Sunset, California Style

For awhile now I’ve known that sunset photographs are a dime a dozen. Heck, the sun sets just about every day around these parts. Sunsets are wonderful to experience in person. But to make a really good photograph, you need to put people in front of them.

Last weekend was a great opportunity for just that! I had taken this family’s Christmas portraits last year around this time, and we had a similar experience. Perhaps they’re lucky? This family didn’t bring their two australian shepherds this time, but that’s ok. Nice dogs…convinced me to get one of my own in fact! It’s great when wonderful people, nice light, and the right timing come together. And that’s what we had!

[click “continue reading” below for more…]

I know it’s a tired cliche, but it’s amazing how fast kids grow up when you haven’t seen them in awhile. When you’re around them every day, sometimes you wish they’d grow up a little faster! But it’s been a year since I’ve seen this boy, and…well he’s a big boy now! And a real ham too. He and I had a great time getting his parents to laugh and smile, and that of course is the key. Get the little one giggling, and everyone else follows.

Technical stuff: it was a slightly overcast light, so I didn’t bother pulling out the Norman. Instead I used the SB-28 as my main light, through the ubiquitous 53″ shoot-through umbrella. I gelled a Sunpak 333 with a ‘liquid amber gold’ gel, and used it as a hair/edge light. For the images above and below, the edge light is to camera right. It helps the sun out a little bit, which seemed more concerned with putting on a show in the distance than actually doing any work where we were. Nice soft light as main, nice definition on the edges, and very natural looking.

And below was a test shot after we’d moved locations, but I liked his quizzical expression and the seriously knocked-down ambient. The edge light is just out of frame, and even though it’s snooted, it’s causing flare which resulted in a light circle above his left shoulder. As far as I concerned, it adds character to the shot. And it’s a very manly shot! Needs to go in an issue of Esquire or something.

One thought on “Sunset, California Style

  1. Great job Matt, you know I am a big fan of both the beach and sunset shots. Hope you had a good Thanksgiving.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.