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Right upon arriving I knew I had to nail the dress shot. After tracking down the dress, I took it out to the reception hall of the venue and started looking around. I noticed the light was pouring through the upper barn windows into the reception hall and I knew I found something amazing. The owner of this venue keeps plant hooks around for photographers to hang up wedding dresses, so I immediately tracked her down. After hanging the dress from the central chandelier (I LOVE symmetrical detail shots if I can manage them), I pulled out my magic… Atmosphere Aerosol. I sprayed as much as I could and let it settle. The effect began to bloom as the light rays were accentuated by the spray. I stepped back and grabbed my camera with my 35mm on it and stepped back. It was beautiful. I dialed into f/1.4 to give the image as much depth as possible and I adjusted my shutter to expose for the dress. I knew it was a money shot. I showed the bride the in camera shot immediately afterwards and she cried. I knew I had something special.

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How did you compose your image?

When I saw the light pouring in from the side I knew I had to line up my shot to compliment it. Hanging the dress in a central location allowed for me to not only create a symmetrical image, but also to capture the light rays coming in from the side.

How and what did you focus on?

Focus for this image was easy. I actually used the LCD screen to focus in on the dress using the touch screen. I had to hold the camera up higher, so the viewfinder was not an option.

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How did you use the light in your image?

You can only nail this shot at this location if you arrive early enough. The light only appeared for a short window of time. Once we see good lighting, we don’t wait to come back to it, we shoot with it immediately! This was definitely a day I was racing against the clock as the light was changing rapidly. The direct light through the barn window was perfect for the atmosphere to illuminate.

What was the gear & settings you used?

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Camera

Canon 5D Mark IV

Lens

Canon EF 35mm f/1.4 L II

Filter

None

Other

None

Shutter Speed

1/2000

Aperture

f/1.4

ISO

1600

White Balance

Cloudy

How did you edit your image & what did you use?

I wanted to make sure all of the attention was on Amanda’s stunning dress. I started off with using a preset called “West” out of the preset package called “Cascade 02” because it is very versatile while at the same time not completely washing out the colors of the image. The shadows all around it were perfect for making a central subject. I used a radial filter to bring attention direction to her dress by inverting It and bringing down exposure, clarity, and sharpness. I then used a regular radial filter to increase the clarity and texture on the dress. Lastly, I added even more texture, clarity, and sharpness using a brush directly on the dress. I also used the healing tool to get rid of the exit signs hanging out in the shadows. They drew too much attention to themselves for sure.

Software Used

Adobe Lightroom Classic

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What challenges did you face?

This image was a little challenging because I didn’t have a ton of time for the dress shot. I had to think fast and on my feet. I also ran into the issue of having people in my shot. I was shooting in the reception venue (on the grounds) during some of the setup.

How did you solve them?

I usually go into a wedding day already looking ahead a places we can shoot a dress or even the couple. I ALWAYS keep my eyes open on the way in. In fact, I usually like showing up 30-45 minutes early just to get my bearings. For the issue with the people in my shot, I pretty much had to be patient and wait. Thankfully the staff was familiar with what I had to accomplish and tried to stay out of my way.

Can you share any last thoughts or advice?

If you’re looking to nail a dress shot, buy atmosphere aerosol and bring it everywhere you go. The way it illuminates light is absolutely stunning and it can transform an image faster than just about anything else.

Rainstorm Photo

Shooting since

2014

Current Home

United States of America

Website

Instagram

We are a husband & wife photography team based in Michigan City, IN. We capture many weddings, engagements, & lifestyle (family) sessions all over the Midwest, U.S., and beyond. Both passionate about photography, we first met at a photography meet up in the trees of Oak Openings in Toledo, OH. About a year later we went on our first date. With a six-and-a-half hour drive in between us, we soaked up every moment together doing what we love and discovering how our passions intertwine. Eight months later we were engaged. In another six months we were married, and Rainstorm Photo was launched. Since then, we’ve been using photography as our creative release and a great way to serve others. We’ve recently expanded and have partnered with associate photographers who share our same vision and passion for servitude. We’ve had the pleasure of working with the most laid back, kind, creative, and beautiful couples and families ever!

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