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Amazing Photos of the Beach and Ocean

written by: Claudine Baugh•edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom•updated: 11/15/2011

Are you looking for some amazing shots of the beach or ocean for viewing pleasure or to get some ideas for your own portfolio? We have put together a terrific collection of photos of seascapes all over the world and in various settings so you can see the many traits of the sea -- enjoy!

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    Papakolea Beach

    Papakolea Beach 
    This amazing beach in Big Island, Hawaii has extraordinary hues along the coastline courtesy of a common mineral component in Hawaii’s lavas called Olivine. As magma cools, it forms Olivine crystals also known locally as Hawaiian Diamond. This is what causes the green coloration of the beach sand, and ultimately this exceptional example of ocean and beach photography.
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    A Twilight Seascape

    A Twilight Seascape 
    Taken in Coll, Scotland, this photo encapsulates the spectacular movement of the ocean as it enwraps a small portion of an islet in its path. A powerful depiction of how mysterious the ocean can be at times, especially with clever augmentation. This shot was exposed for a few seconds with a D90, coupled with an ND4 filter and CPL (as stated by photographer).
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    Hanauma Bay

    Hanauma Bay 
    The signature curvature of the Hanauma Bay beach in Hawaii usually provides protection from large waves, and is generally quite calm all day through. This gives divers and snorkelers the opportunity to view a diverse population of marine life and an extensive, rich coral reef. The bay floor is the remains of an ancient volcano crater that flooded due to the collapse of the exterior walls.
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    Lembongan Island

    Lembongan Island 
    Here is a calm inlet leading out into the mystic ocean on Lembongan Island in Indonesia. The formation of the surrounding limestone looks exquisite and the shallow, white sand, bay floor creates a varied, aquamarine color to give this photo a terrific pop.
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    Volcanic Ocean Breach

    Volcanic  Ocean Breach 

    This incredible photo depicts the result of lava delta collapsing to cause frequent, hot rock-falls inland and in the adjacent ocean, to produce large, local waves. The hot lava that enters the ocean creates the thick steam plume over the shoreline, as seen here to really animate this amazing shot.

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    Paia Shoreline Beach

    Paia Shoreline Beach 

    This photo was taken in Paia, Hawaii along a rocky shore, and displays a great combination of blue and aqua colors with glimpses of small surface waves in the distance. Using a slower shutter speed, this photo captures the natural characteristics of the waves rushing up to the rocky shoreline. A great shot, considering it was taken under low-lit conditions.

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    Neptune's Grotto

    Neptune's Grotto 

    With the right angling and distancing, this photo captures terrific detailing of the rocky islets in this beach in Los Angeles, California. The blurring effect of the movement of the water demonstrated here can be obtained by extending the shutter speed somewhere between one to two seconds.

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    Sea Blue Waterscape

    Sea Blue Waterscape 

    Here is a remarkable panorama of an expansive ocean meeting up with a unique rock formation and highland mass. The stillness of the water highlights the rich blue color of the seascape, which makes this image a spectacular addition to this photo gallery of ocean and beach photography.

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    Thasos Seascape

    Thasos Seascape 

    This little get-away spot in Limenaria, Anatoliki Makedonia, Greece has dynamic clear, blue waters and a terrific shallow shoreline that's quite visible from beneath. Getting such a terrific shot, with this much clarity of the overall scenery, can be credited to great weather -- a brilliant sunny day.

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    Għajn Tuffieħa Bay

    Għajn Tuffieħa Bay 

    Ghajn Tuffieha Bay is on the north west coast of Malta which is located southeast of Sicily and Italy. The bay floor synchronizes to reflect perfect turquoise water, which blends into a darker expanse of the ocean. The still waters allow you to see the terrific hues in this Bay Shore, thus providing a gorgeous milieu for this photo.

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    Felixstowe Pier

    Felixstowe Pier 

    This mysterious display of the ocean under the Felixstowe Pier in this photo was obtained by extending the exposure and converting it to high dynamic range (HDR). Although, being in control of how this picture is taken, and the time of evening, has a lot to do with this eerie display.

