Wednesday, May 11, 2011

"Skies Of Blue"

Skies Of BlueIMG_5843-Edit

"Skies Of Blue"
©David A. Ziser

You would not believe the conditions under which this image was captured.  Bright afternoon sun, no acceptable location to place the bride for a decent background – nothing was going right.  It looked like we weren’t going to get anything till I decided to “play” with the light.

The background of this scene was the church parking lot – with several cars parked in it!  Beyond the parking lot was another building – ugly and pretty darn challenging.

I figured that if I got as close to the ground as possible that I could eliminate most of the clutter in the background.  That worked for the most part but I wanted all the clutter gone.  That meant a slight 3/4 crop on the bride. That mostly did the trick.  I still needed to remove a few of the parking lot lights but that was easy in Photoshop.

The next problem was the bright sky behind the bride – how could I get any color at all into that sky"?  The answer, of course, is to under expose the sky.  That was going to be a bit more difficult because I still needed to get light on my bride’s face.  Anyway, I decided to give it a shot.

I brought my 150 W.S. Quantum flash in close from camera left.  How close – about 4 feet away from the bride’s face.  If you look closely, you may still see some remnants of the flash hiding within the tree on the left.  Reminder, if you are going to include your gear in a shot, be sure to put it in a “Photoshopable” area of the image.

Why did I need the flash so close?  Easy answer – I needed a very small aperture to darken the sky.  Remember, I could only push the shutter speed so fast and still see the flash sync in this image.  Once I reached the flash sync speed limit, all I had left was aperture and that usually means a very small aperture under extremely bright lighting conditions like we experienced at this location on this day.

Anyway, we were able to pull it off and capture a great image to boot. I especially like the sun peeking through the trees ;~)

Camera specs: Canon 7D fitted with Sigma 8-16mm lens at 10mm, F16 @ 1/400 second (cheating the sync), ISO 200.  Enjoy!  -David


  1. David,

    I loved watching you take this photo. You're a true MASTER at capturing the light and composition.


  2. David,

    Nice use of camera position to get the most out of the location. The only thing I would have done differently would be to remove the clouds with PS "Content Aware Fill". They draw the eye too much!


  3. A couple of trees and a small patch of grass to lay on. Most excellent!

    Also, please post your back lit night shot at the traffic circle! Now that's really amazing!


  4. I'm curious why you used ISO-200

  5. Outstanding image, David, made me think long and hard. Great stuff.

  6. Really outstanding and stunning pic. very elegant.

    Wedding photographer Glasgow