Beaches are the ideal travel destination for 53% of travelers. Whether it’s a walk along the shore, an ocean swim, or simply sunbathing on the sand, there are always plenty of things to do at the beach. Beaches also provide amazing opportunities to capture stunning photographs. By putting in the effort to perfect your shots, you can take unique and incredible beach photos that will really capture your experience.
Invest in good gear
You don’t need a lot of expensive equipment to take great beach photography. However, a few good-quality pieces can give you better results than just using your smartphone. A basic photography kit should first include a compact and lightweight camera. A DSLR camera, for example, creates beautiful and professional-grade photos thanks to its powerful sensors and high megapixel counts. A lens kit can also help create precise shots. In particular, a wide-angle lens is ideal for landscape photography. Additionally, a tripod is a must — this will help keep your camera in place and steady. Tripods are particularly valuable when shooting at slower shutter speeds at lower light levels, which is the case for sunset photography.
Shoot at golden hour
Golden hour (the hour after sunrise or before sunset) is the best time to take beach photos. During this time frame, the beach is flooded with a soft, warm and diffused light. And when the sun is lower in the sky, you likely won’t have to deal with the potential problems of overexposure and strong highlights. Always arrive at the beach at least an hour early, and give yourself time to check out the location, set up your equipment, and experiment with different lenses and settings. Keep in mind that the best lighting may happen earlier than you anticipate, which is why it pays to get there early. For example, the shadows cast on the ground half an hour before sunset may provide the perfect shot, or the sun may momentarily go behind a cloud and create beautiful yet unexpected beams of light.
Create an interesting shot
When composing your beach photography, play around with the foreground and background. Rather than letting them take up equal space, take turns making each one the focus — giving them equal weight can sometimes create a boring photo. You can also add interest by checking if there are any incoming waves or rock formations, and let that area take up more space. Also work with the clouds. Clouds imbue landscape photographs with beauty, detail and interest — particularly sunset photography. Whether they’re fluffy, scattered or wispy, pay attention to the clouds and how they color and influence the lighting. However, you don’t want to capture too many clouds, which can block the light and potentially end up looking flat and boring. You want to aim for the right balance to perfect your shot.
The beach provides ample opportunity for unique and beautiful photography, particularly at sunrise or sunset. By investing in good gear, shooting at golden hour, and creating an interesting shot, you’ll be better positioned to create stunning beach photography.
Written by Jeniffer Dawson