orange HSL sliders as my typical preset is based on soft skin tones so pinks and reds without tweaking come out more as a muted dull orange/brown. I wanted to show the pink walls close to accurately as I could, so I tweaked the HSL sliders here on my typical preset to make the walls pink, whilst adjusting to keep a balance of natural skin tones.

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Editing Software
Adobe Lightroom Classic
Preset Used
own custom preset


I think really the only challenge was the fact that I didn’t bring a wider lens with me. I really wish I took my 24mm with me.

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The widest lens I had on me was 35mm which I used and am happy with what I created with it. But next time – 24mm is going with me!

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Location Name

National Art Gallery, Canberra

Location aDDRESS

Parkes Place East, Parkes, ACT 2600, Australia

Loation Type

Art Exhibit



As mentioned above, upon my next visit here I am definitely taking a wider lens. I hope next time I return too that I have a sunny day, I’d love to get creative here with light and shadows.

It’s important to note here that commercial photography at this location does require written consent from the National Art Gallery, which we obtained for this couple’s wedding photos.

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