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Turbine Hall Photo Shoot – Maralize & Hanno

Turbine Hall photo shoot by JC Crafford Photography

Turbine Hall photo shoot

The Forum Turbine Hall what an amazing amazing place for ma photo shoot. I knew about it, and wanted to do a shoot there for a very long time. Last Saturday was my chance. Hanno & Maralize are a couple whose wedding I’m photographing  in June. They are getting married at another venue owned by the same company, White Lights Lanseria and they got authorisation for me to do the shoot at The Turbine Hall.

The Turbine Hall has a an industrial type of look with ultra modern interiors, there is really nothing like this.

I decided to go for a dark dimly lit type of look with alot of shadows, I think that works beautiful with a place like the Turbine Hall.

The following equipment were used for the shoot:


The awesome Fujifilm XT-1 x 3 (I love this camera like nothing I’ve ever had in my hands before) This camera excels in situations like this, the Electronic viewfinder is exactly what you need because it is a dimly lit place and together with the Lowel GL-1 Hotlight you can see exactly what you get and nail your photos first time, you thus have more time to shoot extra photos instead of getting your lighting right with extra shots.


FUJINON XF56mm F1.2R (You just need a lens like this at a shoot like this to let all that light in at F1.2 and pin sharp)

Fujinon XF10-24mm F4 R OIS  (With a place like the Turbine Hall you need some wide shots, and this lens is ideal for that)

Fujinon XF 16-55mm F 2.8 R WR (This has been my workhorse sice it was released in Feb, best lens I’ve ever used.)

Fujinon XF50-140mm F2.8 R LM OIS WR (Only one thing to say about this lens, if you haven’t got it…get it!)


I use Cactus RF60 Flashes (I have 5 in my Camera bag) off camera triggered with the Cactus V6 Wireless Flas transceiver. For this shoot I only used them as backlight, almost all the photos were lit with the LowelGL-1 Hotlight. It is a portable focusing LED light and you can vary the light output and change it from flood to spot, ideal for this kind of shoots where you just want to lit a certain area.

I also had a lighting assistant that helped me with the shoot, you ned an assistant on a shoot like this because you need adjustments to be made on the Lowel light quickly and your assistant sometimes just have to move a couple of centimetres to the right or left, Thanks Timothy!

All photos post processed in Lightroom

My whole shoot took about an hour and 40 minutes, and I could have been there for another 4 hours!

This first photo was shot with the 10-24mm,I needed a wider lens to get the whole picture. The idea was to just have their silhouettes and the Johannesburg buildings visible at the back.And I just loved the windows. I tried to lit the couple from the front as well, but it just worked better with them as a silhouette. I always have three XT-1’s with me with different lenses on, it saves time changing lenses and the couple doesn’t have to wait. I like the idea of alI three cameras being the same, it helps you to intuitively handle the cameras because they are all the same. `I don’t have to think which button is which because I have two different types of cameras.

10-24mm, F4, 1/125, ISO400. No extra lighting

Turbine Hall photo shoot by JC Crafford Photography


For this shot I used the 16-55mm, 1/100, F2.8 and ISO 1250. I tried putting a flash behind them as well, but the lighting didn’t come out nicely, They were lit from the front with a Lowel GL-1 Hotlight. I had to lighten the whole top section where the art is in Lightroom as it was to dark in the original photo and i loved that being part of the photo.

Turbine Hall photo shoot by JC Crafford Photography


There were two beams running downwards from the roof to the floor, I liked how the two beams framed them for this shot. I took some photos from other angles as well, but then I didn’t have the same background or framed effect that I got here. I am always lookig for something to frame a subject with. I just darkened the beams in Lightroom to keep the focus on Hanno and Maralize. They were lit from the side with a Lowel GL1 Hotlight with very little ambient light. 16-55mm, 1/100, f2.8, ISO1250

Turbine Hall photo shoot by JC Crafford Photography

I loved the red lights in the background and like how it contrasted with the dark in the photo. When I saw the red lights I got Maralize to sit on a beam, in such a position as to get the lights in the frame. It was which was very uncomfortable as the beams were running at a 45degree angle and difficult to sit on. I wanted to separate her face a little bit from the background and put Hanno with one of the Cactus flashes behind her to get the rimlight effect. The flash was triggered with a Cactus V6 flash transceiver. Timothy lit her from the front with a Lowel GL1 Hotlight. 16-55mm, 1/100, F2.8, ISO1250

Turbine Hall photo shoot by JC Crafford Photography

A couple of things attracted me to taking this shot. 1. How they were framed by the steps on the left and the top and the wall on the right 2. How their faces would reflect on the glass in the frame and 3. How the flash behind them would lit up the photo with the blueish tone when it reflects off the walls. I actually brought the blue out more in Lightroom. They were lit from the front with a Lowel GL1 Hotlight. I lightened their faces a bit and brought the temperature down on their faces to blend in more with the cool blue tones. (The Lowel GL-1 Hotlight gives very warm yellow effect to a photo) There were some loose chairs stashed in the background under the staircase, I darkened that area to make it less visible. 16-55mm f4.5, 1/100, ISO1250

Turbine Hall photo shoot by JC Crafford Photography

I darkened the edges of this photo to bring the focus to the couple. Composition is very important when taking your photos. I positioned them in the photo keeping Fibonacci’s Golden Spiral in mind and cropped slightly in Lightroom to achieve this. Have a look at the extra photo I have included with the crop overlay showing on the photo.  Do you know how to get this in Lightroom?  Click your Crop overlay icon in Lightroom and the click O to cycle through all the crop overlays. It doesn’t help only to be a good technical photographer, I am certainly not. A photographers biggest asset is to “click” with your clients and make them feel comfortable, chat to them all the time and show them photos you have taken of them that looks good, that will put them at ease.  Encourage them to try different things, again if they trust you they will slowly start to relax and you will get the shots you want. I have very seldom in my career had people that likes posing in front of a camera, you as the photographer (and not your camera) and your relationship with the couple will make the difference.

