Shooting on the Beach with Two Speedlights and the Sun
This is a simple shoot that can have some very nice nuance as you work two speedlights into a shot with the sun as back/side light. Using two sources a bit apart can cause multiple shadows, so you have to be very careful to make sure they are not a problem.
For this shot we used the sun as a bright side/slightly back light. I added the light from two flashes to smooth out the light, seemingly creating a wider side light. I love shadows, and the shadow cast on the little building was very nice.
I had to find a way to attach the strobes quickly on this trip, and hit on a unique, fun and easy way to securely attach the strobes. After the link, I will show you how we did it.
But first a question for the readers. I have been wondering if this Blog setup is working as well as a web site would. Currently we are using WordPress, but I have been thinking about working with a web site with CMS so it could grow laterally as well as vertically. The site under current configuration seems a little less than user friendly. Your thoughts please.
Now let’s take a look at using the two strobes with the sun for a cool swimsuit shot on the tower on the beach.
The image above shows the placement of the strobes and the height we used to get the shot lit so it felt very much like the setting sun. Both strobes are set to 1/8 power and are about 5-6 feet from her. I have them mounted vertically because people are vertical and the light needed to be thrown in the shape of the subject.
We are using cheap wireless remotes for this shot. I decided to use a wide angle lens so the distance of the strobes can be a little closer due to the angle of the wide lens increasing the perceived distance between lights and subject.
I metered the sun and found a workable aperture that would also be within the shutterspeed allowable for sync. I decided that f-13 at 1/200 would work well… keeping the background underexposed enough to get some color, while allowing some nice subtle direct light on the subject. The aperture at f-13 allowed me to get the two strobes in close with less power than if I had shot at f-22 at a slower shutter speed. The image would have looked the same at f-18 at 1/100 but I would have had to boost the power of the strobes to account for the smaller aperture. And that would have been more power needed, 1/4 power, and that would have meant a slower recycle.
Using a cheap Home Depot clamp and two cheap bungee cords we can mount them on a stand easy enough. And keeping the bungees tight keeps the strobes in place very well. Easy, cheap and fast.
Here is a shot where the flashes didn’t fire. You can see what the sun alone would do with the shot. While it isn’t lit like the other shots, it is kind of cool n a dark, mysterious way.
Now one with the strobes firing.
I came in close as the birds were swooping over and caught a second shot. Having the flashes with a faster recycle, because they are at 1/8 power, means I was able to get a few of the shots with the birds.
I always try to get something different at every shoot. If I was shooting a wide angle far away, I will try to move in closer. If I am closer, I will move back from the subject to see what the shot can look like. It keeps the brain fresh and lets me try to get some dynamics to the shoot that would not be there if I settled for only one shot.
In this shoot I decided to come in close to get something fun of Bri looking angry at me. She growled and shouted and then burst into laughter. That’s when I got this.
Thanks for dropping by. I hope you enjoyed this shoot tutorial as much as I did shooting it.