Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Wales In April

Ah the smell of the sea, the crash of the waves...... the rain drumming on our umbrellas!  can't wait for the 10th.

I've had a thought (I do have a few occasionally) as most of our scenic shots will be later on I decided to price up for a model to come to Wales and do a two hour location shoot, on the beach, rock, sea whatever..... what does everyone think? I've had a lot of interest and a couple of prices back, the cheapest so far (for a professional model) was £40 p/h and £20 travelling! I was hoping for some local models to apply, would anyone want to chip in and pay as a group?

feedback please

Cheers Jim

PS Sorry girls a bit sexist but didn't get any male replies.

Here's and update I think I'm in love, but don't tell the wife...

This is Layla.... Calm down Eric. She's happy to travel with us, Layla is from Stoke on Trent ... Calm down Eric!! her rate at the moment is £50 for two hours But would be happy to work with us all day if we gave her a little more? then we could play all day ... her words.... CALM DOWN Eric!!!
http://www.wix.com/laylarandleconde/model


Steve B this looks like like an April Sky to me, what do you think?




Layla says she has lots of ideas and lots of outfits, and it looks like she had a bit of experience with beaches



Beach Photography

by Natalie Johnson

Whether a tranquil haven of serenity or a jam-packed platform for sun worshippers, the beach is a perfect location for all genres of photography; macro, documentary, seascape, portrait and even wildlife. Here are some pointers to get your creative juices flowing when it comes to beach photography.

Waiting for a moment - by ^riza^

Macro and Creative Abstracts

Beaches are rife with opportunity for macro shots and creative abstracts. Some typical examples are: footprints in the sand, chipped paint on beach huts or boats, shells on the shore or intersecting blades of dune grass. With the intention of creating a shallow depth of field use a telephoto lens and employ a wide aperture. Zoom in close to your subject and focus accordingly. For best results get down in the sand and stabilise the camera on a jumper or bag to ensure details remain crisp.

Purple Shell - by alex the greek

Portraits

What better place to photograph your children in the throws of freedom and fun than at the beach? Set a fast shutter (1/400th) to catch the action if the little tot refuses to sit still or give them a challenge to focus their attention such as building a sandcastle or exploring a rock pool. Frame and focus on your youngster, but zoom out to show enough background for the image to offer a context.

day77 - by rlr77

For beautiful evenly lit portraits diffuse the harsh sunlight that falls on the subject’s face using a white sheet if you have one to hand or a beach towel or t shirt to provide shade if you don’t. For the best results employ a 35mm or 50mm prime lens with a wide aperture to delicately blur the bright background but keep the portrait in focus.

When the sun is at its highest it can be tricky to expose correctly for portraits so try bracketing the scene to expose for the highlights, shadows and midtones separately. Later employ a HDR program such Photomatix to give portraits an interesting texture and dramatic feel. Alternatively wait until the sun sets for an enigmatic silhouette. To incorporate an interesting reflection place your subject at the shoreline, in between yourself and the sunset. Pre focus your subject manually here, expose for the brightest part of the scene and de-active the on body flash.

Felicidad - by Landahlauts

Seascapes

The ebb and flow of the sea is such an enchanting motion and to capture the gentle ghostly movement photographers should employ the same techniques as those used for classic waterfall cascades. Set your camera on a tripod and dial in a slow shutter speed, how slow will depend on the brightness of the day, but you could use a polarizer or ND Grad filter to reduce the amount of light entering the lens. Check the histogram on your LCD to monitor the results.

Rippled - by Christolakis

If you want to photograph the scene at sunset or sunrise remember to set up an hour before dawn/dusk. Expose for the sky and support your camera with a tripod. To add foreground interest consider including an angular groyne, collection of stones, pier or lighthouse.

