Photographed by Melli & Shayne

Story

It’s not uncommon for a couple to travel somewhere really exciting just to say vows. Eloping, but without someone there to officiate it. And that was the story of our couple here – who flew all the way from China to get lost amongst the Italian Dolomites and read their vows to one another just the way they wanted.

We did not expect the sky to explode into colors as it did here, and this picture came about as we had just reached the top of a hill. We saw the sun rays blasting over the distant mountain, and our couple stood in awe just like us. We realized the moment, told them to stay exactly where they were and we ran back to get our shot.
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Directions

CalmHolding HandsPosedStanding apart

As our couple was already standing and admiring the sunset, we simply asked them to stay where they were and to hold hands. The rest we didn’t want to disturb. It was that moment that we wanted to capture right then and there.
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Calm Energetic
Planned On the spot
Tricky Easy
Posed Natural
“Oh wow, guys! What a sunset! Stay exactly where you are, we’re gonna get some wide shots. Hold hands if you can, and just enjoy what you’re seeing”
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Composition

Center FramedLower ThirdsWideFull Body

At this moment, we couldn’t go further back due to terrain challenges, so we did the best we could. We really wanted to give more emphasis to the towering mountain and that golden sun-blast, so we actually got onto our knees and tried an angle from below looking up. We framed the couple in the lower half to allow more space for the mountain at the top. By giving emphasis to the mountain, we are showing scale, grandeur, and impact.
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Try and look for angles that may be unique or interesting or may even help you get that composition you were hoping for. Even if it sounds crazy (like going to the floor), just try a few shots and see what it looks like

Focusing

Single Point Focused on The Couple Single Shot Autofocus
The focusing was a bit tricky since we had to deal with the grass in front of our lenses. But fortunately, that’s where using a single point in the autofocus comes in super handy. We moved ours over our couple and that tells the camera to only look for a focus on that spot – nowhere else. This gave us much more control over what was being focused on.
Light & Weather

Soft LightBack litSunset

Since we wanted to keep the light as an element in our final image, we made sure to place it behind our couple. We had our couple turn and face the sunset not only to show what they were doing but so that it would light up their faces when they turned slightly.
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Equipment & EXIF

1/125 f/3,2 ISO 100 WB Auto

Camera

Canon 5D mark IV

Lens

Canon 50mm f/1.2 L

Editing

Adobe Lightroom Classic M&S The Roots Presets

Software used:

 

We applied our Protea presets as a base to the image, then warmed it up with the White Balance. We tweaked the exposure, highlights, shadows, clarity and the like to get the right mood for the image and took extra time to enhance the light with local adjustments (brushes & Radial filters).
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This image was edited with

M&S The Roots Presets

Challenges & Solutions
The main challenge we faced here was actually getting ourselves low enough to capture the scene we wanted. Even though we didn’t get the full spectrum of the scene (and knew we wouldn’t), we still wanted to go give it a shot.

Location

Mountains Italy

Gardena Pass

Gardena Pass, 39033 Corvara, South Tyrol, Italy

Final tips & Advice

Don’t be afraid to experiment with angles that you would normally avoid entirely. Like in this case, pretty much shooting from so low down we had were amongst the grass. In the end, it can go one of two ways: it works, or it doesn’t. And if it doesn’t, you hopefully will try and understand why it didn’t work.

When it comes to editing a shot where you have a ray of sun (or something similar), it really becomes worth it to spend a bit of extra time doing local adjustments (brushes, gradients & radial filters) to enhance what was already there.
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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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