12 Beach Photography Tips

Capturing the perfect beach photograph is a true balance of water, land, and sky. Encompassing the entire scenery into one attractive photograph may seem like a simple thing; however, there are several beach photography tips that will ensure you capture the perfect shot every time.

1. Take Notice of the Lighting Conditions

Shooting at the beach can create the illusion that the day is a lot longer than it truly is. This is primarily due to the unobscured view of sun rays sparkling off the water. If you want to catch a magically colorful beach photo, beach photography tips state that you should focus on taking photographs during the sunrise or sunset in order to capture a truly amazing color sequence.

photographing beach sunset

2. Remember that Water is Highly Reflective

One of the best tips for beach photography is to focus in before pressing the shutter button. Water is extremely reflective of the sun, which can cause unattractive lighting sequences throughout your photos. Take a few moments to focus in on the photograph before you capture it in order to make sure the camera is not picking up too much light reflection.

3. Try Different Lens Filters

Trying to keep a beach photograph session an experiment is one of the best tips for beach photography you will ever hear. One of the best camera for beach photography allows you to switch out camera filters and take on different views. Try a UV filter or a polarized filter to add a rich touch of blue to your photographs. Some filter types can emphasize various characteristics of the beach in unique and unimaginable ways so it is crucial for you to test them out and see how you can capture the view.

polarized beach sunrise photo
Polarized photo of a beach; Source

4. Use a Lens Hood

Beach photography tips to use a lens hood should not be ignored. This will drastically cut back on the amount of sunlight that is captured in your photograph. Using a lens hood will help you capture the important details you want without all the overwhelming haze.

5. Use the Bracketing Technique to Highlight Features

Some beach photography tips encourage the use of bracketing rather than flash to capture photos of the beach and the sky together. Bracketing mode will shoot the image using several different exposures. This enables you to view the images or merge them together to expose the various elements together with numerous characteristics emphasized.

bracketed exposure example

6. Pay Attention to Your Exposure Settings

Following beach photography tips to pay close attention to your exposure settings will save you a lot of headache during photography sessions. In brighter conditions, you are going to want to use a low ISO setting around 100 or 200. Additionally, a narrow aperture between f14 and f22 will provide the ultimate capture when combined with a moderate speed shutter. A wider aperture and faster shutter speed, combined with a narrow depth of field, works well for providing a portrait-type photograph.

7. Take Advantage of the Weather Conditions

Dark and stormy skies can make you want to run and hide. Instead, incorporate these tips for beach photography and get out there. Stormy skies can create some attractive lighting over the beautiful beach. Additionally, wind and storms can create high waves, which can play beautifully off an attractively colored sky.

foggy stormy beach

8. Choose the Best Camera for Beach Photography

Generally, it is important that you do not go overboard on equipment for beach photography. There is already a wide array of sunlight that you are working it, so it is more important to focus on the lens. One of the most important beach photography tips to consider when selecting your camera is to keep it safe from sand. Do not spend thousands of dollars on something when you are planning to take photographs in a very risky, wet, and sandy location. Instead, cameras with APS-C sensors work extremely well for beach photographs. You should try to find a camera with a prime lens that ranges between 60mm to 100mm and a zoom lens that covers 70mm to 200mm.

9. Remember to Use Flash when Capturing People or Objects

When photographing people or objects on the beach, beach photography tips emphasize the use of flash to capture all the details. Objects being photographed on the beach normally can be overwhelmed by sunlight or shadows. Rather than allow the sun to darken your object, use the flash to highlight the object and create a balance of light with the sun.

beached starfish

10. Use a Spray Bottle to Create a Magical Photograph

With all the water around you, the last thing you are probably thinking is to bring a spray bottle with even more of it to your photo session. If you leave this item at home, you will regret it. Beach photography tips that encourage spraying your camera are few and far between, but they can be some of the best. Spray water onto your lens as you are viewing the scenery in front of you. Adjust your aperture to a wider view to capture all the scenery. Spraying the lens will create a mist that glows beautifully off the sunlight and reflects magically onto the photograph. It creates a sparkling environment that would otherwise be uncapturable.

11. Use a Shutter Drag to Capture Water Motion

One of the easiest beach photography tips you can follow is to slow down your camera’s shutter speed in order to capture the movement of the water. This is especially useful when you are seeing a lot of waves and movement in the water coming toward the shore. Slowing the shutter speed allows you to capture the movement creatively while focusing on the horizon, an object, or person in the photograph.

shutter drag example

12. Try Shooting in Black and White

this tip may seem quite contradictory to wanting to capture the wide array of colors, but taking beach photography in black and white produces some truly magical images. Use a shutter speed around 1/200, an aperture around F/2.8 and an ISO speed around 100 with a fired flash to capture some truly breathtaking images. A polarized filter and red filter will produce a brilliant contrast while reducing flare. Be sure to set the mode to Aperture Priority and allow an external flash to fill in any dark spots.

Following these twelve tips will help you produce some of the most beautiful and interesting beach photographs you could ever imagine. Head out early and plan for a late evening as you spend the day capturing the beautiful view with varying lights, angles, and filters.

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