I Love This Photo: A moonlit goodnight at the Sharnbrook Hotel

August 18, 2017

Luke and Vicky's reception at the Sharnbrook Hotel near Bedford finished off with this gorgeous scene. The full moon was just above the horizon, and it was lighting up some fluffy nighttime clouds. A little flash lighting on the bride and groom, and here is the result - atmospheric and romantic.

A very challenging, but very satisfying shot! To be honest, it took quite a bit of trial and error. I came outside shortly before I was due to leave at the end of the evening to see if there might be a good spot for a final portrait. I saw the moon on the clouds, and took several trial shots to get the settings about right for the sky. This had to be a compromise. The moon was so much brighter than the clouds that I had to lose all detail on the moon. And I didn't have a tripod with me, so the whole thing had to be hand held, and 1/50th sec is about my safe limit.

I then asked Luke and Vicky if they would like to come outside for a final portrait photo, at which point I could work out the necessary flash setting to go with the pre-defined background exposure. 

Technical Info:

1/50th sec at f/4.0 and ISO 6400, with flash on 1/32 power, using Canon 5DSR and Canon EF24-105 f/4L IS at 24mm. The choice of wide angle was deliberate, in order to get as much depth of field as possible, given I was having to use such a wide aperture. There was also considerable post-processing in Lightroom to control digital noise, to bring out the detail in the clouds, and darken the bushes in the background.