Tips for shooting great beach pictures

If you’ve been to the beach in recent times, you probably shot a few selfies and posted them on social media to let everyone know what a good time you had. But what if you want to go a step further and actually do some real beach photography? I was on Boynton Beach recently doing a photo shoot. Here are some of my photo tips for the beach.

The beach is one of the more challenging settings to shoot pictures in, and not just because you might get sand and water in your camera. You could say it’s a pleasant environment for people, but a harsh one for cameras. Here are some tips on overcoming this and coming up with some great pictures.

Bright, bright, bright beach pictures

Of course dealing with the brightness was going to form the first batch of advice. You’d be hard-pressed to find a brighter environment than the beach during mid-day(Heaven, perhaps?)

The brightness can easily stop an inexperienced photographer from taking good photos, and especially ones that show enough contrast between objects. To fight it, you might try one out of several filters designed to make the brightness less pronounced.

For example, a polarizing filter will do wonders for beach pics as it provides fullness to parts of a picture that might otherwise seem like nothing but a single bland shade of a color. While polarizing filters will tend to change the coloring a bit, expect the overall picture to be greatly improved as unseen details come out to light. Other filters you can experiment include ND and UV filters, although neither comes close to the polarizing one.

To fight the brightness, you’ll also have to find the right exposure. To get that truly great beach photo, forget the auto setting and be ready to take some bad manual shots. There’s no such thing as a uniform exposure – it will all depend on the particular day and location. In general, though, low ISO settings and a fast shutter speed are said to produce best results.

Don’t forget the flash on the beach

While it might seem counter-intuitive, flash for beach pictures is actually a good thing. You might have noticed that your beach pics are plagued by shadows over faces and so forth, despite the overall brightness.

Your camera usually won’t agree to use flash in such a setting, so you’ll have to force it. The results should be apparent soon after, and you’ll have a hard time believing you ever allowed your camera to fool you into taking flash-less beach shots.

What are you taking pictures of?

People seem to forget the basics of photography when taking beach pictures, most likely because of how breathtaking the environment is.

Everyone can take a panoramic picture of the horizon and sky. To create those beach pictures worthy of admiration, you’ll have to come up with unusual content for the photos – artistic angles, a different lens, people doing unusual things… Don’t rely solely on the visual appeal of your location to get a nice picture. Instead, observe your surroundings through the eyes of an experienced photographer, and you’ll see lots of picture-taking opportunities that weren’t apparent before.