Just because the Golden Hour is over doesn’t mean it’s ok to pack up your equipment and go grab a slice of pizza. Yes the hour before sunset can give you beautiful light, everybody knows that. But stick it out for a little longer, the glow in the sky combined with the last ambient light of the day can match up to give some wonderful light.
This is also when those fast lenses that are so expensive start to pay off. That faster aperture allows faster shutter speeds and also captures more of the light spilling from various sources that cannot be planned on, they just happen. Also remember to watch your ISO so that you get just that right combination of image quality but not to much grain. The auto ISO setting can be vary helpful.
These showers are always placed just between the beach and the parking areas so they are usually good areas to try at the end of the day. This particular beach has two sets of showers located a short distance from each other so I was walking back and forth and shooting based on the number of people and by the rapidly changing lighting conditions. I find people cleaning their hair and feet make the best images.
There seems to be an ongoing discussion in all forums about using UV filters on lenses. Some say why degrade that expensive lens with a filter and others say protect that expensive lens with a filter. No matter what your preference on the issue is I recommend always using a protection filter at the beach. Salt water spray is very corrosive to camera lenses and bodies so I see no reason to take chances. Even if your not right at the waters edge that spray can go a long way if the wind is blowing. I remember a camera repairman showing me a camera that was not functional because of one grain of sand. It was hard to believe but it was literally one grain of sand.
Remember, bad light can be good light.