My recent photoshoot «Sandcastles» was all about sun, sand and fun. The project was an ode to the child within us, a tribute to letting ourselves not give up on viewing the world in color and to childhood imagination. Unfortunately, this feeling is for many people as fleeting as a sandcastle. Once waves of adult problems appear, it gets washed away never to return.
I have always been fascinated by mixing natural light with strobes. When shooting with natural light and strobes, a good starting point is to set the ISO first. By setting the ISO first, you will control how dark/bright as well as how detailed you want your background to be.
After the ISO is set, you should focus on the shutter speed. The shutter speed will help define how much natural light will leak into your frame. The slower you go with the shutter speed, the more natural light will come through. Nevertheless, I needed to keep it fast enough to not have motion in my images, since I didn't want to use a tripod, yet wanted my model to move a lot to capture more moody shots. I ended up setting my shutter speed to 100.
When I work in these kind of light conditions (natural light and strobes), I want to give my images a more realistic feel. I focus on the strobes filling just the darkest areas of my main subject. In this way, the images turn out softer, not too "flashy", and imitate absence of strobes. In this case, I set the ISO to around 200-300 and the intensity of the strobe had to be set accordingly.
For this shoot I used the most convenient light, the Siros L 800. It is light, mobile and easiy to transport. It's a perfect choice for shooting on location. In addition, I believe that it has a color temperature that compliments natural light best.
In order to have rim light around my model, I used the sun and added the Siros L 800 with a Octabox from the front to fill the dark areas. For some shots, I used a reflector to add drama as well as soften the shadows.
The final result turned out to be exactly what I was aiming for, juicy editorial images that conveyed the mood perfectly.
Why do we stop building sandcastles? Sand is always there. Yes, it will eventually fade. But our ability to build new ones will remain, if we just let it out to play every once in a while. Keep the child within alive, gather that sand and enjoy the breeze. No matter which currants will come.