Framing a fashion shoot with clouds

How The Shot Was Made

Equipment Used
Nikon D850, 70-200mm f2.8
Time of Day
Around 6pm in October, cloudy so golden hour light was hidden
Salton Sea, CA
Camera Settings
f5.6 and f9, shutter speed and ISO matched to give appropriate exposure dependent on aperture setting
salton sea photoshoot
salton sea photoshoot
salton sea photoshoot

Key Points

A storm blowing by Palm Springs is generally a sign that the sky will be amazing at the Salton Sea. Clearly there was such a storm on this day's photo shoot. I wanted open horizons to give a clean outline to the shape the of the dress we had to shoot. The dramatic clouds and the shapes they made just added to the compositions.

I shot the wider shots at f9 to keep details in the clouds sharp, rather than blurred. I find that photographers can get tunnel vision with what aperture they shoot at. It can add a lot to an editorial shoot to switch between large apertures and smaller ones for sharper backgrounds. 
salton sea photoshoot
salton sea photoshoot


At first I was shooting in a way where only the model and the clouds would be visible. I loved the opportunity to compose shots with the edge of the storm clouds, giving lots of negative space with dynamic shapes to one side. The moon giving a shape amongst the negative space was added in photoshop to give a more dreamy appearance. Once I got several shots of just the clouds, I began to utilize the rocks in the foreground. I also began to shoot at a lower angle to get the Salton Sea into the shot as well. This added even more layers and gave a lot of depth that can be difficult to get at other locations and under clear skies.

The biggest takeaway I hope you all get from this shoot is that if you see storm clouds nearby, to immediately head somewhere with an open horizon! Take advantage of all the dynamic shapes in the sky with great, diffused lighting! 
salton sea photoshoot
salton sea photoshoot


There is no comment on this post. Be the first one.

Leave a comment