Wednesday, January 19, 2011

"The Light Of Your Smile"


"The Light Of Your Smile"
©David A. Ziser

I love this image. It's one that was made quickly after we finished the the group photographs and the images at the alter of the bride and groom. The limos were waiting for the wedding party to gather their things.

In those brief moments while we were waiting for everyone to head to the limousine, I asked the bride and groom to hold for just a minute on the church steps as they were making their exit. My assistant quickly positioned himself behind the couple as I was sure the camera was set to the right settings to get the shot in the diminished light.

Here is the cool thing about this image. When the flash fired, it not only backlit the couple but it also lit up the dress making it a source of light for the rest of the scene. The light bounced off the dress and illuminated the interior of the church doors. The now illuminated doors created what we call an "interior frame". An "interior frame" is a compositional element within the scene that helps frame up the subject in addition to the normal exterior frame of the viewfinder.

This is what happens with what I call "short distance" backlighting. My assistant is not capable of being the recommended 12 feet behind the subjects, instead he is much closer. The result is always pleasing with the illuminated surrounds.

Camera specs: Canon 5D fitted with a Sigma 12-24mm lens at 12mm, F6.3 @ 1/13 second, ISO 640. Enjoy! -David


  1. What an incredible image! I was in your session at Imaging USA 2011 and was thrilled about all that I learned in even that short of time. I'm definitely a Ziser fan and look forward to learning much more from you. Thank you! Claudia

  2. This is a very nice photo indeed! Great source of inspiration for my own work. Thanks.

  3. I've been reading your "captured by the light" book and I can't wait to practice this backlighting technique during my shoots!

  4. Always appreciate your blog.. We were at your class in MA. last year. Hopefully I've learned from you photographically and also how to make a blog interesting.
    Keep up the great work!