Photography Tip – Learning to see with new eyes

Photography Tip – Learning to see with new eyes

I have been working on an article on how the camera ‘see’ differently than our eyes. There are so many differences between the human eye and the camera that having a good understanding of these differences really do help us in our photography.

While photographing a wedding the other day I came to the end of the evening and was trying to think of one last cool shot to get. I typically try and get a night shot at a wedding that is something always different and unique for that day/bride/venue. While I was walking around I started to look at the lighting on the building, looking for some spotlights maybe or anything that could create a dramatic light. I normally walk around with my camera and shoot a few images of the scenes around the venue and just try to look for inspiration. There wasn’t anything that really stood out at the front of the venue, I really wanted to capture the building in the front since it has some nice ivy and lights but it just didn’t have the look I wanted. Looking at the sky though there was this very low fog in the atmosphere that really had this cool, layered effect to it. It was already about 10pm but this layer was a light grey and made the sky look very unique. To the side of the building was an open grass area where you could really see the sky so I thought might work well for a shot incorporating the night sky. I knew that in order to get some of the detail in the sky I would need to slow the shutter speed down but wasn’t sure exactly how long of a exposure I would need. I ran a few quick tests through and all of the sudden when shooting at a second the sky started to glow with this beautiful amber light. It actually really surprised me since the human eye saw such a different view compared to what the camera picked up at 1 second but it looked beautiful and I knew would be the shot I wanted.

To light the bride and groom I kept things very simple. One light (Canon 580) my assistant was holding was to the right of the camera about 30 degrees, up high and pointing back on them with no diffusion. Using the Pocketwizard Flex TT5 I had set the flash to ETTL. Then behind them I setup a light on the ground pointing up that was set to manual 1/16th power just to give a little kick and backlight to them. I ran in to grab the bride and groom and did a very quick couple minute photo session. Having them turned towards each other, kissing against this amber sky made for a perfect image to end the day. Here is the final image, straight out of the camera:

photography tips

I wish I could have taken a photo of what my eyes rendered this scene as so you could all see just how different it is compared to the final image. Your eyes will always see things different than the camera so never forget to experiment, try out really slow shutter speeds or extremely fast shutter speeds with fast moving objects. Keep pushing the limits of your creativity!

Here are the specs for the image:

Canon 5d
Canon 28-70 2.8 L lens
ISO 800
1.3 seconds at f/ 3.5

If you have any questions or comments please leave a comment below, I love to hear from you!

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Author: Mark

Mark is a fine art wedding and portrait photographer from Northern California. He has been passionate about photography since childhood and started his studio 12 years ago to bring a fresh style of photography to the wedding and portrait world.

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