what's the trick to photos at sunset?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by bellacat, Mar 17, 2008.

  1. bellacat

    bellacat TPF Noob!

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    I went to the beach today to take test shots at sunset. I used my family as models and they were so kind to let me :lol: It was about 20 min before sun set so the light was yellow and even though i tried to meter for correct exposure bracketed both stops up and down my photos still didnt come out good :( I mean they are okay for me but a client would not be happy one bit. I would love to take my next set of maternity photos at the beach which is what we are planning for but i would hate for those to come out like crap too.

    what do I do? any advice or tips to photographing at sunset on the beach?
     
  2. MACollum

    MACollum TPF Noob!

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    I've got some decent sunset pictures, though I haven't attempted it with my SLR yet. I think that a silhouette would be good for the maternity shoot, if you do it at sunset. It might be cool if you could time it so that the model is in front of the sun, so that she'd have a kind of glow around her.

    I don't really have any advice though about the exposure though, sorry. I found this link though: http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=51552
     
  3. Big Mike

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

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    What are you trying to do? You will have to show us examples or at least tell us what you are trying to achieve and what you are getting.
     
  4. notelliot

    notelliot TPF Noob!

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    like mike says, images would be helpful
    but at a guess..
    sounds like you're using the sun to back light, and not throwing in any fill on subjects' faces.
    if so, point them backs to the sun, stop down to f8 or 11, and use fill flash to brighten up the silhouettes.
     
  5. bellacat

    bellacat TPF Noob!

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    i would love to try a silhouette shot and another with the family walking on the beach as the sun is going down.
     
  6. Big Mike

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

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    Silhouette is pretty easy. Just expose for the sky and don't put any light onto the subjects. The exposure for the sky will be different, depending on many factors, so I would suggest taking a reading of the sky near the sun, but without the sun in the frame. You may even want to under expose from that reading a bit more...this will help to silhouette the people and give the sky more color. Experiment and see what works.

    When taking shots of people at sunset...you obviously have to consider the sun as a light source.
    You can use it behind the subjects, as a backdrop & back light or you can turn around and use the sun to light them up.
    It's your choice.

    You can use some tricks to try and get the best of both worlds...having the sun & sky as a backdrop but also lighting up the front of your subjects (fill).

    An easy way of doing this is with a reflector. They stand with their backs toward the sun & nice sky and someone holds a reflector (maybe use a gold one for warm light). You could also use fill flash to light them up. Just make sure that you expose for the background nicely and have enough flash power to light them up....but not too much flash exposure. You might even consider gelling the flash (using colored cellophane) to have the light match the sun's light better.
     
  7. bellacat

    bellacat TPF Noob!

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    thanks Mike i can't wait to try this out :)
     
  8. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    Shooting to get a properly exposed sky and subject is almost impossible without adding light somewhere. - That light will be flash on your subjects.

    When you meter for the sky your exposure will likely give a much higher shutter speed than that required for the subject. Take the shot without flash and you'll get the sillhouette. Take the shot using exposure compensation, your subject will be fine but the background over exposed.

    What you need to do is meter for the sky and use flash to expose your subjects correctly.
     
  9. atp_design

    atp_design TPF Noob!

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    Plus dont forget the polariser filter to eliminate glare from reflections.
     

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