Couple standing in the blue cave on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu

Photographed by Valerie Fernandez Photography

Story

As we travelled to the island of Tanna (Vanuatu) with K and M, our shooting plans revolved mainly around Mount Yasur, one of the world’s most accessible active volcano. After an incredible day spent making memories through lush rainforest, moon-like ash plains and awe inspiring volcanic fireworks we thought our thirst for adventure was quenched. The next day however, we were taken on a boat ride to this cave, and without much thinking I grabbed my gear + weather/underwater Outex cover to protect it during the ride. I didn’t expect to have a full session at the cave, this was just to be able to snap a few shots to add to K and M’s album, but boy was I glad I had it all with me once we got there!

To get in the cave you need to swim off the boat and through a hole in the cliff wall. Once in, it was just magical. I remember turning to K and M, and having no doubt we were thinking the same: this was the cherry on top of our volcano adventures and we absolutely needed to take photos of them in this insane place. I guess the lesson here was an all time classic: always be prepared, even when you have little to no expectations!
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Directions

EnergeticNaturalPlayful

Couple standing in the blue cave on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu
“”Alright guys, let’s see if we can find a rock somewhere in the light, where you could both stand comfortably for a moment”. “Now, take your time, find your balance, help each other out and simply hug.” “Okay, K, you’re looking awesome, but your face is in the shadow, so what I’d love for you to do is to please pull your upper body away from M a little bit, just enough to be able to look up to him. Yep, that’s great, that’s enough, thanks. Now enjoy this moment guys.” (all of it literally shouting like a mad person to cover the noise of the rushing waves and make myself heard!) “
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Composition

Rule of ThirdsLower ThirdsWide

Untamed nature has a way of exalting compositions in the most unexpected ways, so I always make sure to leave room for that magic to surprise me and humble me. So, my advice is to be flexible. Be stubborn enough to create the image you have in mind despite the challenges, but not too stubborn that you miss out on the magic of a place, or moment, and risk losing up an amazing image because it isn’t exactly what you envisioned. I had in mind a very graphic, symmetrical composition: I thought it would give me a strong and powerful image, but in the end, I believe this image is far more authentic and raw as it is, and truer to the place we were at and the moment.

Focusing

Single Point Focused on The couple’s face Continuous Autofocus
Couple standing in the blue cave on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu
Light & Weather

Back litNatural LightNoon

Equipment & EXIF

1/80 f/1.4 ISO 100 WB Auto

Camera

Sony a9

Lens

Sony FE 24mm f1.4 GM

Additional Equipment

Outex underwater housing

Flash / External Light

none

Flash / External Light Setup

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Editing

This image was edited with

own custom preset

Challenges & Solutions
Couple standing in the blue cave on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu

Location

Cave Vanuatu

The Blue Cave

1, S Beach Rd, Lenakel

Final tips & Advice

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Couple standing in the blue cave on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu

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Valerie Fernandez Photography

Photographer Vanuatu Sony a9 Sonay 24mm 1.4 GM
Heya, I’m Val and I’m looking forward to meeting you! I’m kid at heart, a wonderer, a dreamer! Trough incredible blessings and heartbreaking loss, I have learned kindness and courage, and became a believer in people: in you, in me, in our uniqueness, our story, our potential, strength, and vulnerability; in how we laugh, love, grow, break, endure and keep going. Photography is my bridge between what’s inside and what’s outside; it’s my tribute to everyday poetry, every day courage, every day joy, everyday love, everyday life. It’s how I see and feel, fit and connect, share and learn, give and receive.
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“The real voyage of discovery consists, not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” Proust

Designed with love by Katharina + Katharina & Shayne Thomas. Background image by Adrián Vilanova

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