Help with exposure at this location

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Last seen: 4 years 5 months ago
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 621
Help with exposure at this location

This is just a snapshot, so no CC needed, but I'm posting it to get help on properly exposing this location since in a few weeks I'm going back. Beach photos are hard for me because usually it's just so bright and not much else to it but water/sand. I found this place on the back of the island here and it's on a river at the mouth of the ocean, so there's another island in the background and some wood pilings and docks all around.

I have a family that I'll be trying to shoot there in a couple weekends and if they stood with their back to the water and faced me, they would also face the sun. Shouldn't be too bad b/c I think the sun will have already went behind trees so it won't be direct, but my question is - how do I properly expose to show the pretty sky behind them without making their faces dark? If there will be any clouds in the sky, the sunset usually makes beautiful colors on those clouds behind them.

Anyone? anyone?

On this day I didn't have as much color because it was super overcast.

Exposure 0.005 sec (1/200)
Aperture f/4.0
Focal Length 50 mm
ISO Speed 400
112810 Smith cold day beach watermarked

Jeffininer's picture
Last seen: 3 years 2 weeks ago
Joined: 11/07/07
Posts: 1796

Great location!

Maybe someone else can chime in, but I'm afraid that you're going to have to blow the sky in order to get properly exposed faces. Or, you could expose for the sky and bring up exposure of the people in processing.

Another option is fill flash. You could use off camera flash to put in the light on the people's faces.

coolmama72's picture
Last seen: 4 years 2 weeks ago
Joined: 10/20/01
Posts: 8185

get a helper and use a reflector. seriously, that alone will be a HUGE help. because the sky will be a challenge.

fill flash is another option, as Jennifer mentioned, but I'd only use that if you have an OCF setup.

LittleFlores's picture
Last seen: 5 years 2 months ago
Joined: 06/22/10
Posts: 46

do you have a speedlight? this is the perfect situation for a little fill flash - expose for the pretty sky in the background and let your speedlight fill in the sujects in the foreground.

Last seen: 4 years 5 months ago
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 621

Thanks everyone. Nope, all i have is my on camera flash.

I think my in laws will be here on the day I have to do this shoot, so maybe I can sweet talk DH into coming and at least holding up a giant piece of white board as a homemade reflector.

Thank goodness these are all friends I'm practicing on Smile

sadieruth's picture
Last seen: 1 month 4 weeks ago
Joined: 06/09/05
Posts: 6242

Sounds like you got some great advice. I can't help you here, but I adore the photo!