Photography and holidays are two concepts that attract. Almost the same can be said about holidays and beach. Following the syllogism, the beach and photography should also get along quite well. So today we are going to scrutinize some photography tips and tricks to get better our pictures on the beach.
The first thing to know is that the beach is a hostile environment for the cameras. Salt water, sand, high temperatures and so on. This means that either you have an off-road camera or you should take special care of it.
But the bad news does not end here. The conditions of the exhibition are also against us: the sun, a very powerful light creating shadows, the high contrast between the sand and the sea or people bothering the frame all the time, do not help either.
However, and here comes the good, the photos in this environment can be wonderful. For this there are some simple rules that we can follow to improve the results, or at least not to fall into the typical errors. And the best thing is that if in the end we get a good image, we can always fall into the temptation to make a poster or a large print with it.
Photography tips and tricks : What to photograph?
A beach day can give a lot of itself, and capturing all the activities of the day can be fun. The number of situations that we can capture with our camera to tell an attractive story is limited but interesting. From the typical landscapes and sunsets (you can learn to make better sunsets in this post), to portraits – avoiding the artificial beach poses – of children or adults. Neither can we stop taking advantage of any kind of aquatic or sports activity that can be photographed from a distance with a good telephoto or close-up with a good camera. All this can be complemented with details of nature as shells, artificial, as castles of sand, or culinary, as the food of the beach bar.
Photography tips and tricks : Watch out for the sun
Although light is our friend, the sun is our enemy. This is because the sun on the beach emits light of high intensity, especially in the average hours of the day. This type of light produces very hard shadows – especially in portraits. The ideal is to photograph at the first or last hour of the day, when the light is softer and also creates a relaxing atmosphere.
If there is no choice but to photograph people with the sun falling to the ground, you can always find a shaded area under trees or an awning. If all else fails, the last cartridge we can use is the fill flash. The extra light from the flash will at least lighten the ugly shadows that form on the face.
Photography tips and tricks : Avoid back lighting
Directly related to the above and unless we precisely seek to make a photo backlit – a thing more complicated than it seems – we must avoid taking photos with the sun behind the main object. As good as it seems to come out in the preview, having such a powerful light source behind will lower the level of detail and color of the image. In addition, in general what interests us is to enlighten the subjects.
Mind you, that does not mean the backlights go wrong. If you know the technique well the result can be beautiful and the beach can be a good place to start, for example at sunset around the sunset.
Photography tips and tricks : Perspective, framing and background
The key to a good photo is in the details. Details like spending a few seconds looking for a good perspective and a better frame can be the difference between a boring photo or a memorable one.
In a normal beach situation the terrain is inclined and that means that unless the photographer changes his point of view, the bottom of the image will be sand or water. This can saturate the image with elements and distract the look on the main object. That is why sometimes bending a little in this type of photos can give a new and less crowded view, leaving the sand or the sea in the bottom third of the image, with the horizon line below the protagonist.
According to the best photography tips ad tricks, it is also important to control the background of the image and the framing as much as possible. Using the classic rules of composition is always a good idea and if it is necessary to wait a few minutes for everything to fit (light, people, waves, etc.) … well.
Photography tips and tricks: the polarizer
A trick 100% non-digital but that can help to obtain a more attractive images is to use a polarizing filter in front of the objective. This type of filter eliminates reflections as well as parasitic lights, improving the saturation of colors (for example, makes the clouds look whiter and the sky bluer).