Piers are a classic focal point for seaside shots. A wonderful way of conveying the sheer size of the platform is to use a wide-angle lens and small aperture to keep everything sharp. Also try varying your vantage point to exaggerate that sense of scale. Alternatively climb the pier to get some height from the sand and capture a cross section of the populated beach. If this isn’t possible secure the camera to a fully extended tripod/monopod and lift it above head height. Use a remote shutter release or self timer to take the shot.

Sea World - by frankhg
Documentary

Legal restrictions of photography in public places differs from country to country, so brush up on the rules of the country you are in before you start to point and shoot strangers at the beach. In some countries there is no presumption of privacy for individuals in a public place whereas others restrict photography, to protect children for example. Avoid potential hassle by first asking permission of the person or the parents’ of a child you wish to photograph.

Small - by pierofix

Wildlife

The beach is home to many interesting creatures primed for photography; starfish in rock pools, coastal birds such as gulls and lapwing, or strap on a snorkel and explore the magical array of fish under the sea. To photograph birds wait until the end of the day when gulls descend on to desolate beaches to scavenge discarded food. Add movement to a picture of a bird in flight by focusing on the subject and slowly follow it with a gentle pan and slow shutter speed. To freeze birds in flight ensure you use a faster shutter speed. To do this in the evening light you’ll need to ramp up that ISO if shooting handheld.

Underneath a Star - by jaeWALK

Night scenes

Head to the bright lights of the funfair and embrace the chance to get creative with shutter speed. Neatly frame one of the more colourful or interesting fairground machines and consider lowering your vantage point to add impact or use a creative lens like a fisheye for impact. Mount your camera on something sturdy and dial in a small aperture (for example f14) to keep the background in focus, with a slow shutter speed of around 1/15th sec to create neon light trails

Pacific Park in Santa Monica - by szeke
Sports

Surfing, windsurfing, kite surfing, banana boats, jet skis, kayaks or pedalos are all fantastic water sports for capturing people having fun at the beach. A fast shutter speed is essential to freeze movement but wait until the sun is at a low angle in the sky for gentler light. Alternatively you can use a polarising filter to soften harsh midday light, reduce glare and increase colour saturation.

terracina - by Macorig Paolo

10 Beach Photography Tips

by Darren Rowse

Image by TollerScream

Here in Australia we love to hit the beach.
we’re one big island and most of our population is scattered along the coast line so the beach is a natural place for us to go both on day trips and longer holidays.

Beaches present digital camera owners with a number of wonderful opportunities as they are places of natural beauty, color and interesting light. However they also present a variety of challenges including camera damage, privacy issues and making large open spaces interesting.

While it’s not really beach going weather at present here in my part of the world I know that many readers of this site are getting close to Summer and beach photography will be high on the agenda of many (I’m so jealous).

Here are 10 tips for when you head to the beach with your digital camera next:

Image by Sara Heinrichs













1. Look for focal points

A friend of mine once told me that they don’t bother taking their camera to the beach because all beach shots look the same. i thought that that was a pretty sad thing to say because when I go to the beach I see it as a place brimming with photographic opportunities if you have the ability to look beyond the cliche shots. For example while many people take shots looking out to sea I find it interesting to go to the water’s edge and then turn completely around and see what’s in your frame from that angle. One common problem with landscape beach photographs is that while they might capture a beautiful scene they actually have no point of interest and can as a result be rather empty and boring. When taking a shot look for a point of interest or focal point that will give those looking at your photo a place for their eye to rest. Perhaps it’s a pattern in the sand, a set of footprints, the crashing of waves over a rock, a life saver’s tower etc. Also look for the little things that tell the story of going to the beach like shoes at the waters edge, sand castles, sunglasses, sunscreen lotion etc. Sometimes these can make wonderful little feature shots to break up your vacation album.

2. Timing is important

The start and end of days can present the best opportunities for shooting at the beach. For starters there will be less people there at that time of day but also you’ll find that with the sun shining on an angle that you often get more interesting effects of shadows and colors – particularly in the evening when the light becomes quite warm and golden.

