• Adobe Lightroom CC
  • symmetry
  • sunny
  • South Africa
  • Single Shot
  • Single Focus Point
  • Quiet
  • Mixed Lighting
  • Flash
  • Center Framed
  • almost kiss
  • Canon 600EXRT2 behind Couple
  • Canon 5DIV
  • Canon 35mm 1.4II
  • Blue Hour
  • Beach
  • Backlit
  • Autofocus
  • Artificial Light
  • TwoMann Mixology

The story behind the image

This was a surprise engagement and the shoot started much earlier in the afternoon on the beach in the Garden Route of South Africa. We started with some relaxed portraits, using the light and location, slowly moving the couple to the ideal spot to ask the question. He asked, she said yes and it was excitement all round! We shot a couple of frames after the proposal and moved to a new location, more of a rocky beach with a steep climb down. We took some portraits as the sun set and then the couple went waist-deep into the water. As we were wrapping up the last light wowed us with cotton candy colors and we set up for one final creative portrait.
Show more
Show more


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

For the silhouette to work I asked them to create a space above the waist but lean in with their foreheads, just touching. From there I asked them to lean into the shot and then hold as long as needed for the exposure.

Show more
What did you say?

Let’s have you lean in towards each other and have your foreheads just touching. Closer! Hold!

Show more
Tone of Directions



I placed the couple in the center of the image to complement the symmetry and allow the motion of the blur to direct the attention straight to the couple. Naturally, this image is quite abstract and having the couple directly centered gives them the most importance and the immediate attention.

Show more
Compositional Rules



Center FramedWide


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

I set the camera to focus on the center and let the camera lock onto the subject.

Show more
Focus Mode

Single Shot

Focus POints

Single Focus Point

Focused on

the Couple

Equipment &

Canon 5DIV
Canon 35mm f/1.4 II
Canon 600EXRT 2

Light Stand

Show more
0.4 @ f/7.1 ISO100 WB-Shade

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

I used the ambient for atmosphere and creative effect and the Speedlight to accentuate the couple from the back. I placed the light stand with Speedlight behind the couple, facing the rock to create a Silhouette. I then moved back to have enough space between me and the couple. I adjusted my angle to ensure that the Speedlight doesn’t show and then asked the couple to lean in, heads touching for a romantic pose. A couple of exposures to balance the ambient and exposure on the rock and then moved the camera left and right to get the best movement of the background colors.

Show more
Light Type

Artificial LightMixed LightingFlash

Light Quality


Time of day

Blue Hour



Editing Workflow

How did you edit this image?

Mostly upped the contrast and clarity lost during the long exposure and increased the vibrance. Removed the dust spots and straightened the horizon.

Show more
Editing Software
Adobe Lightroom CC


Making sure that we balance the light and also the framing perfectly.

Show more


Slowing things down and making sure of what I am trying to achieve.

Show more


Location Name

Flat Rock Wilderness

Location aDDRESS

Flat Rock, 6th Ave, Wilderness, 6560, South Africa

Loation Type



South Africa

Keep trying. It took a couple of frames and the best one was right at the end.

Read More

Login to your account

Oh no :(

This content has been marked as Premium and requires an active subscription in order to access it. We’re so sorry about that. But hey, here’s what you can do:

Join the

Get access to everything on the site as well as a ton of perks & benefits.

Have an account?

Well then, let’s get you logged in and hide this annoying thingy-ma-jig.