The Tulsa Planetarium

February 12, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

I love photographing the engagement shoot for every single one of my couples! I love when my couples make a really neat suggestion on a location for their shoot. This super fun couple asked me to do their session at the Tulsa Oklahoma Planetarium. I knew that going to the planetarium would mean lots of challenges. The planetarium is a big dome and in the dome they use projectors to make the "sky" light up with planets, stars, the galaxy, etc. Since they use projectors, using a flash was out of the question when doing these photos. A flash would have washed all the ambiance out. I knew I had to get super creative. How do you light up your subjects when it is pitch black inside of the dome? I figured I would bring a video light and use it to light them up. Well lo' and behold the video light was entirely too bright and it also ruined the ambiance. I brought along my 17 year old who has helped me on countless photo shoots and she says "mom, I can use our cell phones to light them up!" I say "Hey, it's worth a try!" So my daughter taeks both of our phones and turns them on and opens up a note taking app. We couldn't use the flash light feature on the phone because that was too bright as well. I had to put my camera on a tripod and I told my couple that the camera would be taking long exposures so that meant they could not breath, blink, talk or move. The exposures were 1.3 seconds long. That seems like a quick photo but it is not. 1.3 seconds feels like an eternity when you have to sit or stand still like a statue. I had to take around 30 exposures of each pose/scene to ensure that we would have a perfectly crisp photo for printing. I have to say that my couple really nailed it on pretending to be statues. I was very impressed with their sitting still skills! 
For those wondering what my settings were: ISO 1250, 1.3 seconds, F2.8, 24mm, Nikon D750 and lots of patience! I would have to say in the 20 years I have been a photographer, this was one of my most challenging engagement shoots I have done and I LOVED every minute of the challenge. 
If you have not been to the Tulsa Planetarium, I highly recommend it. The staff is lovely to work with and the dome is so awesome. There is also a museum that has lots of airplanes and outer space/NASA type of memorabilia in it. I cannot wait to return to the museum and planetarium to explore it!


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