10 ways to improve your beach photography

Improve your seaside snaps with our top 10 beach photography tips

Not sure why your sunny beach photos are coming out dark or washed out? Follow these simple beach photography tips and you’ll be one happy clam

Beach photography by Lara Watson

Image source: Lara Watson

1. Exposure Compensation

Bright sand or pebbles can fool your camera’s exposure system into under-exposing images, making for dark and gloomy results, or turning surfers and wave-jumpers into silhouettes. Dial-in some positive Exposure Compensation for brighter pictures – try a setting of +1.

2. White Balance

To avoid draining colour from beach scenes, switch to Manual White Balance and then select either Daylight (sunny), Cloudy or Shade to best match the weather conditions on the day.

3. Fit a hood

There’s often a lot of glare on the beach, with light bouncing off sand, sea and rocks. Fitting a lens hood can reduce flare and greatly increase image quality.

10 ways to improve your beach photography

Image source: Pinterest

4. Lens alert

Beach breezes are usually full of salty sea spray and fine particles of sand. As a result, it’s safest not to change lenses on the beach, but to fit the one you want before you arrive.

5. Focal point

Grand beach vistas often don’t translate into great photos. Look for a main point of interest and pay attention to the composition, rather than just snapping away at big, expansive views.

Beach photo

Image source: Design is Mine

6. Start early

For natural beauty, it pays to get to the beach early (before breakfast), as the low sun makes for stronger contrast and colours. The seaside may also be deserted, or at least much less crowded.

7. Get flash

With bright sunlight bouncing around on the beach, capturing family portraits can be a real challenge. Take a flashgun with you, or use your camera’s pop-up flash, so that family members can turn away from the glare of the sun and you can illuminate their faces.

8. Use a polariser

Fit a circular polarising filter to your lens to massively enhance the depth of blue skies and seas, while also increasing the drama of any cloud formations for a more interesting shot.

Beach photos ice cream

Image source: Pinterest

9. In the detail

Beach photography isn’t just about the bigger picture. Great close-up abstracts are to be found in flotsam and jetsam, pieces of driftwood and rock formations. Think small as well as big.

10. End of the day

West-facing beaches offer the added advantage of great sunset opportunities. Get in place ahead of time, so you can look for foreground interest to add to the orange glow of the sun on the sea. Switch to a Cloudy or Shade White Balance setting to emphasise the colours of sunset.

For more basic beach photography tips visit PhotoPlus: Canon Edition

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