Here’s a classic dilemma that we all face when taking portraits at sunset. Our mobile phone cameras do an increasingly impressive job at capturing the colors we see in the sky. We can also apply filters, boosting our amazing looking images that we then rush to post. If, however we try to include people in the foreground, we are nearly always disappointed about how dark they appear. Often the eye is so drawn by the sky, that the people can look sadly dark and featureless.
With professional equipment, and a bit of planning, wedding photographers are becoming super skilled at overcoming this problem.
Although I am a Bristol Wedding Photographer, I do love to travel. For this shot of Claire and Paul at their Cornish wedding, we had just minutes to capture the shot, before the sun set.
We had all been enjoying our amazing wedding day at Lusty Glaze beach near Newquay, and for most of the evening, there really hadn’t been much color to the sky, in fact the clouds kept threatening to obscure the setting sun completely.
Ahead of the day, hoping that we might get a glorious beach sunset, I’d packed a Profoto B2 flash unit, and added a Zoom reflector for power and punch.
And as the evening progressed, I kept a close eye on the sky, and on one my Nikon D750s, I had my Sigma 24mm f1.4 lens with an air remote to trigger the flash.
With literally minutes before the sun set, the clouds parted, and the sky colored beautifully.
I grabbed Claire and Paul, and we rushed excitedly down the wet sand in an attempt to get the shot.
I quickly placed the flash unit to camera left on its light stand. With Claire and Paul looking incredible in the dramatic fading light, I then followed the same process as detailed in the mountain blog post;
Start with the flash off, Camera set to Manual, set ambient exposure to maximise the colors in the sky, take test shot (see gallery), adjust exposure if necessary, then switch on the flash (at Air remote), compose the image, engage the couple, and boom. Job done!
I was so glad that this image turned out so well, it remains one of our favorite images, a priceless memory preserved.