How can I achieve this? Distance-Night-Backlit


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Dec 27, 2007
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Milton, ON
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Looking to recreate this shot somehow.. Any suggestions on where to start? I have the exact same location to play with.
For the record, the shooting location is about 200' away from the subjects.
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doesn't look like anything special was done other than the backlight on the subjects.
Easy-peasy... find a couple in fancy duds, have them stand in the centre of the gazebo and hold each other, take the shot while the speedlight you've placed in the ceiling of the gazebo fires and illuminates the scene and a second provides backlighting.
It looks to me a light was placed behind and hidden from the camera by the man's head to produce the rim lighting on them.
I agree with John a diffused light was about in the center of the overhead and pointed straight down.

From the camera's perspective the light was pointed to camera left and slightly towards the camera.
Look at the gazebo ceiling supports and notice the 2 immediately to the left of the people are brightly lit while those in the background are apparently lit by the overhead light.
The brighter portion of light on the water to the left of the gazebo also indicates the rim light was pointed down somewhat and zoomed to a focal length of 100 mm or so.
Yeah, I think there are two speedlights. One up above and one from behind the couple.
There might also have been built-in lighting in the gazebo, instead of a diffused speedlight overhead.

Regardless, you have to balance ambient exposure with the speedlight(s).

You're gonna use the aperture and ISO to manage the speedlight exposure, since flash doesn't care shutter speed. Get that dialed in with a couple shots.

Now adjust your shutter speed to capture the ambient light, the little decorative lights here and there, and fixed lighting built in to the gazebo which might be illuminating the couple. Make sure you nail the reflection, especially.

You might need to go back and adjust your ISO if you find that the shutter speeds are not working out for you -- just make sure to perform an identical and opposite aperture adjustment when you do, so that the flash exposure doesn't get botched.
from the way the light beam is captured that seems to be from 1 flash; from behind the subjects.

I was assuming the rest of the lighting part of the gazebo lighting; looks like it's full of lighting (look how the top is filled and dumping light out to the roof).

They aren't dead center, so they remain only partially lit while mostly dark from the camera's perspective.
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Since you're balancing with ambient light, you'll might be using a shutter speed in the 1/2 second range, let us speculate. An assistant with a cell phone is probably good enough for that. Just count it down with a nice steady cadence and practice a bit.
A flash and a built-in light from above would likely be a mixed lighting situation.

Since there is no apparent mixed lighting it's not likely the light from above was built-in.

I suspect the overhead light was modified with a shoot through umbrella or a diffusion panel because of the way the top of the gazebo is lit up.

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