Here is something we can learn from xavierw about the techniques and story behind this awarded photo.
"I am a Principal Software Architect by profession. Married with four children and thus enjoy spending time with my family the most. I'm a creative person and like spending time doing some of my hobbies which include; Photography, Video Editing (FCP X), Computer Art (3D rendering and animation), Music (play the mandolin and piano/keyboard), Woodworking, and Sports (badminton and soccer). I hope you enjoy some of my artwork and photography." - Xavierw


1. Where did you take this photo?

I took this picture at my home by the entrance door.

2. What time of day?

It was early in the morning.

3. Anything worth sharing about lighting?

I wanted to use natural light. Our entrance door has a lot of glass so it let in a significant amount of natural light. A bit of light comes from the artificial candles.

4. What equipment did you use?

Canon EOS 70D with one of my favourite lenses the Canon EF-S60mm f/2.8 Macro USM. Camera on my Milano tripod.

5. What inspired you to take this photo?

I created this image as a Valentine's Day card for my wife. This would mark our 20th Valentine's Day together. I had seen before the idea of the heart shape using the book pages but I had never seen one where the red colour hinted the colour of the heart which was perfect for Valentine's Day. I thought about adding that colour with fill in flash and a gel but decided against it to not ruin the natural light. So knew I would have to add the colour in post-processing.

6. Did you do any post-processing? If yes, tell us about it!

Post-processing was very minimum. I had already controlled the DOF in camera so all I had to do in post-processing is to add the red colour to the light coming from the right of the image, a little bit of a curve filter to add punch to the blacks and my signature / watermark.

7. What equipment do you normally have in your bag?

I carry my Canon EOS 70D, all of my lenses, my GPS, my primary Canon 600EX-RT primary flash, and my tripod. This makes for a heavy back pack but you never know which lens you are going to need.

8. Any advice for others trying to capture something similar?

In my mind two things were really important in this shot. The natural light, and the Shallow DOF, especially because the candles were not natural candles but artificial battery operated ones. This is why I wanted to use my 2.8 lens.

Discover xavierw's photographic style and techniques:

Lions Gate B&W Tower by xavierw