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Tips for This Summer’s Beach Photography

Posted by Jacob Hawthorne on

Temperatures are rising and summer is on its way. If you are a photographer, you’ll probably be heading to the beach to get some greats shots of the season.


There are many elements to consider when shooting at the beach. There’s the glare, the sand and the movement. Even though there are so many great shots to take, it can be difficult to get the results you are hoping for.


This article will give you beach photography tips that will help you to bring home a batch you are proud of.


Shoot in RAW


The glare on the beach means you may be dealing with exposure issues. If you shoot in RAW, you will be able to fix these issues in post-processing so you can improve your shots.


Focus on an Object


When at a beach, there is so much landscape to enjoy, the sea, the sun, the sky…BORING!


Even though beach landscape makes a lovely shot, it’s all been done before. To make your shots compelling, consider adding in an object. Even catching a beach chair at the right angle can elevate your photos.


Shoot at Sunrise or Sunset


Sunrise and sunset are considered golden hours for photographers because they fill beaches and other areas with a warm, diffused light that’s perfect for shooting. As an added bonus, the beach will be emptier at these hours of the day.


Pack an Air Blower and Lens Cloth


Shooting at the beach means you may get sand or water on your lens that can ruin a photo. The air blower will keep the elements away while the cloth will keep the lens clean in case it gets wet or dirty.


Bring a Tripod


Many photographers leave their tripods home because they add weight to their bags. However, they are great for keeping the camera steady as you experiment with shutter speeds.


Use a Polarizing Filters


Polarizing filters are ideal for enhancing colors and preventing overexposure. They will also minimize glare.


Play with Shutter Speed


With so many moving objects on the beach, playing with shutter speed may be the best way to get great photos. The longer the shutter speed is open, the more effective it will be in slowing down the movement of water, clouds and other moving elements. It can also add a sense or movement to stable objects.


As a rule, shutter speeds of 1/8 to ½ a second will produce a slight blur. Blurs will be more pronounced at speeds of 15 to 30 seconds.


Use a Wide-Angle Lens


A wide-angle lens brings out objects in the foreground of a photograph and adds depth to the background. This effect will make your beach photography even more stunning.


Sun Stars


Sun stars happen when sunlight peeks out from an object to produce a star-like effect. They are more likely to occur when apertures are set to f/11 or smaller and the photo is taken when the sun is partially visible.


The light splits across the blades of the camera’s lens aperture to create the appearance of a sun star.


Use Your Camera’s Exposure Compensation Feature


Many cameras have an Exposure Value dial that works to override its meter. If the EV is at +1, it will brighten the image. If it’s at -1, it will darken the images. The higher the number is set for on either end, the greater the effect will be.


Using the EV dial can help compensate for images that are too dark or too bright.


Stay Away from ISO Setting When Using Your Smartphone


If you are shooting with a smartphone, your aperture will be set. Therefore, you will have to count on your ISO and Exposure Time to control exposure.


Be careful when using ISO. Although it can be effective in some circumstances, it tends to add noise to the photo and ends up doing more harm than good.


This summer, many photographers will be heading out to the beach. The tips in this article will help you work around the elements, so you come back with some great shots. What do you recommend doing to ensure you get terrific photos of your summer outings?

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