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    Hamakua Coast

    Hamakua Coast 

    The rough waters of this deep shoreline, along with the dynamic blue color, a clear summer sky and the isolated greenery, puts this photo in a category of its own. Based in the Hamakua Coast in Hawaii, this photo couldn’t be any more intriguing and complete.

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    Worlds End

    Worlds End 

    This peaceful seascape has manmade landscaping to its surroundings but is nothing short of a delightful rest stop for individuals visiting the Boston Harbor. This shot incorporates an expansive panoramic display to show more than the typical border of standard photos. This type of scenery is perfect to utilize the 'sweep panorama' function of your digital camera.

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    Gold Sea

    Gold Sea 

    This amazing photo was taken in Torrequebrada, Andalusia, Spain in low-lit conditions with no additional illumination or flash. A simple shot here, but enhanced with standard Adobe Photoshop to create a golden looking shore extending into a more realistic blue ocean.

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    Simpang Mengayau

    Simpang Mengayau 

    These active waves along this grassy seabed were taken in an engaging spot in Simpang Mengayau, Malaysia. You can see the presence of a shallow reef along the shore as the top of small boulders peak through the water.

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    The Atlantic Ocean

    The Atlantic Ocean 

    Where the Atlantic Ocean meets the shores along a Miami coastline, this photo captures imminent light piercing through a thick overcast sky to create sporadic light rays and a chromatic effect atop a vehement sea.

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    Ocean Coast

    Ocean Coast 

    This photo captures a terrific blue waterscape along a breathtaking plateau. A standard shot here, however the quality and clarity of this photo looks brilliant due to a clear blue sky and luminous day -- always the best time to take pictures of the beach.

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    Beautiful Ocean Sunset

    Beautiful Ocean Sunset 

    This photo captures the evening hues of auburn and gold accents reflecting off the ocean at dusk. The location and illumination from the sun creates shadowy clouds and a blend of these colors masking a grayish looking sky. This is a basic shot; there were no enhancements or tweaking -- truly majestic.

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    Arniston: Western Cape

    Arniston: Western Cape 

    An incredible spot combined with a smart angle, captures this rocky sandstone coast along Arniston, Western Cape, South Africa. The short inlets and unleveled sea floor adds amazing water action to demonstrate the formation of small waves against the rocks.

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    The Sea at Dusk

    The Sea at Dusk 

    Getting a photo as dynamic as this takes a bit of computer generated tweaking and an intelligent camera under the right adjustments. However, the inviting nature of this photo is compliments of the way this magnificent water crashes along a rock-strewn banking under a cloudy, grey sky at sundown.

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    Itsasoaren Haserrea

    Itsasoaren Haserrea 

    A terrific shot of the roaring ocean of the Itsasoaren Haserrea; this was taken in a little spot in Donostia, Spain as the water crashes along the banking and other neighboring boulders and seaboard.

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    Oceanside

    Oceanside 

    Just approaching sundown under a gloomy sky can create stunning tones of deep blue and purplish color effects on the sea and even the sky, as seen in this photo here at Maxwell Point, Oregon. With giant boulders in its path, the water makes contact along the edges of these objects and develops into fizz to add some contrast to this mystical looking waterscape.

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    Pringle Bay Seascape

    Pringle Bay Seascape 

    Pringle Bay, Western Cape, South Africa is where you’ll find this rock filled beach. An outstanding representation of the sea’s passionate character on a gloomy day as the waves crash against the bordering rocks, with distant ripples and other surface waves.

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    Peaceful Pacific Ocean

    Peaceful Pacific Ocean 

    Here is a great view of the oceanfront as the water meets the shoreline of this mountainous landscape. This photo captures the beautiful coloration of this expansive body of water and the surrounding sky and landscape.

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    Crash Wave

    Crash Wave 

    A single crashing wave rolls atop shallow water to give this breathtaking view of the beach. This is an easy shot where camera adjustments are concerned; it is just a matter of being in the right place and at the right time. Although using a fast shutter speed will freeze the action of the splashing formed by the crashing wave to show the disposition of the water, which is really what livens up this shot.

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    Hope you enjoyed our image gallery of ocean and beach photography. Some of these photos were taken by inspired amateurs as well as more experienced professionals. Critiquing aside, however, one has to admit these are some terrific shots of the ocean and only a family of photographers from different walks of life could come together to bring the sea alive.