#nofilter – SimplyTwo Photography on Shooting & Camera Control

4:14 PM

Shooting philosophy: If it already looks good on the camera, it’s going to look awesome when it’s completely edited.

Photography without the reliance on heavy editing is something that’s been high on my list for many years. It’s not to say that I do zero editing in post production, rather I think it’s important for photographers to treat Photoshop as icing on the cake instead of a must-have. Our cameras are amazingly powerful tools that are beyond what was available to us during the analog film days. With the good creative planning and careful execution it’s possible to create stunning images without heavy-handed post editing. Here’s an ongoing list:

One of the greatest challenges for me is capturing the ambience of a scene correctly; as in how I remember my eyes seeing it at the time. I try to stay away from flash as it tends to overpower and diminish the natural look & feel of the image. So when Grace and Ryan suggested a night-themed campfire shoot, I knew it come down to a matter of balance:

- The bright intensity of the flame
- A slow enough shutter speed to allow the background city lights to shine through
- A fast enough shutter speed to freeze any movement from the couple.

The image was shot with a tripod, a 200mm f/2 lens, and a flaming marshmallow.
Some say beach photos are far too common, too easy, or even overdone as a general visual theme. I neither agree or disagree but it got me thinking, is it possible to do it  differently?

It appears the answer is yes! Today I present to you SimplyTwo’s ‘Cloud’ Concept - something I’ve been quietly working on for the last 2 years as a way to bring a cool new look to this classic theme.

Everything matters to pull off this shot: terrain features, lens angle, time of day, and even the movement of the tides! It’s a study of controlling and isolating motion to carefully shape the final image. Done correctly, it results in one-of-a-kind images that are impossible to duplicate because the waves never crash the same way twice. =)
Taken around 9pm in August, I wanted to try a night-photo concept with the entire wedding party instead of just the bride and groom. This would require not just two people to hold still, but rather an entire group! 

I relied exclusively on the moon, the glowing arch, and a tiny bit of ambient light from the atmosphere to pull off this shot because quite frankly, I’m not the best with bulky lighting equipment. 

Sometimes shooting well after sunset can open up an entirely new world of stunning images. It’s impossible to run out of light, you just have to look for it! =)

This image of Carolyn & Kenny was taken at around 10pm in July. I stabilized the camera against a railing to keep everything sharp while dragging the shutter long enough to allow all the light from the city to bleed through the image.

All images are displayed as-is. No editing has been applied.  




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