16-55mm, F2.8, ISO

Turbine Hall photo shoot by JC Crafford Photography

Here is a screenshot of that Crop Overlay

Golden ratio


There was some purple ambient light here in the photo, it actually made for some very nice photos as well, but I liked the black and white more, it takes all the distractions away and make you focus on what’s important. I asked Maralize to look to her left. At a photo shoot people always want to look into the camera’s lens. I always say to the couples when I photograph them that this is not a family photo shoot, they musn’t look into the lens all the time. Try looking left, right, up, down, and focus on each other and your love when you photograph a couple. Encorage your couples to think thoughts that would go with the type of photo you are taking. If you think how much you love the person you are holding it will show in the photo and make you act differently. If you want a sexy shot…you obviously can’t be thinking of your work. Right? I had the 56mm lens on wide open at f1.4 here, it was very dark and we needed all the light we could get, My assistant lit her from the side (Lowel GL1 Hotlight) as I wanted the shadows on the left hand side of her face. ISO800, 1/125

Turbine Hall photo shoot by JC Crafford Photography

I love the black on the left side of the photo (and made it even more black in Lightroom) and framed the photo so that Maralize can be on the right hand side, we almost lit her from a little behind her for this photo. (Lowel GL1-Hotlight) I suggest she puts her hands on her shoulder like this. Sometimes couples don’t know how to pose and just do one thing, it is your job as photographer to suggest different things they can try, otherwise all your photos will look the same. Google…learn from other photographers! 50-140mm, ISO1250, 1/180, F4.5

Turbine Hall photo shoot by JC Crafford Photography

Almost the same as the previous photo, but I like the lots of black, it puts the focus on Maralize. PS: Composition, remember the Golden Spiral? 16-55mm, ISO1250, 1/100, F4

Turbine Hall photo shoot by JC Crafford Photography

While I was photographing Maralize for the previous photos I noticed this shaft of light on the left hand side of the photo. I decided to put Hanno in there so that he is lit by the shaft of light, but on purpose positioned him so that only half of his face is lit. I wanted the focus to be on Maralize, but wanted Hanno there as well. Maralize was lit by a Lowel GL1 Hotlight and I had to lighten the part of the photo where Hanno is in in Lightroom otherwise he would have been to dark compared to Maralize. 16-55mm, 1/100, F3.2, ISO1250

Turbine Hall photo shoot by JC Crafford Photography

This is one of my favourites, and a photo I took because of one of the rules I have. I look behind me from time to time when walking around on a shoot, sometimes you don’t see a shot because you are approaching it from a different angle. There was a shaft of light coming through and I positioned Maralize in the shaft of light to partially lit her face and asked her to look up at the light. I didn’t want to spoil the shaft of light so I upped the ISO to 3200 and used no extra lighting. I took three or four photos to get the desired facial expression, and here is the result. 16-55mm, ISO3200, 1/125, F2.8. PS, never be afraid to push up your ISO.

Turbine Hall photo shoot by JC Crafford Photography

This wasn’t an easy angle to photograph in, I had to sit flat on the floor, and lean back a bit to get their reflection in the huge mirror. My lighting assistant lit them from the front. I brought the temperature down a lot in lightroom, and darkened out evrything around the mirror. PS: A good photographer is a dirty photographer. Never be scared to lay down, sit down or whatever gets you dirty, it gives you a lot of extra beautiful angles to work with.16-55mm, 1/125, f4 ISO3200

Turbine Hall photo shoot by JC Crafford Photography

I just loved the colours  and the lights here, that’s why I took the shot. I shot from very low to get the lights in as well (thanks for the nice tilt screen on the XT-1 Fujifilm!) and lit Maralize with a Lowel GL1 Hotlight set to flood mode. I darkened the lights a bit in Lightroom. 16-55mm, 1/125, f9, ISO3200

Turbine Hall photo shoot by JC Crafford Photography

And then I just had to get one with Hanno in as well.

Turbine Hall photo shoot by JC Crafford Photography

I loved the dark background and the light coming in through the beautiful windows, we just lit the couple with the Lowel GL1 Hotlight on spot mode and made sure they are in the right hand side of the photo, again, the better angle was from below. I also had a flash behind them to separate them from the background. I didn’t want the whole background just black so I lightened some of the pillars and curtains a bit in the background to bring in some colour.16-55mm, 1/125, F5/6, ISO3200

Turbine Hall photo shoot by JC Crafford Photography

Flat on my stomach for this one, and Hanno just lit with a spot. 16-55mm, 1/125, f6.4, ISO3200

Turbine Hall photo shoot by JC Crafford Photography

Beautiful, beautiful background attracted me. Again flat on my stomach with the tilt screen up of the XT-1 made this shot possible. My assistant was slightly to my right with the Lowel GL1 Hotlight.16-55mm, ISO 1600, 1/125, F2.8

Turbine Hall photo shoot by JC Crafford Photography

Photographer: JC Crafford

JC Crafford is a Fujifilm X Photographer from Pretoria in South Africa. He shoots weddings exclusively with the Fujifilm XT-1 and has done 61 weddings with the XT-1 as only camera already. He was also the first person in the world to shoot a wedding with an XT-1


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Comments (7)

Gerda du Plessis

pragtig. dit is wat ek noem “artistic” …… wens ek kon sulke fotos neem!

Henriette Kilian

Thank you JC! This is really helpful!

Only a pleasure Henriette

Y is weer ‘n artist in jou eie reg met die makeup Gerda

Nice article JC, but really love the first image in the post

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