You’ll enjoy beach photography, or any photography, and the results, if you take the time to learn the “secrets” of better beach photos.
The first secret to better beach photography is dedicating some time to find the best times, places and angles to shoot landscape beach pictures. Use the first hour of your first day on the beach to scout and explore the beach. These first few tips will help you find those excellent beach photography locations. Take your digital camera with you on your scouting expeditions, but don’t take any pictures! As you find the best places to shoot beach photos, look through your digital camera just to confirm that you can shoot the kind of beach photography you want at that location. Of course, if you discover a location and an image that is perfect, then certainly take a picture. You’ll also want to pay attention to how the light and environment changes during the day, even if you’re enjoying other beach activities. With that knowledge, you’re much more likely to capture beach photography your family and friends will want to see again and again.
The time of day is also a secret to better beach photography. Typically, sunrise and sunset will provide more unique light and color conditions. You may record some of your most interesting landscape beach photography on stormy and cloudy days, with rough surf and dramatic skies. You can make this type of beach photography even more spectacular if you’re shooting with a DSLR camera with a polarizing filter on the lens. A polarizing filter increases the contrast between different shades of light and color, so the clouds in a stormy sky in your beach pictures are more distinctive. The filter also makes the blue of a cloudless sky or a tropical sea deeper and richer.
The next secret to improve your beach photography is to look for specific features of or on the beach to become the points of interest in your beach pictures. A boat pulled onto the beach, a single umbrella, or natural objects, such as driftwood, a palm tree or the sun and the moon, are just a few examples. Then, compose your beach photos with the featured object (or people) using the rule of thirds. When you look through your camera, imagine two equally spaced vertical and horizontal lines creating a gird of nine squares (like Tic-Tac-Toe). You want to place the point of interest at any of the four intersections of the lines, or along the lines, in the case of the horizon. One of the major mistakes of vacation photographers is to shoot beach pictures with the horizon at the centerline of the picture. Simply putting the horizon along one of those imaginary horizontal lines will immediately improve your beach photography.
There are also a few secrets to beach photography with people. After all, most beach vacations are with family or friends, or for couples. Technically speaking, there is too much light on a beach. The intense rays of the sun combine with the light reflecting from the white sand, making it difficult to shoot beach photos of your family and friends. They are wearing sunglasses that hide their eyes and maybe hats with large brims, which cast deep shadows on their faces. The most obvious tip is not to take beach pictures of people with the sun behind them. Although you want the sun illuminating their faces instead, that can cause people to squint and make the shadows on their faces even deeper. If your camera has spot metering, then you can take those beach photos of people with the sun behind them. Set the picture’s exposure based on the reading from their shadowed faces and the camera will allow more light, so everyone will be recognizable in those beach photos. You may want to fill the frame with the individual or group because the background will become very bright. The other lighting secret for better beach photography of people is to use your flash to fill those shadowed faces with light, and still expose for the ambient light level.
If you enjoy the beach and want better beach pictures of your fun there, then try some of these tips during every visit. It’s a great reason to return and improve your beach photography.