Today I'm continuing a new series on my blog for photographers called "Behind the Image." In addition to the topics that I get questions about and address on my F.A.Q.s posts, I often get asked about what went into creating specific images. As you know, I love to share info and so that's exactly what I'm going to do in this series. So as you browse through my blog, if an image catches your eye, feel free to ask me to feature it in an upcoming "Behind the Image" post.

The image I've chosen to share about today was shot at David & Katie's wedding in Kauai in June of 2009. Whenever possible I like to take a scene setting shot like this that shows the bigger picture of where the reception took place. This type of shot really helps to tell the story and is great for inclusion in a couple's album.

In Camera:

This image was shot in RAW with my Canon 5D, on manual, with a Canon 16-35mm 2.8 lens, at a focal length of 16mm, f2.8, 1/6 of a second & ISO 1600. The key to getting this kind of blue sky is to take the photo half an hour after sunset. If you take it any earlier, the sky is too bright (In fact, I probably did take this photo a little too early but was still able to compensate by underexposing in camera and post-production). If you wait later the sky goes black. I always have my assistant set an alarm on their phone so they can remind me when the time comes to take this shot because I'm usually busy with a million other tasks at the time. As mentioned, the shutter speed I used for this particular shot was 1/6 second. In order to capture this effect at this time of day, you need to use longer shutter speeds that make hand holding the camera difficult. I used my in camera meter to determine what my shutter speed should be and then set it two stops faster in order to underexpose and make the colors in the sky even deeper and richer. Then I set the camera on the ground and proped the lens up on my foot or a rock or the lens hood -- whatever I had available at the time to get the composition I was wanting.

This is the image straight out of the camera:

I opened the image in Camera Raw in Photoshop and made a number of adjustments including lowering the exposure even more, lowering the temperature a touch and upping the tint quite a bit to get this effect:
Then I converted it to a .jpg and used the clone tool to take out the distracting red spot in the grass. I also used Kevin Kubota's X-process Combo at around 18% opacity. I use this customized action on all of my color images. This is the final result:
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