HOW TO PERFECTLY CAPTURE YOUR ENGAGEMENT RING ON TABLE MOUNTAIN
Have you hired a professional photographer to capture your proposal on Table Mountain? Hands down it is the best place to get engaged in Cape Town. If you’re taking the shots, your phone is your friend, and there are simple tricks you can try to get the best image. You want to keep the shot as crisp as possible. Some phones like the iPhone have features that make it easier to capture without blurring.
All you have to do is set up the shot and then tap the screen to focus the lens. For best results, zoom in; hit the screen to focus and then pull out slightly, so the lens adjusts for a crisper shot. Or take the shot and then crop and zoom into it afterwards.
Diamond cutting is an art form. The skilled cutters that worked on your diamond will have spent weeks or months carefully working on it. Look at the cut of your precious gem, and then angle your shot to capture its most 'photogenic' side. An overhead shot is the easiest.
Here are some other pro tips to make sure you get that memorable shot.
GET THE LIGHT RIGHT
On Table Mountain you’re blessed with some of the best natural light for photography. There’s a reason film crews from all over the globe choose to shoot in the city.
Ensure you turn off the flash. Avoid direct sunlight too. The worst time of day to photograph is between 12pm and 2pm when the sun is at it’s highest and will cast harsh shadows. Early morning, sunset, or overcast weather will give you the softer light you're after.
When in doubt, invest in the gear to get the perfect shot. There are some great gadgets designed to make smartphone photography a whole lot easier. We love the flexi-leg tripod. It will ensure you don't have any shake when you take your photo. It also means you can focus on composing the shot of your hand and engagement ring without having to juggle the phone yourself, or instruct your new fiancé to do so. Wrap it around a branch on a shrub you find on Table Mountain or another stable object. Set it on a timer so you have enough time to get into position before it takes the shot.
GET MANI READY
The first prize is that you keep your nails are in shoot-ready condition, and your fiancé hasn't sprung a surprise proposal on you on Table Mountain. If you've had time to prep, follow this guide. Classic is better. Photos of your engagement ring will be part of your couple story for years to come. You may even want to print some for your wedding album. What does this mean for your nails?
Nail art is fun; there's no doubt about it. But do you really want to be showing your grandchildren a shot of your engagement ring with a zodiac-themed mani or rainbow glitter? You want your diamond to be the hero of the shot, so downplay the nails and stick to soft, neutral tones instead.
If you’re too self-conscious of your hands picture with your engagement ring for a close-up, try a different concept. The shot could be of you and your fiancé holding hands. Or, you could frame your fingers and nails out of the photo.
CONSIDER THE BACKDROP
One of the creative ways to show off your engagement ring, while still giving the sense that you’re on Table Mountain, is to use nature as a prop. Rest your hand on a rock, or use the beautiful texture of fynbos as your backdrop to your ring selfie.
You could try an extreme version where you hold your hand over the edge of the mountain (safely please, stay within the barriers!). Keep your engagement ring in focus, with the vista below forming a jaw-dropping background.
Hands shaking from the nerves and excitement? Rest your hands on your partner's or a solid surface like your handbag if you want a picture of your hands with your engagement ring. Relax your hand – stiff fingers will look awkward. Tilting the camera slightly will also be more flattering.
Here are the tools you should be using:
Cropping. This cuts out the unwanted parts of a photo, leaving only the parts you want. If you want a close-up, this is the way to do it without zooming. The power of cropping an image is that you can improve the composition of it. This means creating a shot where the viewer’s focus is on a part. If a tourist, dassie, or other unwanted item enters your frame, you can also crop them out of your shot. You don't want any distractions from your ring.
For use on Instagram, it also allows you to crop the image in a ‘square’ shape, which is ideal for the social media platform. The ideal ratio is a 1080 pixel width, and 1350 pixels tall. Any smaller and your photo will lose quality when posted.
Contrast. If you feel the photo is a little dull, you can play with the contrast. This means adjusting the difference between the darkest and lightest tones. Use a light touch, and you’ll get the added drama you want.
Saturation. The more saturation you add to the digital image, the more colourful and vibrant it will be. With the blue shades of the bay and sky as your backdrop on Table Mountain, this tool is definitely worth using on your engagement ring selfie.
Sharpness. This means how crisp or clear your image is. The focus and contrast in the digital photo can be altered to optimise this.
Instagram has a selection of easy-to-use filters, but you can up the game. Snapspeed is another free app you can download that has some simple functions you can apply to your digital image. The ‘smooth’ tool, for example, will bring down the appearance of pores or lines in your hands and fingers. ‘Faded glow’ will take out some of the colour in your skin tone, allowing the diamond and metal to ‘pop’ in the image. ‘Lens blur’ will keep the ring in sharp focus, and cast a natural, soft blur everything around it. The ‘healing’ tool will cover up any blemishes or cuts you have on your hands or fingers.
You can also use editing tools to add graphics or words to the shot of your engagement ring. This is a way to personalise it further and make it your own. Add your couple hashtag name (a combination of your names that you can then use for your wedding images and Instagram posts), or details about your engagement ring. For example, #tanzanitedreams, or #emeraldcut.
Are you looking for inspo?
Celebrities have pro teams to advise them, so even when they are taking a ‘spontaneous’ shot of their engagement ring, they’re primed to get it right. Check out a few of our favourites engagement ring reveals on Instagram on the following feeds:
- Eva Longoria shared a shot of a passionate kiss between her and her partner Jose Antonio Baston when they got engaged. Eva’s hand was resting on his cheek, with her engagement ring in full view.
- Gabrielle Union and Dwayne Wade perfected the couple hand shot when they shared their romantic proposal on Instagram. The image showed the pair's hand entwined with the sparkler in the heart of the picture.
- Lea Michele chose to show off her diamond on Instagram by holding her hand over her face when she took the shot. It was a quirky and compelling take on photography. The ring was the hero, but the natural background of the beach setting was in full view.
SCHEDULE A PRE-PROPOSAL DIAMOND RING CONSULTATION
Choosing an engagement ring with your partner can be an enriching part of the journey you're embarking on together. Shimansky has a breathtaking selection of diamond engagement rings, with many cuts to choose from. We invite you to visit your nearest Shimansky showroom or book a consultation with a Shimansky expert. We also recommend booking your Table Mountain Aerial Cableway tickets to go and practice for the big day.