Image by astrocruzan











3. Watch the Horizon

One of the most common problems in beach photography where there are wide open spaces with a long and often unbroken horizon is sloping horizons. Work hard at keeping your horizon square to the framing of your shot (more on this here). Also consider placing your horizon off centre as centered horizons can leave a photo looking chopped in half (more on this in our post on the Rule of Thirds).

4. Head to the Beach When Others Avoid it

Another timing issue is that the beach can really come to life on those days that everyone avoids it because of inclement weather. Stormy seas, threatening and dramatic clouds and wind slowing lifesaver flags and trees over call all make for atmospheric shots.

5. Exposure Bracketing

One of the challenges of shooting in the middle of summer on a beach is that it can be incredibly bright and your camera could want to under expose your shots if you’re shooting in Auto mode. If your camera has a manual mode it can be well worth playing with it at the beach and experimenting with different levels of exposure. I find that I get the best results when I look at what the camera wants to expose the shot at and then over expose it by a stop or two. Of course this depends greatly from situation to situation – brightly lit landscapes are generally very tricky – especially if you have shady areas as well as bright ones. Sometimes it’s a matter of working out which area you want to be well exposed and focussing on that area as to get everything right is often impossible.

Image by phitar 

6. Spot Metering

If your camera has spot metering you can overcome some of the above exposure problems. Spot metering is a feature that some cameras have whereby you tell the camera which part of the image you want to be well exposed and it will get that bit right. This is particularly useful in bright light when you want to get a shady area exposed well. It will optimize the shady area (and the other areas will be over exposed – but at least your main subject will be ok). This can be effective especially when photographing people as it allows you to face them away from the sun and to meter on their shadowy face and therefore avoid squinting (a common problem with photographing people at the beach).

7. Fill Flash

If you’re photographing people at the beach as a portrait and it’s bright you’ll find that they will almost always have shadows on their face (often cast by hats, glasses, noses etc). Switch on your flash and force it to fire when shooting in these situations and you’ll find the shadows eliminated and your actual subject is well exposed. This is particularly important when shooting into the sun when without a flash you could end up with your subject being at some stage of becoming a silhouette). If your camera gives you some level of control over how strong a flash to fire you might want to experiment with this also as firing a full strength can leave your subjects looking washed out and artificial. If your subjects do look overexposed and you cant decrease the flash strength try moving back a little from your subject and using your zoom to get a tighter framing as this will decrease the impact of the flash. As usual – experimenting is the key.

8. UV Filters

UV filters are useful for DSLR owners a couple of reasons in beach photography. Firstly they act as a protection for your lens (see below) but also they do filter out ultraviolet light in a certain range. This can cut back on atmospheric haze (often a blueish haze/tinge). The visual impact that they have is not great but they are the first thing I buy when I get a new lens for my DSLR.

 9. Polarizing Filters

One of the most useful DSLR lens accessories that you can add to a digital camera is a polarizing filter. Without getting too technical, a polarizer filters out some light that is polarized. This means that it reduces reflections and boosts contrasts. The most noticeable places that this has impact is with blue skies (potentially it can make them incredibly rich and almost dark blue) and in water/ocean in which it can give a variety of effects. The way many people explain the results of a polarizer is the difference that polarizing sunglasses can make when you put them on (in fact I know quite a few photographers who shoot through their sunglasses if they don’t have a polarizer with them. Get a polarizing filter and experiment with it and you’ll quite literally be amazed by the results.

Image by Sara Heinrichs
















10. Black and White

One technique that I’ve been using a lot lately in beach photography (and other genres also) is to do a little post photo production and see what impact stripping a photo of color has upon it. There’s something about a black and white shot at the beach that completely changes the mood and feel of a shot. It’s also a great way to bring to life beach shots taken on dull or overcast days which can often leave a beach scene looking a little colorless.

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