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This Is How: ‘The Twin Cam Shot’ by Mark Capilitan

It’s an honour to have the fab Ireland-based TiR member Mark Capilitan on the site today, telling us how he captured this unique image – something I’m sure Mark’s background in Formula 1 photography really came in useful for! In the thirty-second of our ‘This is How…’ series, Mark gives us great insights into capturing unique images of the things that mean a lot to a couple (such as their car, here), pre-visualisation, great technical tips on achieving panning images, capturing motion and a sense of speed, and more…thanks so much, Mark!

When a groom, or a bride for that matter, drives themselves from the church to the reception in their own car, then you know it’s a car that means something to them. So I’m definitely going to try to get a good shot of the car, and not the usual boring standing next to it, I rarely do that shot.

Sometimes I have to look around a bit to find a good location for a shot, and sometimes like in this case it’s right in front of me – the driveway of the reception with trees & bushes giving me a nice clean background, especially when the car in question is red. So even though it’s a pure documentary shot in that I didn’t tell the groom to do anything or even say I was going to get this picture, I knew the shot I wanted before the bride & groom ever came up the driveway.

Having the full use of the lawn in front of the reception meant I could use the lens I wanted to, a 135mm F2, which is much nicer for panning shots, rather than using a wide-angle, which is never the best lens for this type of shot. I choose the slowest shutter speed I could on the day (1/15, because of the bright sunshine), which would be plenty slow enough to blur the background, and I kind of knew Chris the groom would give it some speed going up the driveway to help me out – the faster the car drives, the easier it is to pan with.

The slow, careful panning obviously gives the image that feeling of speed, but I also love the cheesy wedding tassels on the aerial & wing mirrors adding to the sense of movement. And coming from a background of Formula 1 photography, I was always taught to keep the car sharp, and because of this, you can see the groom & even the bride sticking her bouquet out of the passenger side window!

This is the shot pretty much straight out of the camera, bar a little levels & slight increase in saturation to give the colours a bit of an extra pop. No other post production was done on this. Needless to say, it’s still one of the groom’s favourite shots from the day!

(And it’s affectionately known as the Twin Cam shot to the bride and groom and guests, after the car name!)

You can see more of Mark’s work on his website, or on his This is Reportage profile here.

If you enjoyed this article, then you may be interested to read lots more of our ‘This is How…’ pieces by TiR members.

Aga Tomaszek

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