Photo Tip “Taking Photographs at the Beach”

Beaches are probably the most popular image subjects for holiday photos. There is a wide range of possibilities. Sandcastles, surfers, loved-up couples, adventurous sport fanatics and much more can be seen time and time again in these types of images. There is more than one possibility to create that perfect holiday photo.

Make sure to protect your camera from sand and water. Salt water can be very abrasive to your sensitive photography equipment. Another problem that can arise at sandy beaches is that dust can find its way into the camera and can block the camera’s mechanism. Store your photo equipment carefully in a suitable camera bag when you’re at the beach and don’t place the bag directly on the sand. Be especially careful if the wind is blowing, as dust and sand can work their way into the camera bag. A simple plastic bag can help to better protect your equipment. Clean your camera carefully after your excursion with a damp cloth. Camera bags should also be thoroughly cleaned.

Equipment tips

  • A polarising filter reduces reflexions from the water and improves the image’s mood.
  • A lens hood can be used to avoid unwanted reflections caused by backlighting
  • Water or dust resistant camera housing
  • Dust proof storing of photo equipment – possibly additionally use a plastic bag


Image capturing tips
When capturing images at the beach, you should avoid direct backlighting as otherwise only the silhouettes of the person will be seen in the image. Especially side lighting in the early hours of the morning or in late afternoon is suitable for atmospheric images. If the sun is behind you, you should pay attention to your own shadow as it may appear disruptively in the image. Pay attention to the horizon in the image. The horizon should appear evenly in the image and should not be centrally positioned. When creating an image, experiment with the fore and background. An image of just the water is relatively dull, but if you have an interesting foreground (shells, palm leaves…) the image subject is transformed into a small work of art. Pay attention to the general articles on image creation and composition and the right lighting. 

In the article “Taking photographs at the beach – Part 2“ you will find some example images that can be used on an inspirational basis.
If you run out of ideas, you can try taking a series of images with different view scales / shots (like in a movie).

From an overview to the details – this approach using a view scale can also be applied to different image areas e.g. portraits of a city.

View scales / Shots

  • Extreme long shot – Landscape is the dominant feature of the images – People appear small
  • Long shot – People are captured as part of the landscape – Landscape moves to the background
  • Medium long shot – Full body shots are captured – Surroundings move to the background
  • Medium shot – Upper body shots are captured
  • Close up – Head and part of the shoulders is captured
  • Extreme Close up – is a close range shot

More information on various view scales / shots can be found

Continuing reading “Taking photographs at the beach – Example images 1”"

You are here: Home Photo Tips At the Beach