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Ever wish you could get a peek behind the lens of another photographer and watch them work?

That’s how I feel when I see a photo I admire.

In my “How I Got The Shot” series I provide a look into my thought process behind a particular image and share helpful tips for shooting and editing.

Shot with Canon 5D III and 35 mm 1.4 lens. Camera Settings: ISO 125, f/3.2, SS 1/250

I took this photo at a local frozen yogurt shop.  We were there close to sunset and my daughter was standing in direct light from the sun while serving herself some froyo.

I love to shoot with my subject in a pocket of light because when I expose for the subject the rest of the scene falls off into shadow.  That was the effect created here with her standing in the strong sunset light.

I used a bright area of my daughter’s skin to set my exposure then toggled my focal point to compose the photo.

Here’s the SOOC (straight out of camera) photo: 

I shot the image with a Cloudy White Balance Setting.  This probably wasn’t the best choice because it rendered the image too warm.

I didn’t have enough time to change my white balance!  Thankfully I shoot my photos in RAW so it’s easy to adjust the white balance in Lightroom.

A cooler white balance setting may have been a better choice to cool the warmth of the light.

If time allows I prefer to set a custom white balance before shooting. 

Editing Tips

I altered the crop to place my subject along the rule of thirds line.  Also, I was bothered by the trash can in the foreground and wanted to eliminate as much of it as possible.

In Lightroom I adjusted the photo’s temperature by sliding the temperature slider toward blue.  This neutralized the warmth of the sunlight.

A few other adjustments I made:

I lowered the shadows globally to enhance them.

I lowered the overall highlights because they were too bright in the light areas of the photo.

I used graduated filters to lower the exposure on the shadowy areas on the left and the right lower corner to enhance the shadows and minimize the trashcan.

I used a radial filter on my daughter to raise exposure and bring her out of the shadows a bit. 

I like the overall result, but if I could take this photo again, I would have stepped a bit farther to the left so as to avoid the trashcan in the image. 

A step to the left would have also put the yogurt machine in the foreground and led the eye toward the subject.

I only had moments to set up the shot before my daughter moved on, but maybe we’ll go back for some froyo soon and give it another shot!

Check out my Easy to Understand Photography Cheat Sheet for Beginners:

The Ultimate Guide to Photo OrganizationON SALE FOR $8

Download my FREE Guide:

5 Simple Lightroom Hacks Every New Photographer Needs to Know

Inside, You'll Learn:


How to Fix Your Composition


How to Restore a Washed Out Sky


How to Straighten Your Horizon Line with One Click


How to Correct Your Photo's Color in One Click


How to Selectively Erase Adjustments With One Simple Tool

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