Few subjects conjure warmer memories than your carefree days at the beach. And few subjects offer more picture-taking opportunities and challenges. So let's see what it takes to put some pizzazz into your beach pictures.
Protect your gear
Beach antics abound and you need to photograph them to reveal the unique atmosphere of the beach. Show your family building giant sand castles, digging deep holes, surfing the waves. And put the viewer into the scene by getting down to the subject's eye level.
When you're not taking pictures, keep your camera and film in a zippered plastic bag out of the hot sun, maybe under a white towel. Reload your camera in the shade so the direct sun won't hit the cassette's film slot and streak your pictures.
If sand does get on your camera, first blow it off, and then carefully brush off any remaining grains with a lens cleaning brush. Consider taking a
instead of your favorite camera. You won't mind so much if sand or water gets into it.
Catch the beach action
Beach antics abound and you need to photograph them to reveal the unique atmosphere of the beach. Show your family building giant sand castles, digging deep holes, surfing the waves. Look past the sunbathers for ways to tell a story with your pictures. And put the viewer into the scene by getting down to the subject's eye level.
Tell a story
Any important event can become a picture story. An all-day outing is perfect for such a story. Show the departure, the arrival, a picture of your destination's entry, a variety of events during the day, and the tired kids on their way home.
Avoid harsh shadows
Avoid harsh facial shadows by using the
of a cloudy day or a shady area. On sunny days, if your camera has several flash modes, select
This will fire the flash even in bright sunlight. This "fills" the shadows on nearby subjects, creating more flattering portraits in direct sunlight. Check your camera's manual.
Conquer the Midday Sun
The best daylight for pictures is usually before 10 a.m. and after 3 p.m. Angle your subjects away from the sun, and place them near a reflective object.
In this case, a white beach chair acts as a reflector. Don't forget that sand and water also reflect sunlight.
Place the horizon high or low
Ocean panoramics make great pictures. Just be sure to keep the horizon straight and to place it either high or low in the
. When a horizon cuts across the middle of a picture, it seems to slice the picture in half, and makes it less appealing.
Include the water
Refreshing, invigorating, and soothing in person, the body of water can add those qualities to your pictures. Be sure to frequently include the water in the background to increase the emotion of your beach pictures.
Use your imagination to create great special effects!
Capture the mood
The warm glow of the setting sun, the glare of high noon, the luminance on a cloudy day. You can turn ordinary pictures into exceptional ones by conveying the atmosphere, mood, and drama of the light.
Don't forget beach hangouts
From the beat-up taffy shack to the fishing pier to the nighttime boardwalk; every beach has hangouts where people gather and socialize. Include pictures of these locales to strengthen memories of your favorite times at the beach.
Use a one-time-use camera
With a waterproof one-time-use camera, not only can you get some great action water shots, but you can also use it without fear of damaging your regular camera. Kodak's is good to 12 feet under water. And with its fast film, you can catch cannonballers and body surfers on the go!
Photo Project: Capture your beach photos creatively with this