Lighting on Beach

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by nieschu, Apr 15, 2008.

  1. nieschu

    nieschu TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2008
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    New Haven, CT
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Hi everyone, I am new to this forum and also new to photography. Well, I have taken a lot of pictures and most of them turned out very nice, but I honestly dont have any idea about lightening or anything technical.

    Please take it easy with me though, cause I am also foreign, so I dont know most terms. :)

    I have one or maybe a few more questions. I am going to shoot my friends wedding (yes I know big job) on a beach very soon. We did some shots the other day to practise and she really liked them.

    Now my problem is that she is getting married around noon when the sun is the worse. Does anyone know what I can do to avoid shadows in faces? Even if I shoot with the sun behind me, I cant get rid of the shadows for some reason. We tried again around 4 pm and it was much easier....does anyone have an idea? Thank you so much for your help.
     
  2. ryan7783

    ryan7783 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2008
    Messages:
    346
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I am also very interested in this subject because I, too, am shooting my sisters wedding on the beach around noon-ish
     
  3. Big Mike

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

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,817
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    #1 get and use a powerful flash.
    I almost always try to use flash when shooting people outdoors at that time of day. Keep in mind that shooting with flash, in bright conditions, can be tricky and may require a very powerful flash.

    #2 use a reflector.
    The sun is providing a lot of light, so all you need is a reflector and you can use that light to 'fill' in the shadows. Have an assistant hold a reflector to bounce the light back onto the faces/front of your subjects.

    #3 Diffusion panel.
    Use a diffusion panel an hold it up between your subject and the sun. This will diffuse the light and make it softer. You can combine this with the use of a reflector and get some really great light.
     
  4. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2006
    Messages:
    11,437
    Likes Received:
    2,095
    Location:
    Wichita, Kansas, USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    The one thing that I would add to what Big Mike posted would be to find a copy of Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson and read it. It is a book that every photographer should have in their collection. It will explain a lot of things about the kind of situations you are asking about. Good luck.
     
  5. christopher walrath

    christopher walrath No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,265
    Likes Received:
    23
    Location:
    In a darkroom far, far away...
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I go with Big Mike on one of three points. As you may have many people in more than a few shots, a diffuser and/or a reflector may be problematic as they are better used on smaller subject areas. That leaves the powerful flash. And we are talking UBER-flash here. The flash has to be close to the luminosity of the sunlight. No little universal pocket Vivitar is going to work here. Something else you might consider doing. Take your friends to the beach at noon time and demonstrate to them the effects of strong high sunlight with the shadows. One thing that might help is brighter clothing. This would reflect sunlight from beneath and might combat shadows.

    I know that these are not things that are necessarily the place of a photographer to ask for, but, if nothing else, it is your responsibility to point out what the customer might expect under such conditions. Good luck.
     
  6. ryan7783

    ryan7783 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2008
    Messages:
    346
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I agree with this - I'm 3/4 of my way through it and I've already learned a boat load. I plan to go back and read it again after I'm done.
     
  7. nieschu

    nieschu TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2008
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    New Haven, CT
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Oh you guys are amazing. Thank you so much for the answers!! I have the olympus E510 and I just bought the FL50 from olympus. So you think I should take the flash with me? I think it is very powerful.

    Also if you dont mind any suggestion in what reflector and diffusion panel I should get? Are there differences I should be aware of?

    I will also get the book that was mentioned, thank you so much for all your help!!!!!
     
  8. Big Mike

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

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,817
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    There are 'fold-able' reflectors that go from a small circle to a larger circle. You can get them as a '5 in 1', with different covers.
    The larger, the better, but that means they are harder to carry and store and more expensive. As mentioned, unless you have a really large reflector, it's probably best for shots of one or two people or close us shots.
     
  9. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2008
    Messages:
    7,274
    Likes Received:
    406
    Location:
    Shepherdsturd, WV / Almost, MD
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I use Vivtar 285HV's with great results during daylight hours.
     
  10. nieschu

    nieschu TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2008
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    New Haven, CT
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Thank you Mike, what do you think about this one?
    Is that a decent price?

    http://www.gomediamonkey.com/proddetail.php?prod=JTL7017&c=21
     
  11. nieschu

    nieschu TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2008
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    New Haven, CT
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I think if I googled it right, it is a add on flash? Like I said I have the FL50 from olympus, does anyone have experience with that? Thank you guys so much for all your help.
     
  12. Big Mike

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

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,817
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Those reflectors look fine. I still like the idea of the 5-in-1, because then you get a white, a silver and a gold reflector, a diffusion screen and a black side to block light. Something like THIS

    Using flash may be the least cumbersome way to go...but I'd suggest that you practice in the conditions that you expect.

    When shooting with flash, outdoors when it's bright...there are a few things to consider. Firstly, just like shooting without flash, you will need to be aware of your aperture and shutter speed (and ISO)...so in other words, your ambient exposure.

    Now, when you are using flash, you need to know your camera's max sync speed...the fasted shutter speed that will work with flash. It's probably 1/200 or something close to that.
    Now, because it's bright, your ambient exposure might be something like F5.6 and 1/1000. That shutter speed it way too fast...so to keep the same ambient exposure, you would need to change that to F16 and 1/125. That's all well and good...but the flash exposure (and range) is directly tied to the aperture...so when you are shooting at F16 (small aperture)...the flash has to output a whole lot of power (and your range is limited). You could easily reach the limit of your flash's power.

    So, it's probably best to use the max sync speed and thus use the largest aperture that you can get away with.

    That being said, some flashes are capable of a 'high speed sync' function. This mode allows you to use faster shutter speed...but the trade off is a greatly reduced flash range. So you could shoot at 1/1000 or faster...but you may have to be withing a few feet of your subject. (although, you can turn up the ISO to increase the flash range).

    Like I said, practice this so that you know what your gear can do.
     

Share This Page