Glamour in your LensThe Weather
But don't even try when it's really cold. Trying to make your model look warm and happy and comfortable when she isn't won't work. Professional models have to be prepared to model swimsuits in January, and they develop a technique for it--no to mention the constitution of a polar bear. Ordinary girls, however, even if you are cruel enough to make them wear swimsuits when furs would be more reasonable, can't look as if they were enjoying it, certainly not for long. A couple of exposures, perhaps. No more.
So the first essential is that the weather should be warm.
When it's warm but not sunny, all is not lost. In this case there generally won't be any blue sky, and it doesn't matter much whether you use a filter or not. Since you have only a blank white sky which will add little or nothing to your pictures, concentrate on shots from a high angle this time. In addition to giving more exposure, give a little more development: instead of trying to cut down contrast, you could now do with a little more. Don't suggest sunbathing in your pictures; they won't look right. Move closer to your model; her face will look very attractive in this soft light, her figure less so. This is also a good time for bathing pictures--the spray will still be white and sparkling.
If the light is too soft to provide sufficient modelling, flash can be used to simulate sunlight. In this case the flash should be at about the normal flash-to-subject distance for indoor photography. This technique needs very careful handling if the result is not to look artificial and even peculiar.
When it's raining there are two things you can do on the beach--gimmick and bathing pictures. Gimmick pictures can't be listed. They should suggest themselves--a girl in a swimsuit with a raincoat over her head, for example, or carrying all her clothes and dashing for shelter. If after you've made your model pose in the rain you find your lens was wet and the exposure is ruined, it serves you right.
When photographing in the rain, select a shutter speed that will give the effect of an actual shower. That will depend on your lens and on the lighting conditions. Too fast a speed will freeze the separate drops in the air in an unusual manner. Too slow a speed will register the drops as streaks--which may, on occasion, be the effect that is wanted.
If your model has a glamorous raincoat and matching hat, these an be brought into play. Study some of the advertisements for mackintoshes--advertisers have learnt that an attractive girl can make a glamorous picture even in wet weather garb.
An umbrella, too, can make an interesting picture, particularly if it is ornamental in itself. Let your model peer up at the sky from under its edge or struggle to open it in a high wind.
Bold costume overcomes the dull lighting. Photo Philip Gotlop.
When it's windy you naturally take advantage of the wind for a few exposures of hair flying, skirts billowing, towels blowing straight out, and things of this sort. But the opportunities are limited on the beach and you'll find that it takes a high wind to do these things--too high for comfort during the rest of the session.
You need not stick to the beach for windy weather pictures. Here again the "outdoor girl" comes into her own. This is an occasion for poses that suggest movement and activity--rock climbing, crossing a stile, gardening and so on. Make sure the clothes are suited to this type of shot--anything madly eccentric will create the wrong effect.
When it's snowing go indoors. But afterwards, if the sun comes out, you can get sparkling shots of your model snow-balling.
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