• Back lit
  • calm
  • Center Framed
  • full body
  • holding hands
  • light streaks
  • lower thirds
  • Mountains
  • Posed
  • Soft Light
  • standing apart
  • Sun Streaks
  • Sunset
  • Wide

The story behind the image

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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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Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

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 did you say?

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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Tone of Directions



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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Lower Thirds


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

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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Focus Mode

Single Shot Autofocus

Focus POints

Single Point

Focused on

The Couple

Equipment &

Canon 5D mark IV
Canon 50mm f/1.2 L
1/125 @ f/3,2 ISO100 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

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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Light Type

Natural Light

Time of day


Editing Workflow

How did you edit 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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Editing Software
Adobe Lightroom Classic


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.

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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.

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Location Name

Gardena Pass

Location aDDRESS

Gardena Pass, 39033 Corvara, South Tyrol, Italy

Loation Type




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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