Taking Great Beach Photos
In spite of these potential problems though, let’s look at a few starting options for taking great photographs at the beach.
1. Seascapes - There can be some truly lovely natural scenery at the shore, especially at non-commercialized ocean front areas. The waves, sand, rocks and trees can often provide beautiful backdrops for visuals and seascapes that will make for some eye-catching images. Feel free to change your angle of view for shooting seascapes from high to low to virtually ground level. This seascape composition mandated that I move “off the beach" and position myself behind a stand of palm trees to get the shot [See Image 2].
2. Locals and Vendors - “Pain-in-the-rear-end" that they can be on occasion, vendors can also provide some interesting character studies and human-interest photo opportunities. The persons themselves may have a unique look or their wares might offer an unusual shot. For better people photos, try taking your shots with the bright sun behind or to the side of the person. Use your camera flash to fill-in the person’s shadowed face and torso. You may need to set your camera for the flash to fire, not using the automatic setting. When this fishmonger stopped me on a Colombian Pacific coast beach to offer his freshly-caught wares, I snapped away [See Image 3]. The chili-pepper-covered mango vendor simply walked past me on a beach in Acapulco and I was able to get photos from in front and behind him. Unfortunately, my camera flash misfired leaving heavy shadow across his face in this image [See Image 4].
3. Animals, Wildlife and Flora - Almost all beaches will sport indigenous animals, creatures and wildlife. They may not be readily apparent in heavily-populated beach locations, but nonetheless you can rest assured that there is an assortment of crustaceans, insects, minnows and birds to be found and photographed. Close up photography and macro imaging techniques might be useful here. In a shady spot, as quietly as possible, compose and shoot close-ups of insects, amphibians, crustaceans, birds and plants or flowers you find for some potentially stunning digital images. In part two of this article, we’ll continue looking at a variety of digital photo opportunities at the beach covering sunrises and sunsets, silhouette images and close-up or macro images.