The beach is normally the first place that comes in our mind when thinking of going on a vacation or trip and creating memories. Beaches offer several wonderful opportunities to photographers since they are part of nature, natural colour, natural beauty, and interesting lights. Beaches offer amazing options for digital photography due to their vast expanse, impressive hues and magnificent patterns of light.
Going to the beach for photography can be pretty delightful, but be sure to adopt the protective measures to your lenses. You can shoot some amazing photos on a windy day, a bright sunny morning or even when it’s raining. The variety of colours and its vividness make all your shots dramatic. Don’t miss applying the appropriate filters and equipment to increase your artistic palette.
So below given are some rules that will help you shoot great pictures with your digital camera at the beach:
Look for focal points
People often think that all beach shots look similar. They are pretty much mistaken. Sea beach is a place full of photographic opportunities once you look beyond the cringe shots. Generally, people love taking shots looking out to the sea, but it looks even more interesting to stand by the edge of the water and turn around completely and look into the frame from that angle. Though Landscape beach photographs can take nice shots, they don’t have any point of interest and thus appear rather boring and empty.
Before taking a shot with the sea in the backdrop, search for a focal point or point of interest where you can rest your eyes and then capture the shot from a definite angle. It can be a pattern in the sand, waves crashing over the rocks, a set of footprints, a tall tower or anything else. Also, keep little things include in the frame that might tell a story about going to the beach like shoes kept at the edge of the water, sunglasses, sandcastles, sunscreen lotions, etc. These little things make Amazon little feature shots that make your vacation album unique and colourful.
Timing is important
The beginning and sunsets of days present the best opportunities to take extraordinary shots at the beach. Not only will there be fewer people at the beach at dawn, but also will you realise that with the sun’s rays falling at a certain angle, you are getting even more interesting effects of colours and shadows especially during sunsets when the sunlight becomes quite golden and warm.
Beaches have a lot of open areas thus providing you with opportunities to take backlight photos. Backlight photos can be taken at any time of the day, but capturing them becomes easier and perfect when the sun is about to set and is close to the horizon. The most dramatic effect to make your beach photographs appear imposing is creating silhouettes. In this case, your object should be placed between your camera lens and the sun. Then adjust the exposure as per the light in the background. The image of the person then appears darker creating the silhouette effect. Strive to keep the horizon square to the framing of your shot. You can also try placing your horizon off-center as centered horizons can make a photo appear like chopped in half.
Go to the Beach When Others Avoid it
Head to the beach during odd climatic conditions, when others tend to avoid it. Dramatic clouds, stormy seas, threatening winds all make for imposing atmospheric shots.
While photographing amid summer on a beach, the camera may lower the exposure of every shot, when using Auto mode, because of such radiant light. If your camera provides the manual mode, you can use that feature to click photos with adjusted exposure levels depending on their respective needs. As per a few people, to get better shots you can just overexpose the shots, the camera thinks of exposing by a stop or two. Every adjustments and technique are different, for different stages of photography, like for brightly lit landscapes, which are mostly catchy, as they sometimes include both shady and bright areas. You can just focus on the areas, which you think need more exposure, since getting everything correct is not always achievable.
Spot metering, a specialty some cameras have, which exposes required parts of the image with more precision as per the user’s need. Using this feature you can get rid of some of the above-mentioned issues while photographing. This feature helps in exposing the shadowed areas more under radiant light. Spot metering enhances the shadowed regions and overexposes the surrounding areas, but it does not affect the main subject.
While clicking portraits of people under bright light, most of the time a shadow got cast over the face due to hats, glasses or some other things. You can overcome this issue by setting the flash while clicking the photo and you will find the shadows eliminated and that the main subject has been exposed. If your subject looks overexposed because of the sunlight, and you cannot decrease the flash strength, step back a little from your subject, and zoom in to get a tighter framing. This will reduce the impact of the flash. As is always said, experimenting is the key.
For a couple of reasons, UV filters prove helpful to beach photographers. In the first place, not only do, they protect your camera lens but also filter out ultraviolet rays in a certain range. This reduces atmospheric haze, which generally appears like a bluish tinge. Though they don’t render any visual impact, they should be the first thing to be bought after buying new lenses.
Also, the polarising filter is one of the most useful lenses that you can add to your digital camera. A polariser lens eliminates some light that is polarised without being too technical. This means that a polariser lens enhances contrasts and decreases reflections. It has the most imposing impact with blue skies, ocean or water. Some people often shoot through their sunglasses, if they don’t have a polariser lens. It is thus advisable to buy a polariser lens and experiment with it to explore the amazing results that you can get.
Black and White filters
Photographers often experiment with their shots and see what effect does stripping a photo of its colour looks like. A black and white shot at the beach completely changes the essence of the mood and the shot. Beach shots taken on overcast days which appear dull and colourless can be made impactful by turning it black and white.
Many people dream of enjoying the sea beach all by themselves, which is not so easy to get. You should avoid going to the beach during the busiest hours of the day. Sea beach at dawn and late nights remain less crowded generally. Photographers generally prefer sunrise, for the golden effect. Shooting beach photographs during day time results in undesirable shadows and hard lights especially on the faces of people. Also, you can visit the beaches that are less popular and hence less visited. One of the best things to do to have the beach free of people is to conduct shoots during off-seasons. Winters are more preferable for this since beaches have e different beauty and vibe. Storms, heavy clouds, currents can make both the sky and sea appear in beautiful colours.
An exclusive variety of flora that breeds all-around a beach adjusts to the extrinsic ambiance, i.e., to the heat, salt, and wind. They are possibly not the largest existence of the world, but are charming. You have to explore the beach, find floral growth regions and witness their beauty. Since they are periodic, everything has to be preplanned before taking action. You can use those floral regions as your background in photos, but for getting a better angle which would include all the artistry of both the flowers and the beach, you have to adjust yourself according to their height and click respectively.
You can also add the foggy effect and adjust the field view so that it doesn’t overrule the photo. When you are doing photography at noon or sometime around that, you can simply just adjust your camera and lower the shadow effect to get better photos of the flowers. To do that, you can simply use a parasol, or a piece of cloth or even your or someone else’s body to create a shadow that would cover the flower and its neighbouring. Or else, in a much more efficient way, you can use the small foldable light diffuser already installed in the camera for these kinds of purposes.
Beach photography can be approached in a lot of ways, depending on the season or time of the day. You can experiment with your shutter scene or do a long exposure to make the clouds and water look silky. You can take advantage of the golden effect during dawn and sunsets and also of the backlight. You can do portrait, landscape or nature photography. Shoots at the beach have always been interesting. There is so much to explore and exhibit.
Interested in nature photography? Read this article about it.