The weather is the bane of my existence. Shooting outdoors means being at the mercy of Mother Nature, whether you like it or not. The day before I photographed Jenn at the beach, the forecast was calling for a 50% chance of rain. Luckily, Jenn is the adventurous, free-wheeling type and we decided to venture out anyway and see what happened, rain be damned. As cool as it might have been to get some shots in the rain, the sky fortunately stayed dry and we had a great sunset too.

As per usual these days, I relied solely on the ambient daylight to illuminate my scene with no artificial lighting or light modifiers. The gallery below is shown in chronological order, so you can see we started with rather greyish clouds and a few bright patches poking through. The clouds slowly cleared, and the sky showed some pale blue tinges while Jenn wore her denim shorts. Shortly after, the sun came out in full force and I aimed my camera northwest, directly into it, for some epic flare and backlit goodness. After that, the sun was low enough on the horizon to be soft but still very bright, and gentle enough to not cause squinting even when facing it. So we swapped places and I photographed Jenn in her blue bikini against the deep blue sky while I faced southeast. Lastly, we took a dip in Lake Ontario to get a few shots with the sunset in the frame.

I used the Nikon 70-200mm lens for almost this entire shoot. It’s my favourite beach lens, and because there’s a lot of room to move around on the beach, most of the images were shot between 170mm and 200mm. As I mentioned in a previous post, the only downside to using a long lens outdoors like this is that sometimes the model is so far away that they can’t hear instructions. Even yelling doesn’t get the job done if there’s a body of water nearby, which easily drowns out voices. To combat this, I switch to a different lens when I have to get in the water with the model. In this case, the last few shots you see in the gallery were composed with a Nikon 50mm lens. With this lens, I need to be much closer to the subject for them to fill the frame, and they can hear my instructions more easily as a result. There are two other advantages that the 50mm has when I’m working in the water. One, it allows me to be more nimble than with my Nikon 70-200mm lens attached. I can more easily dodge waves and prevent the water from splashing the lens since it’s a smaller target. Secondly, if the lens does get splashed or soaked, it’s a much less costly accident. 50mm lenses are cheap and plentiful, so they’re easy to replace or repair if disaster strikes. One other major disadvantage of the Nikon 70-200mm lens in this type of environment is that it’s just so big and heavy that my arms tire out easily. On the sand, it’s easy to plop the camera down in my bag or let it hang around my neck. But in the water, there’s nowhere to put the camera down, and letting it hang around my neck is asking for trouble since its long length means it’ll probably be skimming the water if I’ve waded in thigh deep.



Click images of Jenn below to enlarge