There are basically 2 types of beaches. One type is easier to photograph as it comes with a rocky coastline which usually makes for a more interesting image. The other type of beach is generally filled with flat, smooth sand, which can sometimes make for an average image. Here are some basic photography tips for taking beautiful shots on beaches.
Protect your camera
It’s definitely more challenging to get an interesting and creative photo at a smooth, sandy beach. But before you start planning on scenes, subjects, and angles, you need to make sure your camera is properly protected for the conditions of sand and water. It’s very important that you keep sand and water out of your camera or it could ruin the working mechanisms inside the device.
Sand can also cause spots on your images as well as wear down some of the camera’s moving parts such as the lens’ focus ring. If water gets inside the camera it can spot the lens and if it happens to get inside the electronic parts of it then it’s likely that it will short circuit the device and ruin the camera for good.
Things can even be worse on windy days when the sand and water are flying around. If this is the case, then it’s a good idea to protect the camera with some type of protective housing unit like a rain hood. These can be bought at camera shops and you could even make one yourself out of a plastic bag.
It might not guarantee the safety of your camera, but it should sure reduce the chances of water and/or sand getting in it and causing damage.
Right exposure is the key
When you’re ready for action, you’ll need to make sure you get the exposure right at the beach. Oftentimes a camera will try and underexpose a photo of a beach scene because the water usually reflects a bright glare and the sand itself is typically pretty bright, especially on a sunny day.
The exposure meter in a digital camera actually wants all aspects of the photo to be an even-grey color.
It’s a good idea to take a couple of test shots first to see what the exposure is like or bracket a few of them and then choose the one you like the best. If you’re taking shots at sunset the lighting situation will be changing pretty quickly, so you may want to set the exposure manually instead of letting the camera do it automatically for you.
Keep the horizon line straight
Another good idea is to try and keep the horizon line as straight as possible. Some digital cameras have levels built into them that are designed to help you achieve this. In addition, if you’re using a tripod you can even use a small level which you can buy from a hardware store. You should be able to get some fascinating photos at most beaches around the world.