Lighting the veil

Chilly weather aside, this past Saturday gave me some great conditions to shoot in, because, in general, overcast is not a bad thing for us photographers. In addition to the overcast, I had the luxury of shooting near some really fantastic windows, courtesy of the Courtyard Marriot in Center City. So I had plenty of opportunity to work with natural light, backlight, and fill; I think that mixing it up throughout the day helps add a good amount of variety to the look of the images.

This image, for example, uses only natural light, and the bride is sort of diagonally backlit. I was going for a shot where the folds and texture of the veil really pop, so I didn’t want to use a light source that would flood the frame with even light; I was looking for a bit of imbalance. I was also shooting for a certain phases-of-the-moon kind of lighting (oh yeah…”rim lighting”. Boring name.) glancing off her face while leaving the back of her head dark, with a fairly sharp contrast line.

Of course, in order to expose her correctly, the window was plenty overexposed, so in Lightroom I used a graduated filter on the left of the frame to tone down the scene outside the window (that’s the Masonic Temple, by the way). Bumping the clarity up some help with the texture of the taffeta, which is I think what veils are usually made of.

Nikon D300s; Sigma 24-70mm @ 24mm, f2.8; ISO 400; natural light.


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