• Back lit
  • Bright
  • Center Framed
  • Cloudy
  • Energetic
  • holding hands
  • lower thirds
  • Natural Light
  • negative space
  • Playful
  • sunny
  • Walking

The story behind the image

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My client specifically wanted an image in which it was free from background distraction so they could blow it up nice and large to frame in their living room. They wanted something “arty”. That was my brief and I wasn’t too sure which image during their wedding would become that specific image. Since we were shooting at the beach I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to make an image with a lot of ‘negative space’ (empty space around the area surrounding the subject).

I had to get nice and low so I only saw the sky and the couple. The challenging part here was getting low enough to give the image a more arty feel. A had a previous frame in which the horizon line was visible but it became too distracting cutting across the couple’s legs.
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Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

I asked my couple to walk off into the distance holding hands. The idea here was to have the image “non-static”, meaning I wanted movement rather than the couple standing still looking at each other. This was to create more interest in the shot. I knew there were birds flying around and I really wanted to capture them in the frame somehow, so I put my camera in burst mode to try and capture the right flight path and also have a good frame where my couple looked best in the shot.

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What did you say?

“Alright guys, start walking away from me but as you walk try to keep some eye contact with each other. Make it feel like you’re walking off into the distance like at the end of a movie scene, in other words, make it look romantic”

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Tone of Directions

Excited, Energetic


The main aim of the composition was to create some negative space around my couple. So free from distracting background objects. I wanted the composition to be arty and somewhat abstract. The reason why it works well is that I kept the horizon line out of frame. I did have a previous shot in which you could see the horizon but it really didn’t have the same effect.

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Compositional Rules

Broken Rules


Lower ThirdsWideLower AngleNegative Space


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

The focus here is directly on the couple. I wasn’t concerned about getting the birds in focus as they were going to be part of the image, not the main subject. The hardest part about this was keeping the couple in focus as they walked further away. But nowadays with camera AF tracking technology, it makes things a lot easier to not have to worry about moving subjects.

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Focus Mode

Continuous Autofocus

Focus POints

Multi Point

Focused on

The couple

Equipment &

Sony a7iii
Sony 24mm f/1.4 GM
1/2000 @ f/1.8 ISO50 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

The sun was relatively high in the sky but I was quite fortunate to have some nice thin layer of cloud blocking the harshness of the sun. Regardless, I still had to shoot into the sun to make the image work. The light wasn’t necessarily difficult to shoot in but I still had to tone down the highlights in post.

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Light Type

Natural Light

Light Quality


Time of day




Editing Workflow

How did you edit this image?

I used my own preset where I like to have nice muted blues rather than bright blue hues. I got rid of some hills that you could see on the horizon at the very bottom of the frame by just cloning that out. I adjusted the usual basic settings to get the tones & atmosphere I was after but apart from that, I kept it quite simple.

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Editing Software
Preset Used
Own Preset


The main challenge in this shot was keeping things simple and free from background distractions.

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Getting down low avoided background distractions and kept a lot of the negative space in the frame.

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Location Name


Location aDDRESS

Gerroa Beach, Australia

Loation Type

Beach / Coastal



To create a similar image where the composition is crucial and you want to also create some interest with birds or other fast-moving subjects in the background, you need to first visualise the frame before taking it. Get into position with your camera and then direct the couple. Put your camera in burst mode and away you go.

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