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07-27-2011, 08:00 AM   #1
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Disaster Phootoshoot at the Beach

hi all.
I would like to get some comments and opinions on what happened to me when i did a photoshoot at he beach last week.
I do all of the photo and video work for recording artist and performer Niva. We did a phootoshoot at Riis beach, a very nice federal park in queens new york city.
I had my K-X with the kit lens and a 50mm 2.0 manual lens.
It was 104 degrees and the sun was blazing hot .
All i can say is that i feel the K-X failed me. All of my shots were coming out to bright or to dark
I could not use the lcd to focus with. i tried using the eye viewfinder and going by the beep. the focus was ok but the exposure was nuts. I tried all of the different modes including beach mode and the photos were still terrible. for one thing the KX was always changing the exposure automatically even when i had the camera in manual mode.
Niva was hot and sexy as hell and i could tell she was not happy and really pissed. i went up on the boardwalk to get away from the sand glare and shot some video but that also came out not right. Out of about 250 pics maybe 10 came out usable and that was with alot of photoshop.
I edited some video and put it on youtube but it's really not up to par for me.
well thats it.
Help me out here guys.
i think my first stop is to get a LCD viewfinder eyepiece!

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Last edited by pwrlogic; 07-27-2011 at 08:13 AM.
07-27-2011, 08:48 AM   #2
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You need to try this again in better light in less torrid conditions. 104 degrees will tax the limits of any camera, and the K-x isn't a pro camera really. From the pics it looks like conditions were pretty harsh. What time of day did you take these?

I'd take her back out there in very early morning or very late afternoon when it's cooler. Bring a gold reflector and a another pair of hands if you can. Doing dark skin is hard even under the best conditions, particularly when you have the opposite with the sand being so light and providing glare. The camera will always have a hard time finding exposure under those conditions.

Use the sky to find your best exposure. It's usually your best bet on the beach. Remember you have tons of glare all around you on a beach. Sand, water, the heat, they'll all combine to produce a bit of a haze. I don't like them myself, and likely it would be a minus since she's got dark skin, but a lot of people use a polarizer (or lens hood) on the beach to cut some of that glare.

She's a very pretty lady but her features are just fading away. That swimsuit is very bright. It's competing with the rest her in a way. It's a great suit, and a good look for her, but she could use a slightly more visible makeup palette, maybe more of a bright wine color on the lips and cheeks. The hint of fuschia pink just isn't doing much for her. That suit cries out for a bolder palette. With her skin tone a nice wine would look good on her. Normally I don't like too much makeup on a model on the beach but in her case I'd make an exception. She's got lovely strong features, but she needs more color wearing that suit.
07-27-2011, 09:11 AM   #3
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You have a dark and back-lit subject. You need a reflector or flash to open the shadows, or over-expose and blow out the background (not always a bad thing). Metering the hazy white sky will cause under-exposure problems.

Last edited by SpecialK; 07-27-2011 at 09:25 AM.
07-27-2011, 09:21 AM   #4
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Thanks very much for your response.
I will try to get some filters today.
I feel i have outgrown the k-x in some ways.
i feel i was completley unprepared for that beach.
here is a link to the video i shot with the kx


07-27-2011, 09:24 AM   #5
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hey specialk
i did use the kx built in flash which just did not do te job in such bright conditions
thanks
07-27-2011, 09:38 AM   #6
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First, I would say time of day is key. It looks like you shot this at noon-time, or thereabouts, the absolute worst time of day to shoot.

But I will say, with some cropping, the third photo, with the overexposed background is kinda cool.
07-27-2011, 09:45 AM   #7
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Did you use flash for the last (over-exposed) shot? If you did, the camera would have defaulted to a 1/180 shutter speed which would have led to the over-exposure. You will need a more high-end flash set-up to do Hi-Speed Sync (HSS) to fill in the shadows, or use a reflector. Also, you should work on your composition - the first photo has random people in the background that could be fixed by moving the model or changing shooting positions.
07-27-2011, 09:56 AM   #8
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hi all and thanks for your response.
sometimes you have to shoot on other ppl's schedule. it was about 1pm and that was what i had to deal with.
as i said i shot about 250 pics, mostly i had her vogue while i hit the shutter over and over.
i just thought the pics should have been better since i had the cam on beach scene and full auto since manual was not working, in fact i tried all of the scenes and modes. why was the kx contiuously changing the exposure? even in manual! . i was so bewildered that i started to switch to my canon hv20. i swear that if i had my little kodak 1485 cam the pics would have come out better than the kx.

07-27-2011, 10:01 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by pwrlogic Quote
hi all.
It was 104 degrees and the sun was blazing hot .
All i can say is that i feel the K-X failed me. All of my shots were coming out to bright or to dark...
I could not use the lcd to focus with. i tried using the eye viewfinder and going by the beep. the focus was ok but the exposure was nuts. I tried all of the different modes including beach mode and the photos were still terrible. for one thing the KX was always changing the exposure automatically even when i had the camera in manual mode.
Hmmm...I have a feeling something was up with your settings. The camera shouldn't change values in manual mode otherwise.

