Bride on the Beach

Working with models is always enjoyable, particularly if the model knows their business and is cooperative. Working with brides is a lot more daunting in many ways because the photographer does not get to reshoot the day if something goes wrong. The shoot described here involved a model, not a bride. She is someone I have worked with many times and is very easy to shoot with.

One of the great innovations in photography is powerful small flashes which can be remotely controlled by wireless triggers. Remote triggers using infra-red do not have the same flexibility and must be used in line of sight, which can create many problems in the field. Another great innovation in flash photography is the recent technology that allows the flash to sync at very high shutter speeds. In the case of the Pocket Wizard radio triggers, flash sync can be achieved at speeds as high as 1/8000th of a second, and it is achieved in a way that syncs the flash more accurately with the camera to squeeze more light from the flash at the optimum time and thereby save on battery power as well as giving a stop or more of extra light.

The photograph above was shot on the beach in the late afternoon on the island of Koh Lanta in Southern Thailand. As the sun dropped low in the sky the light changed rapidly. This shot was taken at 1/1000th of a second with a Pocket Wizard triggered flash fired into a small umbrella off to the right of the camera position. The ability to trigger the flash at high shutter speeds allows the sky detail to be retained with a more open f-stop so the power drain on the batteries is lower. This shot was taken at f5.0.

One thing to be careful about in these situations is to set the white balance around 6000K otherwise the auto white balance will drain the natural redness of the settingĀ  sun out of the image. The flash for this shoot was set on TTL auto and the Canon looked after the details. Pocket Wizards are able to do this because they can translate the infra-red signals of the Canon flashes into radio signals that are passed between the remote pocket Wizards being used to accurately control the amount of flash being delivered. The ability to do this with the latest technology of small flash in dynamic shooting situations frees the photographer to worry more about making pictures and worry less about being a technician.