Beach Photo shoot

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by sarasphotography, May 15, 2009.

  1. sarasphotography

    sarasphotography TPF Noob!

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    In 2 wks I have back to back beach shoots of a couple of related families.

    3pm - 6pm

    I'm a little worried about 3pm-4pm because I feel like it might be too sunny.

    What does everyone do in this case?

    Should a use a 3x4 reflector to block or defuse the sun? I also have a shoot through umbrella?

    Suggestions please, as I keep my fingers crossed for a overcast!
     
  2. bdavis

    bdavis TPF Noob!

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    I think they make large diffusers for the sun that look like reflectors, but they allow the light to pass softly through it. You can just have an assistant hold it to help with the harsh light. Also, another idea is use a shoot through umbrella as a diffuser for the sun, but that might be a bit tricky for a family, usually works good with 1 or two people depending on the size of the umbrella. I would try one of those methods and also stick to some shaded areas if you can find some.
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Using a diffusion screen between the sun and your subject, is some of the best 'natural' lighting you can get. It's magnificent. The problem is that if you have more than two people or even if you are doing whole body shots, you may need a huge diffusion screen.

    Using a reflector is usually a good idea.
     
  4. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Which beach? West coast? East Coast? Gulf? Which way does the beach face? West, South, North?

    At your beach what time is sunset the days you need to shoot?

    If there is any wind at all, and there usually is at the beach, umbrellas and reflectors will be difficult to manage.

    Many beach portrait shooters just put naked speedlights on stands.

    Check out this photographers beach shots. He also has a forum showing some of his set ups you might look for too.
     
  5. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Learn to not double book... lol

    Seriously, if you want to shoot and do well no matter what the level of the sun is, you have to have equipment that can overpower the sun... and that means the big dogs, powerful studio light(s).

    If you cannot control ambient on bright days via powerful lighting, you shoot in places where you *can* shoot... indoors, in shady areas, under trees, under large scrims and so on.
     
  6. cofphoto

    cofphoto TPF Noob!

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    Thank you for the props, Keith. All that I use for my outdoor and especially beach photography is one naked 580EX fired remotely on a tripod. It's pretty easy for me, but only because I've done a LOT of it. It does take time to figure out.

    You can shoot at any time of day, but when the sun is more directly overhead you may get some unplesant shadows. I always try to have my beach sessions at sunset, so the sun is low in the sky, and is behind my subjects (since I'm on the West coast). Plus, as the sun gets low to the horizon, it loses a lot of it's light. So it becomes easier to shoot, less flash power is required, and you can even get the sun in the background of the photos.

    Good luck!
     
  7. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    I may have mentioned this before. I use to live in Coronado so it's always nice to see the beach, the Dell, the Shores. Plus it's easy to recommend your images as great examples. :sexywink:
     

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