the Shoot

Location Equipment
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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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Location Name

Gardena Pass

Location aDDRESS

Gardena Pass, 39033 Corvara, South Tyrol, Italy



Location TYPE




Canon 5D mark IV




Canon 50mm f/1.2 L

Lens Filter


Other Equipment
No additional equipment was used.

the Shoot

Directions Composition Focus Light & Exposure
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Calm Holding Hands Posed Standing 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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What was said

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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Why I composed the way I did

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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Center Framed Lower Thirds Wide Full Body


Focus mode

Single point auto focus

Focus Technology

Single Shot Autofocus

Focused on

The Couple

Focus description

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.

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Shutter Speed






White Balance


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

How the light was used

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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Soft Light Back lit Sunset

the Shoot

Editing & Presets
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Editing &

Editing Software used

Adobe Lightroom Classic

Preset Used
How I edited this image

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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Challenges Solutions Advice

Challenges & Solutions

Events that were challenging during the shoot

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.

Solutions I found

The fact that we just tried made all the difference. Even if we knew we weren’t equipped to capture the whole mountain & scene, we still went ahead and tried it. Once we got back home and looked through the images, we ended up really liking the whole shot.


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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Photographed by

Melli & Shayne

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