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Josh Newton, Wildfire Wedding

The Gear:

The camera I used for the featured image was my iPhone 5S, edited on the VSCO Cam app. The second photo that was posted I shot with my Canon 5D Mark III with my 50mm f/1.2L lens on it. I shot it at f/1.6, 1/1000, and ISO 100. I didn’t have an off-camera flash, the rim lighting is coming from the sun wrapping around the plume of smoke on both sides. I edited it only in Lightroom and used VSCO Porta 400, along with my own modifications.

The Plan:

My plan at first was to get a silhouette of the couple—I could see the fire and light coming in the clouds behind them, so I thought it would look really cool if the couple was dark in the foreground. When I took the photo, I exposed for the clouds behind them, but then I realized that there was a lot of light on them (it seemed REALLY dark when we were directly under the plume). So I adjusted my settings a bit to compensate for the subject reflecting so much light, knowing I would have to bring down the highlights in the background, and bring up the shadows with the couple. I didn’t have to do nearly as much as I thought, but I did add some color and exposure gradients in Lightroom to bring out the amazing colors behind them.

Josh Newton is a professional photographer based in California who specializes in pictures of weddings and musicians. The images from his recent wildfire wedding shoot went viral, and found their way onto, Buzzfeed, PetaPixel, and many other media outlets. You can keep up with his latest projects by liking his Facebook page.