Sunsets never seem to be cliche, thought there a millions (if not billions) of images of them. Even while I was shooting Jess there were a number of iPad, phone, and even DSLR shooters along our stretch of the beach. I think we were the only ones using strobe, though.
For this yoga sequence, we went from filling (matching the ambient exposure) to key shifting as the evening wore on. Though not as dramatic in terms of sky, I tend to prefer the ones before the sun actually sets where the ambient still contributes significantly to the exposure and I am more filling than shifting key from the ambient to my strobe. I did not use a modifier other than the reflector/diffuser; I find that even though it is a small light source (and by definition a “hard” light), between the forgiveness of the ambient and the design of the Quadra’s head and reflector that the results are nonetheless pleasing.You can see the sharp definition of the shadow on her right foot indicative of “hard” light. Minimizing gear also makes it much easier to work with when you’re on the beach, with the wind blowing, and you are moving fast.
This unposed shot of an exposure test illustrates the lighter look I like.
Contrast this shot with the post-sunset image (involving Belle was mandatory) where exposure is now determined solely by the strobe. It has that “flash” look to it, unavoidable at this time of night with any action in the frame that needs to be frozen while still maintaining detail both in the sky and in the models.
In the end, at least for me, it is the interest that a human (or canine) subject ads that makes the image. Contrast that first image – with a nice ambient/strobe balance – and a yogi, with a shot of just the sunset itself.
To me, it seems like something is missing.