100° In the Shade – Senior Prom (ish) Photo Shoot

2020 and 2021 have been interesting to say the least. No proms, no dances, no graduations – just surreal. This couple missed the opportunity to do any of those things, but still wanted a chance to dress up and have their photos taken. The problem? We’re in the midst of a ridiculous heat wave in Washington. I’m not exaggerating when I say it was 99 degrees, in the shade, at 7:45 p.m.

The goal of this shoot was to get it done fast! No more than 15 minutes so the couple wouldn’t melt.

The street we were on was just a block from Logan’s (the young man) home. It was a great location – shady, scenic, and not a lot of traffic. The trees make a sort of tunnel as you’re driving down the road.

Armed with an EOS R5 and 70-200mm f/2.8, we got everything in position and I started shooting. Prior to the shoot, I set up auto ISO to keep the shutter at about 1/500, and set the aperture for f/5. My goal was to not miss any action or subtle changes in expression, and I wanted the depth of field such as to keep both of them in focus.

In hindsight I made a few errors, in fairness though, it was hot and we were working fast. Because of my chosen settings, the camera chose very high ISOs (we were in the shade). The camera chose ISO 10,000 to 12,800. Perhaps I could have gone to f/4, but then I would have had the possibility of having one of them not as in focus as the other. For the solo shots, I could have used a wider aperture – probably should have gone to f/2.8. Also, I could have tried keeping the shutter to 1/250, but then I’m sure there would have been some motion blur with the changing expressions.

Edited using Lightroom on an iPad.

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