sunset shoot

Discussion in 'Lighting Equipment' started by photo_girl|1, Aug 2, 2007.

  1. i have been commissioned to do a very important shoot by either the sea OR in a desert for a family
    portrait. 1) do i shoot early in the morning (which might be difficult to arrange as children are involved
    etc), OR JUST before sunset? 2) if i do shoot at sunset or sunrise, do i need a lot of reflectors/diffusors?
    or should i just shoot wtih the availabe light i get, that should be quite soft anyway...? please advice.
    thank you.
  2. Personally, when I'm shooting at the beach here (West coast of Florida), I like to shoot in the morning so I can have the water in the background and not be over exposed. When I have an assistant, I have them hold a large soft-gold reflector and use fill flash w/ the sun cross lighting so the subject isn't squinting.

    I know other photographers like sunset here, and rely more on the fill flash to keep the subject and background exposed properly. I'd try both techniques w/ a test subject, and see what works best for your style, equipment, and experience level.
  3. Depends on whether you want to use the sun and sunlit sky in the background. If so, the sun sets in the west and rises in the east (sort of) so depending where you are located, sunset or sunrise would work better. Also, with the above scenario, you will need fill flash and possibly multiple flash because reflectors won't cover an entire full length family shot.

    If, instead, you intend to use the softer light from the setting sun and reflected light of the setting sun as main light, you probably won't need fill flash, although this is a matter of taste. Realize that if you use the sun's light, you can't have it in the background of your portrait.
  4. thank you for your thoughts and help. i have never done an outdoor shoot using flash lights. i currently own 4 elinchrom RX600 heads wtih softboxes, etc etc... question is... they are monoheads and do not have a powerpack for location shoots... do i need one of those? i know some people use the power of the cars for lights... i dont know how to do this, can someone explain what i would need....? thank you
  5. You don't necessarily need to drag studio flashes out on the beach. You can get away with on-camera flash, but for more directional light, it helps to get the flash off the camera. A more portable flash like a Lumedyne or Norman portable would work better. But if you don't have those, an on camera flash can work--what do you have?
  6. i have a nikon SB-800, which i rarely used as i dont like using flash on head. so i wouldnt
    know how to set it to manual and to the proper exposure needed , with a few stops above the
    background exposure etc. i also plan on using my 17-35mm lense for the shoot, as the idea
    is to leave the family to do their thing, naturally, rather than all be gathered up against each
    other posing...

    can i take out one RX600 monohead and power it through car
    or something... it will be at their home along the beach most likely, so im sure i'll be able to
    get some sort of power.
  7. take the monolight if yo can. why have less than you might need? use a shoot through umbrella to light them all, put a warming gel on he flash head, and you should be fine.

    is this film, or digital? only because if it's film, you'll need the proper light meter to get your lighting ratios. actually, it would benefit you to have one for digital too, since looking at a tiny screen is hardly a good editing tool.
  8. As long as you CAN power the monolight with the car battery--you can't have too much flash power if going against the sun outside, even sunset.
  9. i will be shooting digital. my question is i dont know HOW to use car power? where do i plug
    it in etc? can someone tell me please...? thanks
  10. it sounded like in your last post that there might be power from the house. if you are planning on using a car battery, you'd better be sure you know what you are doing. i don't know if a strobe's amperage might not be too much for dc. i know you can charge things and such, but powering a monolight is a whole different beast.
  11. You should be able to get enough light out of the SB-800 on camera if you need to, it might even have enough power off camera with a silver umbrella. As someone said, you should definatlly try it out first, also do a google search for "sunset backdrop flash" or something like that for more tips.
  12. that is what i thought, a car power will not be enough - perhaps i can get hold of a
    generator... to give me power?
  13. a generator will definitely work, as long as it has enough watts. to figure this out, see how many amps the flash pulls. then see how many watts the generator generates.

    for example 3500 watt generator
    20 amp flash

    take 3500, and divide by 120 (volts)
    29.67, that is as many amps that can be pulled from that generator, before blowing the fuse, so the 20amp flash would be fine.
  14. my travelite has a 10 amp fuse, so the 3500 would be more than adequate. and since all the juice is expended every time the flash is discharged, i'd probably use that size generator anyway.or a 2500 watt model.

    don't forget that generators generate something else...noise!
  15. i have a 600RX elinchrom monohead which is what i intend on using for my outdoor shoot
    with a generator? how can i figure out how many amps my flash pulls to figure out what
    generator i need?
  16. can i not just make sure the generator i get can is at 240V power supply? as this is the case
    in my studio and the flash fires, so if i get a generator to power that Voltage, should be fine -
  17. You can always email the manufacturer to get exact specs for your strobe. You can also look into possibly getting a power inverter to use with your car's battery. This would invert your battery's DC energy into AC power at the correct voltage for your strobe. (I currently use a Light Gear Vagabond 150 power pack to power two Alien Bees B800 strobes and a White Lightning X1600, and I can fire away for a couple of hours with no worries, and that's a lot less power storage capacity than a car battery.) If you're not familiar with electrical circuits, however, you would be well advised to either use house AC power or rent a generator.

    Judging from the Ws ratings of the Elinchroms, I would say that you would only need a maximum of a 2500W generator if you were using all four lights at their maximum power setting. Since you probably wouldn't be doing that, it will give you plenty of buffer wattage, and would also allow you to plug in a laptop or other moderate electrical appliance if necessary.

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