I shot this commission a while ago and I have been meaning to write it up since then. The story was about a school head teacher who owns a horse that she keeps in stables near the sea. She refers to her horse as her "work life balance" - something that we all need, but few of us have quite such a visible symbol of it!
Being a teacher, she is at school most days. During the holidays she gets away to the coast and rides whenever she can and if the tide is right she can ride on the beach. It was an October morning and we met at dawn in the car park near the stables. My brief was to get a double page spread for a magazine which showed her enjoying herself.
Of course photographers rarely get to choose the weather and it was raining with a reasonably strong wind. The tide was just right (we checked the tables in advance) and so we started to shoot some pictures of her riding on the sand. It's a stretch of coast that I know well and I knew that there was a high chance of poor weather. There's nothing that you can do when the deadline is tight except to shoot the best pictures that you can.
The picture above was taken towards the end of the session and by this time it was getting lighter. The exposure was up to 1/500th of a second at f3.5 on a 24-70 f2.8L lens. We had started at 1/125th at f2.8 and the light was doubling every twenty minutes or so. Unusually for me I shot this job without lights, without flash - just good old ambient. Had there been any sunshine, there would have been the complicating factor of having to shoot almost directly into the sun if I wanted to stay on the beach.
Most of the pictures were taken on a 70-200 f2.8L lens and I made use of a monopod whilst the light was low. I shoot on beaches quite a lot and I always take a large piece of plastic to sit my camera bag and anything else that I put down onto. If the plastic sheet is big enough, you can also use it to wrap everything but sand still gets in and salt still seems to coat everything.