How to Take this Photo

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This shot is from Ashley and Erik's wedding on Saturday.  I had a blast hanging out with them at and around the Hermitage Hotel in downtown Nashville.  The day weather was very typical for a January day...cold and overcast.  Overcast skies are great for shooting because you can go anywhere outside and have beautiful, consistent, and diffused light.  The only downside to shooting with overcast skies all day is that the light in all your photos will look the same.  To remedy this I like to bust out some strobes.

I took this shot with a 17-35mm f/2.8 attached to my Nikon D3s.  My camera settings were: ISO 200, f/11, and 1/80 sec.  I used an alien bee 1600 shot through a soft box and 1/2 power.  Walking up to this photograph I knew that I was going to position Erik against the sky between the two buildings to help frame him and create contrast between him and the sky.  I originally had my shutter speed at 1/250 because I was planning on bringing in more of the sky and blacking out the buildings.  After my first shot I realized that his tux was bleeding into the black and I missed the unique texture of the buildings, so I slowed down my shutter speed to 1/80 sec to bring the buildings back into the exposure.  Here is the lighting setup:


I have the bottom of the softbox lined up with his chin and angled down at about 45 degrees.  This helps create contrast by creating shadows on the right side of his face and under his chin.


Here is a photo using the same setup for a group.  The Light is on the opposite side in this photo:

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Let me know if you have any questions.


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