Photographed by Melli & Shayne

Story

We all know about that perfect time of the day to shoot; that golden hour just as the sun is setting where everything is warm, and the light is soft. Yeah, that one. But, there’s also a little nugget of gold shortly after.

This, this is blue hour. It doesn’t last long, and you absolutely have to be fast, efficient and on point with your couples to really take advantage of it. But when you do, you are graced with incredibly soft tones and the colors that can come out of it in post are always something to make you go “wow”!

We see so many photographers who take out their couples during sunset who stop just as the sun has set. Why? There’s still a bit more light left as it moves to this blue hour. Keep shooting until you can’t shoot anymore.
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Directions

CalmHolding Each otherSimple

We positioned our bride on the rock with her body slightly turned away from us and towards where the sun set. Next, we asked our groom to come from behind her and wrap his arms around her and get really close. Making sure to hold her hands and to cuddle her. Genuinely cuddle her. As this was happening we asked our bride to turn her head towards her groom.
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Calm Energetic
Planned On the spot
Tricky Easy
Posed Natural
“Put your arms around her and get tangled up. Make a knot, and really cuddle your girl. Make her feel safe, loved and really forget about everything else right now and just be with each other”
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Composition

Center FramedLeading LinesWideFull Body

We found this rock amongst these rough cliffs that we thought was a perfect place to have our couple. It was right in the middle of the two slopes formed by the cliffs and it also meant they were slightly propped up. Both slopes of the cliff create these leading lines towards our couple which immediately draws attention to them. This is important, especially in a busy landscape.
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Keep your eyes open for those leading & compositional lines. Try and place your couple somewhere where those lines converge towards them as they form a natural guide for the viewers eyes to follow.

Focusing

Single Point Focused on The Brides Face Live View Single Shot
Focusing during blue hour can be very tricky. Your camera needs a certain amount of light in order to determine the edges being sharp or not. In this case, we simply couldn’t focus through our viewfinder any more so we switched to our live view mode (which uses a different method for focusing). It’s a bit slower, sure, but it managed to lock onto our couple and hold it while we shot.
Light & Weather

Soft LightDarkNatural LightBlue HourEvening

At this point, the sun had completely set and whatever light was left over was simply the very last bits of the sunset. It goes by incredibly fast and so we had to be fast. We had our bride turn her body slightly towards where the sun set so we could still get some of that directional light; and it also meant we would see more of the groom
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Equipment & EXIF

1/100 f/1.4 ISO 2000 WB Auto

Camera

Canon 5D Mark IV

Lens

Canon 35mm f/1.4 L II

Editing

Adobe Lightroom Classic M&S The Roots Presets

Software used:

 

The edits are made to be warmer with a big focus on skin tones and light play with shadows and highlights. A few minor local adjustments were made (Gradient and Brush) as well as finishing off with a fine layer of grain. The whites are not blown out nor are the blacks 100% crunched.
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This image was edited with

M&S The Roots Presets

Challenges & Solutions
The biggest challenge we faced was the fact that the light disappeared incredibly fast. Because of this, our cameras really struggled to get focus until we moved to Live view
focusing.

Location

Hotel Italy

Le Calette hotel

Le Calette hotel – Cefalù Via Cavallaro, 12, 90015 Cefalù PA, Italy

Final tips & Advice

If time allows, keep shooting until you can’t shoot anymore. Until your camera simply won’t focus. There’s also no shame in telling your couples that you are going to “try” shoot during this time and that they shouldn’t expect anything. It happens so fast that it really shouldn’t be an issue – and by managing their expectations – you’re good to go. Even if you didn’t manage to capture the shots.
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Melli & Shayne

Photographer Germany Canon 5D Mark IV Canon 50mm f/1.2 L
We are Melli & Shayne, a couple coming from vastly different worlds but have been inseparable ever since we met in Zanzibar. We have been passionately capturing love stories since 2014 and have loved every step of the way. We love to meet fellow photographers, to share our knowledge amongst a bottle (or two) of wine and support every one wherever we can.
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Everyone fails. It’s how you take it that will separate you from the rest. Failure is a lesson. And knowledge is a win.

Designed with love by Katharina + Katharina & Shayne Thomas. Background image by Adrián Vilanova

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