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04-26-2007, 08:23 AM   #1
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Going to the beach, need some advice.

OK peeps, I am going to the beach for a long weekend and I wanna get some shots of sunsets and sunrises. I have never done this with a DSLR so I wanna get it right. I wanna make sure that I have all that I need as far as hardware and I would like some advice on camera setup. I will be taking the K10D and K110D, with the 16-45mm and the 50-200mm primarily but will have others. I have a tripod and a remote shutter, Circular Polarizer filters, and an idea in my head of what types of shots I am looking for. I planned on shooting in Av mode. Will the camera take care of the rest? What should I be paying close attention to? What are my warning signs?

Any advise is most appreciated.

04-26-2007, 08:29 AM   #2
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The only thing you really have to worry about is blowing the exposure, but if you use a decent aperature I don't think this will be a problem.

I suggest taking multiple exposures and combine them in PS for the best shot possible.
04-26-2007, 08:44 AM   #3
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I am not familiar with that technique, just add them one on top or each other and erase away parts that are not needed?
04-26-2007, 04:22 PM   #4
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Going to the beach & need advice?.....sure thing Buddha ......take togs (unless its one of those beaches)...put on sunscreen, wear a hat, swim between the flags and watch out for big grey things with sharp teeth in the water.



Sorry mate, couldn't resist.

Seriously now. Photographing sunrise & set is one of my favourite things, but in no way do I consider myself any good at it (sorry)...so I'm happy to share the following in that context.
I set my DS to AV, let the camera autofocus/expose at a point that is average light, by that I mean do not point it directly at the sun, besides not doing your eyes a lot of good, the exposure will be way off.

Experiment with camera set at P to get an idea of how the exposure is varying, even take a few at different settings so as to see the outcomes and workout what you DO NOT want.

Another good habit to get into is using the bracket mode (its in the manual).
Get there early, try & work out what may happen for the best angles etc. Some of the best light can be before the actual sunrise or after the sun sets.

Always look behind you, because sometimes there can be spectacular things going on with reflections etc. PS: (such as in the first shot, the sun is setting behind me)

A really good book is The Lonely Planet publication "Landscape Photography" by Peter Eastway.

Have a great time and look forward to seeing some results. Here are a couple of my efforts.
Cheers
Grant

First one: Sigma EX DG 24mm f3.5 1/45s ISO 200.
Second: Sigma EX DG 24mm f6.7 1/180s ISO 200
Third: Sigma 18-125 78mm f9.5 1/250 ISO 200


Last edited by Mallee Boy; 08-25-2007 at 04:26 PM.
04-26-2007, 05:21 PM   #5
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I would second the bracketing bit.
04-26-2007, 05:34 PM   #6
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Bracketing, I have heard that term alltoo often, I need to check on that right quick. I bring my camera to work every now and then, but never my manual.
04-26-2007, 05:39 PM   #7
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Bracketing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Good quick read.
04-26-2007, 06:05 PM   #8
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....and, be patient.
Hang about for a short while after the sun has passed below the horizon.
There are often momentary lighting effects of extreme beauty.
So keep looking around and keep re-adjusting the camera for the light etc. to be ready to catch them.
Have fun.

04-26-2007, 06:59 PM   #9
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Buddha:

One of my personal preference when shooting at beaches is to use a tripod, put the camera a the smallest aperture, use neutral density filters (if you have any) the polarizer will help too, and I shoot at a speeds lower than 1/15 of a second. Taking the picture, of course, includes the ocean waves coming and out. The waves and water will give that etheral smooth flowing look. Take many shots, it's not as costly as films.

Also, It's always good if you can capture some "heart beats in the picture", that is to say include people, or birds or any living thing hence heart beats. With the method above, the heart beats would have to be far so that they are moderalety sharp in the picture, although blurring also express movements and makes very interesting pictures.

I would like to see some of them later on.

I also agree that using the Bracker Mode would help getting the right exposure. Set it at 3 or 5 exposures ranging in 1/3EV each. One of those will certainly come out with a very acceptable exposure. I agree with codiac2600, you can juxtapose two frames in photoshop. Using two layers, you use the eraser tool at 20 to 30% transparency with a fairly large brush and erase the over or underexposed section of one of the photo and merge down.

Regards,

Yvon Bourque

Last edited by ebooks4pentax; 04-26-2007 at 07:05 PM.
04-26-2007, 07:51 PM   #10
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If you are shooting ladies at the beach, they really love a great big lens

couldn't resist have some light hearted fun

good luck with your sunsets...
I find that sunsets are most effective when you have something reflective in the foreground like water.... foreground exposed just enought to know it is there but doesn't take away from the main subject, the sunset.

cheers

randy
04-26-2007, 09:40 PM   #11
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Thanks all for the advice and the humor, much appreciated. I am soaking it all in.
04-27-2007, 01:06 AM   #12
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And beware of sand in the camera and lens.
04-27-2007, 07:52 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by GWP Quote
Going to the beach & need advice?.....sure thing Buddha ......take togs (unless its one of those beaches)...put on
For a minute there, I thought you said "take your thong"...

The image sent me reeling away from my monitor...
04-27-2007, 08:20 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Buddha Jones Quote
I am not familiar with that technique, just add them one on top or each other and erase away parts that are not needed?
Or even better, use bracketing and photoshops HDR (high dynamic range) functions. If you’re not familiar with the term, read more at High dynamic range imaging - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
04-27-2007, 04:59 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by blende8 Quote
And beware of sand in the camera and lens.
STRONGLY SECONDED.

I know from sad experience just how frustrating it is to find yourself in a foreign beach town camera shop finding out how much they charge for cameras there. It's a lot more than you want to spend. And Murphy ensures that the sand will always permanently destroy your camera on the first day of your trip, never the last.

It's not enough to tell yourself "I'm no dummy, of course I'm not going to put my camera on the sand". Because you probably will put your bag there, or your shirt, or your towel, or your butt. And when you get back up you will bring sand. Sand works its way into the most surprising places.

Make sure you always have a spotlessly clean place to put it, and make sure that NOTHING comes near that place that hasn't been cleaned, dusted, blown off and inspected. Be really careful!
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