Hey peeps! Welcome to our first post in our new How We Shot It blog series! We will be talking about how we achieved this wedding photo in the rain at night so grab a drank and read on!
Sooooo, since this is our first post in this series, we are pulling some older photos that we took without the mindset that we would be teaching about them. Some minor details may have gone forgotten, but the basic ideas are there and keep in mind each situation will be a little different anyway (so those details may not be that important).
We photograph pretty exclusively with the Canon 5D Mark III, which was used here, along with the 85 1.2L. We also used two Canon 600 Speedlights, one of which was set to NOT fire. I can't say enough good things about those lights. Before getting those, we had all kinds of contraptions (aka triggers and receivers) that were somewhat reliable, but you need nothing with these flashes since they have wireless transmitters built it and they work pretty flawlessly! They are AMAZING! You'll also need an umbrella for you at the very least (we were standing under a car port here instead) and a gallon ziplock bag to protect the back light from the rain. You may need a cell phone or flashlight if you are shooting in complete darkness.
The Set Up
One bare flash on a light stand, about shoulder height and backed it 6-8 feet away from the couple, behind them. The other flash on your camera should be set to not fire, it will only send a signal for the other flash to fire. We were in complete darkness so it was hard for our camera to grab focus. We used a flashlight on our cell phones to light the couple and grab focus, hid the flashlight and took the photo. Dude. That's it.
Knowing our camera settings will really only get you so far. It may not help at all, but I will explain things so that you can achieve the look you are going for. For this shot, we happen to be on F2.8, SS 50 and ISO 800. Flash power is something I don't quite remember but I'm going to guess it wasn't more than a quarter, probably right around 1/32 power. Your Aperture (F-Stop) will make your flash appear brighter and obviously give you less or more depth of field (blurry background/foreground). Shutter speed will let in more ambient light and slow down movement. I think what we were going for here was dragging the shutter to get long rain drops. Obviously SS of 50 wasn't long enough in this case! Having an F-Stop of 2.8 gave us some blurry raindrops in the foreground and background adding a little more depth. It also allowed us to not have our flash power so high and risk our flash not recycling in time for the next shot (higher power on your flash = slower recycle time).