Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Shaun, Christine, and Shaemus

Saturday was the first truly beautiful day of 2009 with the temp reaching the upper 70's. Shaun and Christine have been trying to arrange a family photo shoot for a couple of months but it seems that every time we made an attempt, the weather was horrible or someone had to go out of town. Well I was excited when Christine pinged me on Friday and asked if I was available for Saturday afternoon. Shaemus' birthday is this week and they really wanted some portraits before he turned 1.

I planned to shoot at 3 different locations that I had checked previously and knew would make for some great images. What I didn't plan on was that it being the first gorgeous day this year, everyone would be out at the oceanfront and my planned locations would be completely overran. The first stop was the VA Beach Fishing Center where my friend Jill over at Sit.Stay.Smile Photography did some awesome images a few weeks ago. There are two pastel colored sheds there that would make for awesome backdrops; however, when I arrived the parking lot was completely full and the sheds were blocked by several trucks. I scratched plans to do anything at the south end of the beach, called Shaun and Chris, and told them to meet me up at 84th street.

While temps were close to 80 degrees inland, on the beach they were running in the low 60's due to the wind whipping off of the 45-degree ocean. Just one block over you could be comfortable in shorts but right on the ocean, it was very chilly. I have to hand it to Shaun, Christine, and Shaemus as well as Chad (Shaun's brother) and his girlfriend Megan who came out to assist for hanging in there for awhile.

The other challenge was the timing. I didn't plan to get to the north end until later in the day just as the sun was dropping and we had that beautiful golden light. Instead we were there at 4:00 with the sun absolutely blazing, posing serious issues with the hard light and deep shadows. The single photos of Shaemus were shot under a canopy of trees covering the walkway to the ocean. Fill light came from the side of a white house about 200 feet to camera left. To offset the sun on the beach, I had a bigger challenge. I used an off-camera strobe opposite the sun to knockdown the sun light. Neither the 285HV or the Nikon-900 had enough power shooting thru a softliter to really overpower the sun, but they did enable me to balance the light for some decent exposures and to pull some color from the sky.

The photos were imported into Adobe Lightroom were they were cataloged, rated, received inital processing. They were then taken into Adobe Photoshop CS3 for additional tweaks as needed.

This was a very fun shoot and even with the challenges, some excellent images came out of it. I can't wait to work with them again in the near future!


Shannon said...

Great usual!

I hope your training is going well, I miss you.

Jill Beninato said...

They turned out great Travis...that bright sun can be a real challenge but you worked it out...Beautiful shots.