I have always been enthralled by sunsets. I do not really know where it began but it has been inside me for a long time to stop and enjoy as many as I can. So when I was shooting Jake and Kristi’s wedding last year and the colors of the sunset starting pouring through the windows at Franchesco’s Ristorante, I knew it would make a great backdrop for a ring photograph. The only problem? In between their rings and a beautiful sunset was about 100 cars. This is where having a macro lens that can significantly blur your background, is life saving to have. In the background of the original photograph below, you can see 2 light colored blobs, yep, those are cars.

I positioned the rings, snapped a few shots at f/2.8 and actually closed down the aperture some to f/6.3. it is really tough to use a flash in low light when working with rings, as they reflect the light right back and create hotspots. So I went with no flash, ISO 400 and 1/80 shutter with the IS on the 100mm macro bailing me out and allowing me to handhold the shot.

Here is the original, straight from camera:

First, its a little dark, if I went higher ISO, it would have created more noise than I would have like and if I went with lower shutter, I would start to get some lens blur. Plus, its a sunset, so the light changes literally minute to minute. So I kept what I got and will attack the photo in post processing. First, I need to brighten the image. I had to use the Fill Light slider to brighten the image because if I had used mainly Exposure, I would have lost the color in the sunset. This will fade the image, especially the blacks, so I brought them back using the Blacks slider and the Contrast slider.

After these adjustments:

The ring is not quite bright enough for me, so I am going to use my adjustment brush and brighten and add a little clarity to just the area of the rings.

If you hover your mouse over the button on the image after you have used your adjustment brush, Lightroom will show you what you have done so far.

I then added a some Clarity to get a little more edge definition and Vibrance and Saturation to boost the colors.

After Clarity, Vibrance and Saturation, but also you can now see a “halo” effect around the rings. I absolutely HATE this look.

I will remove the halo effect by clicking my adjustment brush, then clicking the button on the photograph that my previous brush created. I can edit the settings of that brush. Here, I lowered the exposure some to get rid of the halo.

MUCH better!

A quick crop to bring the rings to more of the focus and BOOM!

A rocking ring photo at sunset in the middle of Franchesco’s Ristorante parking lot!

As usual, love B/As or hate B/As, let me know!

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