Emily-Jayne – Beach

I didn’t manage to make as many photography trips to the beach this year as normal, or as many as I would have liked, but here is one of them and I thought I’d better blog it now before summer seems to distant a memory.

This is Emily-Jayne and one of this year’s Miss Northern Ireland contestants. Emily-Jayne’s absolute passion in life is horses and Polocorsse in particular, and she told of how trips to the beach for her are usually involving horses and Polocrosse.

Make-up by Catherine.

Here’s a few images from the afternoon…


This isn’t a beach photo, but as with most of our trips to the beach, Catherine will apply the make-up prior to leaving. Whenever possible I will grab a very quick studio shot before we head off.


With hardly a cloud in the sky we had extremely hard afternoon sunlight.
Consistent with my summer experimentation into using hard and direct sunlight, this was a direct sun-only photo.
It would be normal to head for a shaded area in such brutal sunlight, but here my idea was to face Emily-Jayne almost directly into the sunlight.
The shadows are hard, but using the sun like this is no different to me than using a hard, direct flash which seems to be so fashionable. Same result but no flash required, just using the sun. It’s free too 🙂


This was one of my favourite photos of the day and I knew and said to Emily-Jayne when I captured it that it would be black and white in edit.
Exactly the same as previously with direct sunlight but this time I posed Emily-Jayne with her back to the large rocks. I love the hard chin shadow!



This is a combo of sunlight and flash. The direction of the sunlight can be best seen here on Emily-Jayne’s hair and arm. Flash reduced the contrast. The sunlight is also providing great texture on the rocks on the background, and exposure for this was my starting point for this picture.





This is the total opposite now in full shade. Here I still exposed for the background and brought up the exposure on Emily-Jayne with softer, semi-diffused flash.


On to the edge of the water on the beach and this is back to using just the sun again with no flash.



Almost identical to above but a slight change in position (and background). When I’ve no restrictions of shutter speed for flash, I usually always end up at f4 as my aperture on the longer zoom lens (here at 200mm) as I really like the depth of field at these settings.


Some off-camera flash



We had to leave the beach a bit earlier than I’d have liked to, and I knew the light was just starting to get good.
Emily-Jayne had said she really liked the sunset beach pictures I’d did previously, so this was an attempt to ‘cheat the light’ and artificially create a sunset look much earlier in the evening.
There simply wasn’t as much colour and detail visible in the sky at the time, but by massively under exposing in the camera it meant the sky colours came out nicely. The trade off was it then became a huge ask of the flash to output nearly enough power to light Emily-Jayne, who would have been a complete silhouette otherwise.
So not a true sunset shot in the end, but given that this was an extremely bright, into the sun shot at the time with little or no colour visible in the sky and the beach virtually bleached out, I think it worked out well in the end 🙂








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