Photographed by Melli & Shayne

Story

We visited Cape Town with the intention to have a holiday, and not worry too much about shooting. But, this place is beckoning for a shoot. There are so many incredibly beautiful locations that you could easily spend a year here and not have repetative works. We found Manon & Corstiaan at the old biscuit mill and asked them if they would be up for a shoot with us. They were stoked and it just so happened that they are professional models. We did some location scouting one afternoon and found this little path on Signal Hill. Needless to say, the whole shoot just blew our minds.
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Directions

CalmHolding HandsNaturalWalkingMovement

Have your couple lead each other when moving from one spot to another, and genuinely ask them to help by offering a hand and looking back. This not only looks really great in terms of story telling, but it’s genuinely helpful to the follower especially over rough terrain.
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Calm Energetic
Planned On the spot
Tricky Easy
Posed Natural
“Hold your dress up when you walk, it’ll make it easier for you to find your feet. And keep your connection to each other – don’t be afraid to genuinely help. We’ll tell you when to stop.”
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Composition

Center FramedLeading LinesWideFull Body

With so many elements in this spot, we simply had to shoot wide. We framed it so that the couple was heading towards the mountain in the distance, and we kept enough space to show all of the landscape features. They are not exactly dead center, as this also left a bit more room for the eye to wander and explore where they could be going.
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Pay attention to leading lines and to try not let the landscape features (mountain) and the sky cut through them. It’s more pleasing when they are contained within it.

Focusing

Single Point Focused on The Groom Single Shot Autofocus
We focused on our couple using the single point auto focus so we could be in complete control over where and what the camera was locking on to.
Light & Weather

Soft LightDirectional LightMoodyNatural LightCloudySunsetGolden Hour

At this point, the sun was just about to drop below the horizon which meant the light became softer and softer. This allowed us to side-light the couple which adds dimensions to the frame without being too contrasty. Just keep in mind when side lighting, it’s quite easy to have their faces fall into the shadow, so pay attention to that and never worry about asking to do this whole shot again =)

As we didn’t want to blow out the highlights in the sky, we underexposed the frame slightly just so it retains those details. In post, we can always bring up the exposure & shadows leaving us with so much more control.
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Equipment & EXIF

1/500 f/1.4 ISO 100 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 only challenge we faced was the fact that we were going to lose our couple behind the bushes pretty soon after they started walking.

Location

Mountains South Africa

Signal Hill

Signal Hill, Cape Town, South Africa

Final tips & Advice

South Africa is an incredibly beautiful country and while it does have a reputation of not being the safest, it’s all about how you approach it. Just be vigilant and don’t necessarily flash your expensive gear in dark alleyways, and stay in groups – you’ll be absolutely fine.
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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.

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