Today I am starting back up a feature that we had awhile back and then put on the back burner for a little while. So many of you have amazing work that you are creating and really creative stuff. I want to highlight cool and unique shots out there and tell a little bit of the story behind it to help inspire us all to create better photos.

The other day I ran across a photo on Twitter that really caught my eye. I have always loved to capture night shots for my own wedding work as a way to give a really cool WOW shot of the couple at the end of the night and this shot was great! It has an awesome sky, and the sparks surrounding them make a really unique shot. The image was shot by Joe Atkins (info and website at the bottom of the post) and here is some details about how it was created from Joe:

This photo was from a Tennessee farm wedding styled shoot that took place on July 16, 2012, at the very end of the shoot. It was taken about 15 mins before the sun set completely. Sunset was really late this night in East Tennessee, as the photo was taken at 9:45 pm.

The camera used was a 5dmk III, lens 35 1.4L. My settings were 30 sec exposure at f9.0. ISO was 400. We had a Paul Buff “Einstein” for the fill light with umbrella, controlled by Pocketwizards. Our camera was held steady with a 3 Legged Thing tripod.

To get the effect, we filled an egg beater with steel wool, lit it, and spun it around on a chain until it extinguished. We had to be sure that the person who was the “steel wool spinner” stood far enough away from the bride’s lace gown, so it wouldn’t burn to dress. Thickness of the wool was 0000. This was a shot we had wanted to try after seeing some really cool steel wool photos online. Since we were able to pull it off in this setting with no time constraints, then we will begin incorporating it into some of our weddings very soon! That is why I love photography: there is always something new to try and your environment is never the same.

To view more photos from the styled wedding shoot, please visit:

We are Joe & Kathleen Atkins of JoPhoto, a husband-wife team of wedding photographers based in Knoxville, Tenn., with 10+ years into photography, and loving every minute of it!

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