Hey y’all. Firstly thanks for reading. This is the first post in a series of posts from behind the scenes. In these posts I will be taking you through how I made some photos that I love or that you guys ask me to go through. Just explaining my settings, thinking and editing. Here goes.

This is a shot from a wedding in 2016.

Firstly, I knew I wanted it to look like the chief and his wife were standing on the stairs to their huge house to welcome the chief from the next village with his family. That’s what went on in my head. Because I am hella weird. So I wanted the house to look huge in relation to them. So immediately that should tell you to use the wide lens. So I went for Canon 24-70mm f2.8 Mark II that I don’t leave out of my camera bag. Great lens. So the wide perspective adds to the size in the shot. Would have liked to go wider but that’s all I had. Secondly I know I wanted it to look like sunset-ish but not really. That meant I had to use flash to light them and underexpose everything else.

Here is the original shot after some Lightroom editing:

Zanele and Simon Wedding Johannesburg

Canon 6D, 24mm, ISO400, f8.0, 1/160sec

“Wot? Who’s that guy?”, I hear you say. That my assistant Mulweli for this particular wedding. Also my cousin. “Yeah but why is he in the shot?”. So I shot the first shot with him in the frame because I needed him to light the couple. And then I shot this photo next:

ZaneleSimon-281-original

I then overlaid these in Photoshop and used a reveal mask to reveal the parts on the second photo where he wasn’t there. If you want to learn about Layers masks, watch this video.

One thing you notice immediately is that the sky is different. It was a very hot day not too much cloud cover in the sky and I wanted a dramatic sky. So what do you do when your skies suck? Download a new sky of course ;-):

ZaneleSimon-281-sky

That’s the sky I replaced my boring sky with.

At the end this is what we got:

Final Product

ZaneleSimon-281_1

The client loved it. Hope this was useful. Email me or something if you need clarification on any of the steps. Will try my best to respond.

About The Author
Tali Luvhengo Tali Luvhengo is a Johannesburg based wedding photographer with over 3 years experience in wedding photography. His style is documentary and candid. Get in touch with him on 0826481882/tali@blackdotphotography.co.za