• bouquet
  • Looking out
  • Soft Light
  • Roots Presets
  • Portrait Orientation
  • Natural Light
  • Natural
  • Mountain Top
  • Moody
  • lower thirds
  • Horizon Line
  • Bride and Groom
  • holding each other
  • High Angle
  • Free
  • Evening Light
  • Directional Light
  • Dark
  • Center Framed
  • Cape Town
  • calm
  • Sunset

The story behind the image

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We all know about the golden hour of sunlight – that moment the sun has just about set and the whole sky lights up with the warm tones & colors that make people stop and go “wow”!

But, there’s also a period just afterward, when the sun has set and the last remnants of light still linger about. This period, is the blue hour. It doesn’t last long, but if you can manage to capture your couple during this period – you are given an incredible palette to work with some truly soft, beautiful tones. That’s exactly what we did here. One of the best things we learned was to not stop shooting, even after the sun has set. Because this blue hour creeps up, is there for a moment, and then it’s gone.
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Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

We had our couple stand next to each other and form a “V”. We asked both of them to look out towards the setting sun and to have our groom’s hand around the lower back of our bride, gently holding her close.

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What did you say?

Stand facing each other with you tummy’s touching, and then I want you to open up and form a sort of “v”. Now, both look out towards the setting sun and just enjoy this moment together. [Groom], put your arm around her waist and bring her in close. Completely be there with each other and forget about us right now.

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Tone of Directions



As we were on top of a viewpoint and there was an interesting scene just behind & below our couple, we chose to shoot this slightly higher up (simply by holding our camera above our head and using live view to see our frame). By shooting in portrait we also kept the amount of scenery minimal as to still bring attention to our couple in this strong pose.

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Compositional Rules

Leading Lines


Center FramedLower ThirdsWideHigher AngleNegative Space


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

We used our live view focus here since we wanted to raise our cameras above our heads to make sure the horizon didn’t cut through our couple. Live view focusing is also great for checking exactly what your final exposure will look like.

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Focus Mode

Live View Single Shot

Focus POints

Single Point

Focused on

The Grooms face

Equipment &

Canon 5D Mark IV
Canon 50mm f/1.2 L
1/160 @ f/2 ISO500 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

Shooting in blue hour still allows us to work with directional light. The sun had set to the left of the frame and so we asked our couple to look towards it. The lights till lit the front of them and then fell off behind to create a nice play between highlights & shadows. This is beautiful because it adds dimensions to your subject; it helps then stand out and not feel so flat.

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Light Type

Natural Light

Light Quality


Time of day



StormyStormy / Overcast

Editing Workflow

How did you edit this image?

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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Editing Software
Adobe Lightroom Classic


The main challenge we had when creating this image was that the light was fading really fast. So fast that this whole part of the shoot only lasted approximately 2 – 3 minutes (at most). We had to be quite efficient with what we wanted and get into position to capture our shot.

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It helps to brief your couple a bit before so they know exactly what you want. Bonus if you could also get your composition ready while you wait for that moment to shoot. Keep shooting, and don’t stop until you literally cannot focus anymore.

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Location Name

Signal Hill

Location aDDRESS

Signal Hill, Cape Town, South Africa

Loation Type



South Africa

If you’re going to have your couple look towards the sunset, just make sure it’s comfortable for them and not going to hurt their eyes. Rather wait until the sun isn’t so harsh or have them look somewhere else but in that general direction.

Secondly, if you have the bridal bouquet with you, why not give it to your groom to hold? Guys holding their bride’s flowers look so rad! Do it. At least, throw it into the mix so have some more variations to choose from.

Finally, if you find that your bride’s hand is looking a little lost hanging to the side, you could always ask her to run her fingers through her dress, pick it up and play with it or just rest it to her side.

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