Beaches present us with excellent opportunities to capture amazing digital photographs. Their vast natural beauty, impressive hues, and fascinating patterns of light are great sources of inspiration. Unsurprisingly, some consider a beach to be a dream destination for a family vacation, honeymoon or an intimate get-away. Here are some tips to help you capture more exciting and creative beach photographs.
When photographing at the beach you’ll need protective gear; a UV filter, camera bag, and plastic housing if possible, to keep sand and water out. Cleaning cloths are handy more often that you’d expect. A polarizing filter is very useful as it helps cut down on flare and improves the color of water and the sky. A separate, powerful flash device, or a circular reflector are very useful. If you plan on shooting in black & white, then you might want to invest in a red 25 filter to increase the drama of the sky by increasing the contrast of the clouds.
Time of the Day
Once the sun has started to set, return to the beach with a tripod to take images of the sky and sea. The water looks calm and the sunset will captivating and vibrant colors. Place the camera on a sturdy tripod because of the lower light levels, and set the mode dial to TV or S (Shutter-Priority) mode. Select a shutter speed of 2 seconds to begin with. You may need to use an ND (Neutral Density) filter to reduce the amount of light hitting the camera, and this way the camera will allow you to have a longer shutter time. Use your camera’s self-timer or a cable release to take the photo with absolutely no blurring.
Being at the beach is all about fun, so make sure you capture it. Get your friends or family to run on the sand; set the mode dial to M (Manual mode) and use a shutter speed of at least 1/500th of a second to freeze the movement. Remember to protect your camera and lens from all the sand; always use a clear UV filter to protect the lens and electrical tape around the area where the lens fits onto the camera body.
Try Shooting in Black & White
A strong sun will produce a high contrast B & W image, because of the strong shadows and light areas. A polarizing filter and a red filter will bring out the contrast in the image as well as reduce flare. Let the camera choose the correct shutter speed. Use an external flash to fill in any dark spots. B & W photography is great for making a photo better if the sky is overcast and dull. The result is an almost white background making it perfect for beach portraits. B & W beach images help to create the mood of a timeless/more artistic shot.
Taking your camera to the beach can be an awesome, but be sure to take the right protective measures. You can capture amazing shots on a bright sunny day, an overcast day or even when it’s raining. The strong sun lets you use fast shutter speeds and small apertures for sharp photos that stop all motion. The vivid and varied colors at the beach add excitement to all your photographs. Don’t forget the appropriate filters and equipment to enhance your artistic palette. Since you’re nowhere near a power source be sure to bring enough batteries and memory cards! Experiment with black & white photography while you’re there. The water will show up as a deep shade of grey in most cases, which can make a great background. Being residents of the great city of Los Angeles, all of us at Digital Imaging Center are no strangers to beach trips with friends and family. Those memories will stay with you for many years to come, and many, many more with photographs to remind us. Hanging around your home or custom photo gifts like the ones we’re known for. Precious moments can happen in a flash, and hopefully your shutter speed will react accordingly 😉
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