I have always had an idea to photograph with studio lights in the ocean and waves. The light is already pretty beautiful on the beach in Hawaii, so on these shots I wanted to accentuate the light, and continue that theme as the sun sets. It actually was more challenging than I thought it would be.
I couldn't always put lights where I wanted them because of the water and waves. There were two main shots I visualized when I planned the shoot. The first was the model laying in the water tangled in nautical rope. A key part of the shoot was to overpower the sun and still shoot at f2.8. I used the new RFS 2.2 trigger to sync the flash at any shutter speed, even up to 1/8000 sec. What I enjoyed the most about it, is that it worked seamlessly. Once I set it to “HS Mode” I could change my shutter speed to anything and it just worked. I could even change the power of each light in 1/10 stop increments from the camera, perfect for when I had a light on a rock cliff above the ocean, like I did in this first setup. I used a 5 foot Octabox and a Siros L 800 as a fill and a 2.5 foot Octabox with a soft grid as the key light from a rock cliff about 10 feet away from the model. It created a crisp light with almost a direct sunlight feeling but with a more concentrated beam of light that fell dark quickly on the model’s body.
The next setup I used the 5 foot Octabox to fill in the shadows so I could see the sky in the background without loosing detail. The sun acted as a rim light to cut her out of the background.
As the sun set, I used two lights to accentuate the dramatic light, darkening the background to make it more like night time. I put a 2.5 foot Octabox very close to the models face and used the larger Octabox mirroring the first, leaving dark shadows in-between.
I had a lot of fun in Hawaii shooting this shipwrecked theme shoot and I was pleased with how all the equipment held up to travel and all the sand.
Model: Kandace Wolshin @kandacewolshin
Dress: Niki Boles
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