Tearschu – Beach day tech notes

As I hinted in the gallery for this shoot, today ended up a lot more technical than expected. I thought I’d be in for a nice sunny day, shooting just natural light with a reflector to lift the inevitable shadows. Instead I get completely directionless light and a whole lot of wind.

  • Sea looks crappy, fairly flat and grey in colour
  • Sky is awful, just grey
  • Sunlight is non-existent and yellowy
  • Sand is alright, a bit orange-y yellow and coarse

The camera wanted to auto-balance for heavy shade around 7500K, and not a lot of hue range to work with. That was fixable in Lightroom but time consuming. The two photos below show the jump from straight-outta-camera, into something presentable.

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If you’re looking closely you’ll notice I used flash – I don’t have any demonstrative no-flash photos. I decided that I needed sun for this set, so I faked it all. Bare speedlight head, no modifier, about a metre away. It’s not perfect but it gets the shadows and directional light that are needed so, so badly.

I like how the rocky ones at the end turned out a lot, I think it looks much more plausibly like sun. Which is great if you don’t think too much about it, because the sunlight is actually coming from… a cliff face.

Again it’s a single speedlight with no modifiers. By this time it was just before 20:00 and we were losing light quickly so we wrapped for the day. We could’ve kept shooting but we already got everything that we came for; big win.