before and after: snowy twilight

posted in Thirsty Thursday

before and after: snowy twilight

[Part of the ‘before and after‘ series]

Now “snowy twilight” sounds all nice, but let me tell you:  it was frigid and the light was fading fast.  This was also at the end of probably a record-length engagement shoot, but Nicci & Kyle were troopers.  The hot chocolate stop may have helped :)  They’re getting married in August, and I’ll post the rest of their shoot later this week (we’re doing a short studio session soon to add to all the fun we had Saturday afternoon).

So anyway, we’ve been waiting on this snow for-EV-er, and here we were in mid January. Finally. But we drove out to one of my favorite fields, a former sod farm (read: perfect grass).  I say ‘former’ because now it has now been plowed under, but we made it work.

Earlier we did some ice skating, walked around a snowy park, then: Enter: the red couch.  Also, some fake/real snow by my assistant Jacob (who saved my butt at the end when my trigger froze up (again, killing my main light) by reminding me to trigger it with an on-camera speedlight (thanks!).  My brain cells were frozen at this point…  Twenty degrees and bare, skinny fingers didn’t help any either, but it is always worth it!

Below are some before/during/after shots, and I wanted to plug a few new things while I’m here:  Lightroom 3 (yes, it’s better in many ways than Canon DPP. I was wrong. You were right.), VSCO’s film emulation presets for LR (I like Kodak Portra 160- for color and Kodak Tri-X 400- for B+W.  Canon), and my new beauty dish the Mola ‘Demi’.  I’m also using my new 24mm tilt-shift with manual focus as my only wide-angle lens.  I was really worried I would miss the 16-35mm 2.8 that I sold, but the 24 is just right. At least when I’m not in a tiny room? You can see a 24mm shot below, and it’s even cropped in a bit.

(left) what the zeroed-out exposure reading was when we got there.  (right) what it looked like later about 2-3 stops underexposed…and the  light not firing. 

This is what the exposure looked like with my camera and light settings (left) and then my editing in LR3 (right).  I adjusted exposure and white balance, add VSCO film preset, with some bump to the blue channel and some burning-in of the snow on the ground.  Also removed some of the grain in the film preset. The very last frame, because after all that I really wanted to nab a BTS (behind the scenes) shot of the setup, with Jacob throwing the snow (took about a dozen takes to get one good frame!)The best ‘snowing’ frame:

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