Class 3: Redondo Beach Pier

So I was happy to get out to this class. I enjoy shooting the ocean and was looking forward to doing it at night. Our first task of the night was to use our (gasp) flash! Ugh; I know. But let me explain. Patrick asked us, “How do you capture a subject up close while keeping the background in view and interesting at night?” For instance, photographing a person up close while shooting a sunset behind. Without the flash, the person will be a black silhouette. With a flash, the background is lost in darkness. Quite the conundrum. By using the right lens, aperture, shutter speed and ISO, you can create this photo. My shots with my 50mm prime lens worked fine, giving the background of the beach lights a nice “bokeh” effect.
We then wandered around the pier, taking in the sights. The view from the pier looking back toward Palos Verdes and South Redondo was fantastic. I wanted to get a nice glassy ocean reflecting the lights on the beach so I shot a 30 second exposure and was pleasantly surprised with the “star-bursts” of light.
Moving on, the pier was bustling with people: fishermen at the railing, diners eating at the multitude of restaurants and walkers strolling around. Plenty of interesting subjects. I wanted to ask some of the people if I could photograph them but lost my nerve. I did capture some good scenes with long exposures, blurring out defining characteristics of the people on the pier. The area that I was shooting was lit with a horrible green fluorescent light which made my color shots look horrible. I switched over to black and white and was pleased with the results.
I then shifted my attention to shooting the pier itself, attempting to capture the light on the water, coming under the pier, through the pylons. I tried to shoot the action of the waves breaking on the beach but even with the aperture at f/1.8, I couldn’t get enough light at a fast enough shutter speed to get any good photos. I settled for some multicolored reflections on the water. I felt this was a very good class. Good shots and I learned something new! Below are my better shots, a few more this time…
1/25 second exposure, f/1.8, 50mm, ISO 400
Beach lights
30 second exposure, f/22, 50mm, ISO 100
10 second exposure, f/16, 50mm, ISO 200
Night pier
1 second exposure, f/5, 42mm, ISO 200
Redondo and pier
6 second exposure f/10, 29mm, ISO 200
4 second exposure, f/9, 50mm, ISO 100
Reflections of Tony's
1/40 second exposure, f/1.8, 50mm, ISO 1600


One thought on “Class 3: Redondo Beach Pier

  1. Pingback: Night Photography Class 5: Manhattan Beach Pier | Matthew Johnson

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