Anyhow, personally I don't think you've outgrown the camera. If anything it sounds like you need to get a better feel for it and learn more about the settings and exposure. That was evident when you mentioned you fell back to using the "beach" setting. The K-x is very capable and more than adequate to do a beach shoot.

Like others mentioned, time of day will make or break a beach shoot. When the sun is at it's brightest, you're going to run into problems regardless of the camera.

If you're going to shoot mid-day when the sun is brightest, I'd suggest using:
1. Big diffusion panel over the model. Definitely not a one man job and you would need someone or something to hold it. Panels often double as a reflector too. Or...
2. Use a neutral density filter. Or...
3. Use a powerful off camera flash. You can overpower the sun if you have a good enough flash.

Otherwise, shoot early in the morning as the sun is coming up, or do a sunset photo instead.

Last edited by einstrigger; 07-27-2011 at 10:07 AM.
07-27-2011, 10:02 AM   #10
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Well, I understand other people's schedules, but I've actually become a pushier about insisting on a "good" or better time to shoot, usually in the explanation that the early/later time will result in a much better end-product.
07-27-2011, 11:18 AM   #11
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What caught my attention was that you said you're using a MANUAL lens, but you're trying to use different modes (including AUTO).

For any case there are only one, correct mode. Either the one you deliberately choose, to achieve particular effect or the one that fits the situation best, if you're after general outcome.

Depending on the lens type, this can get quite limited. E.g. there are A and M type lenses, as well as even more basic ones. Besides the manual focusing all of them have limited exposure capabilities. Most of them have known exposure errors, related to their mechanics and type of operation.

Before doing anything else, you need to determine what type of manual lens you have. Then see in what modes and what way they function with K-x.

Some manual lenses may have hard to notice defects. Often they are very old, worn, crude. In lenses which are stopped down by camera (non S/m42 type) slow, sticky (oily), jumpy or otherwise flawed aperture blades can cause erratic exposure,

Was it the same with kit lens as well? Then there might be some other thing to look at...

Another note. I've repeatedly noticed that in very bright sunlight you must take great care to completely cover the viewfinder eyepiece. If you don't press the camera fully against your eye, light will enter the camera from both, lens and viewfinder. Since exposure reading is taken from focusing screen, additional light can decrease the exposure by as far as -1EV. Thats as much as I've observed.

I must also agree to other members about the harsh light conditions and time of the day. Btw, manual lens most likely would not work with high end high-speed-sync flash either.

If you already have taken note on the above suggestions, there might be some other flaw or issue (forgotten compensation setting, limiting setting chosen - e.g. often i forget too high iso, like 400-800 and with 1/4000 shutter speed and lens at f/16 camera has no more options to make the picture darker). Even with quite ugly exposure variation and problems it is hard to get images as blown as the last one. If its K-x and everything else was ok, the camera might be faulty.

Good luck and hope this helps. More technical details are welcome (e.g. exact lens model, exif data of the images shown).

Yay! This is my 1000 post!!! Must have cake .

Last edited by ytterbium; 07-27-2011 at 12:01 PM. Reason: Add info
07-27-2011, 12:06 PM   #12
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What's this about high speed sync flash? Flash sync is function of the camera body which in Pentax DSLRs is 1/180sec maximum, the exception would be to use leaf shutter lenses which usually max out at 1/500sec. I've read when the K-5 was first released, there might be a way to bump up the flash sync speed to 1/250sec but that's only a 1/2 stop difference. Please enlighten me if any otherwise.

Thanks,
07-27-2011, 12:18 PM   #13
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ytterbium thanks for your comment!
i tried using my 2.0 manual 50mm but gave up because i use my lcd to focus(magnified of course) so i tried the kit lens in all of the different modes.
i guess the moral of the story is that i need more accessories for the cam try to get some help so i can use reflectors and or diffusers.
Thanks
07-27-2011, 12:19 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by excanonfd Quote
What's this about high speed sync flash? Flash sync is function of the camera body which in Pentax DSLRs is 1/180sec maximum, the exception would be to use leaf shutter lenses which usually max out at 1/500sec. I've read when the K-5 was first released, there might be a way to bump up the flash sync speed to 1/250sec but that's only a 1/2 stop difference. Please enlighten me if any otherwise.
Thanks,
Normally flash outputs all light in one big blast. For ordinary flash, sensor must be fully visible (completely open shutter) at this time.
HSS outputs in a longer, continuous but weaker ripple output, that results in the same total light amount. The start and end of the output is synchronized with the beginning and end of shutter action the sensor is not lighted all at once, but trough the slit that travels across the shutter. Thats the short story...

http://www.photozone.de/hi-speed-flash-sync

Last edited by ytterbium; 07-27-2011 at 01:38 PM.
07-27-2011, 01:43 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by excanonfd Quote
What's this about high speed sync flash? Flash sync is function of the camera body which in Pentax DSLRs is 1/180sec maximum, the exception would be to use leaf shutter lenses which usually max out at 1/500sec. I've read when the K-5 was first released, there might be a way to bump up the flash sync speed to 1/250sec but that's only a 1/2 stop difference. Please enlighten me if any otherwise.

Thanks,

My k-7 does not support HSS in the built-in flash, so I don't think the k-x will either. You need hot-shoe mounted flash to support HSS.
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