Seascape and Beach Photography
Summer officially started last month, and we have seen some wonderful weather ever since. This has offered the chance to photograph some fantastic seascapes and scenery with beautiful weather, clear sunrises and exquisite sunsets being higher than most seasons! (unless of course, you enjoy the more dramatic and moodier shots that you can achieve during the change of season). Below, we’ve compiled a list of things to do and look out for on your next trip to the seaside for some beachy views.
Get involved with Beach Photography
Getting involved with the shots can mean getting wet where there’s high tide, getting up at the crack of dawn to get the perfect sunrise shot, or trying to capture a picturesque landscape of the beach before the heat of the day sets in and it gets occupied by holidaymakers and tourists. You may have to go on less popular days/times to ensure your shot isn’t ruined by windbreakers, tents or people!
One of the most imperative elements of seascape photography is ensuring that you stay safe at all times. Like any visit to the coast, you always have to be careful around rocks, on the beach and near the sea. It’s quite easy to get caught out by the tide at the best of times, but when you’re focusing on your next shot, make sure you’re in a safe location, or you have easy access out of the area you’re in. Be sure to never turn your back on the tide!
When on the scene capturing a shot of a seascape, beach or ocean shot, time is of the essence. With the nature of the sea and tides changing as quickly as they do, it’s essential that you have everything to hand.
Using a wide angle lens will allow you to focus in on individual subjects more, changing the variation of your shots. For example, a surfer riding a wave, or an unusually shaped rock forming a unique picture, wide angle lenses allows you to make those the centrepiece of the shot, capturing the environment around them.
Using a tripod will not only help stabilise your shot but will help you position your camera in very shallow water reducing the risk of it falling over. You’ll also be able to position yourself safely on flat rocky areas, allowing you to get the perfect shot whilst safe.
Some SLR and DSLR cameras do come with a remote control function, enabling you to set up your camera and tripod in a position that may be hard or dangerous to sit behind the camera.
If you want the full inclusive shot with water filling the bottom completely, make sure you’ve got some wellies or waders to protect both your feet and the bottom of your trousers from the water and sand. Make sure you also pack a solid pair of shoes for rock walking or hill climbing, don’t attempt this in wellies!
Dry clothing and cloths
This probably means bringing a backpack too to pack all of your essential items. Most importantly, and because of the conditions you’ll have your camera in, bring a microfibre cloth in a dry pocket to keep dry and sand free to wipe over the lens when it gets splashed with sand or waves. This little tip could save you a lot of money, as a little bit of sand combined with the sea salt will completely scratch your expensive lens if in contact. Also, it’s more than likely your lens will get wet, so the microfibre cloth can wipe the lens and camera dry too.
With the unpredictability of the coast, it’s likely alongside your camera you’ll get wet too. So it’ll be best to carry extra clothing and shoes just in case.
The composition of the shots is extra important with seascapes, as there’s such a variety of subjects to photograph to great effect. Try and aim to have something like the main focus in the foreground, like splashing or flowing water, boats or sea-life. However, you can also create excellent compositions by capturing long open beaches incorporating both the sky and terrain without having a subject, so it depends completely on the style you’re going for.
You could go for sea level shots capturing the detail of the sea, or cliff-top heights that encompasses the beach and sea alike. A crisp, clear day would be ideal for the cliffs, combined with a wide angle lens making everything in focus.
You’ll need patience, but this goes for a lot of landscape style photography waiting for the ideal shot. In just a 30 minute period, the mood of your shot can change completely with the waves getting larger or smaller, and the cloud cover increasing or decreasing the water reflection. Check the weather before you leave and during your sessions to make sure you don’t get caught in any storms or rainy conditions.
This also goes for shutter speeds. Using a fast shutter speed will enable you to capture the crash of the waves better and in more detail. It will also allow you to take multiple shots of the same wave before it falls in quick succession.
Learning the Waves
For certain amounts of time, waves will follow a similar pattern with height and size. You’ll also be able to observe their behaviour around rock formations and coastal edges, allowing you to predict slightly ahead of the sort of wave type that you’ll want. This takes time and practice, but it’s those early shots that will allow you to picture exactly what you want and don’t want, so they’re vital! This will also help you keep safe, especially when you start to notice the rocks disappearing and the wavelengths increasing.
Framing your prints
You’re bound to take one shot you’re extremely proud of, that just stands out slightly more than the rest. With us here at Picture Frames Express, you can create and design your very own bespoke frame to match your decor, in your own style. Try it here online today!