Photographing a Walk on the Beach

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Photographing a walk by the seashore does not necessarily have to be done at night or dusk, although these times offer the best lights and the beaches are less crowded, you can still take great shots during the day if you pay attention to detail and closely crop with the lens to avoid including unnecessary elements and only keep what you want to include.

There are problems that can creep in when shooting during daylight and among these is the sand type.

Some sand types reflect more light than others, depending on its mineral and rock make up, and the glare from the Sun on the water can make an otherwise nice shot an bad one.

You need to understand how to shoot in strong light and you must understand the capabilities of your gear as well.

I suggest exploring a few tutorials that give more in dept instructions as to how to do photography at the beach.

Talk about a photographic project that was meant to be used in a greeting card or better yet in a calendar. Beaches offer photographers plenty of breathtaking scenes that lend themselves well to be photographed. Couple this with a nice breathtaking sunset, add a couple of interesting details and you have a post-card ready made scene.

For this particular project the best times are those when dusk is approaching as the golden hue of the Sun makes the images striking.

The locations should be those that are easily accessible and where there will not be many people walking by.

Dusk is the best time because most beach goers leave the beach around this time and only a few passers by are usually found.

Because of the time of day most of the details will probably come out as silhouettes and you will not therefore need to obtain a model's release since the faces will not be recognizable.

But do not limit yourself to only catching images of people casually strolling by the seashore. If you are able to try to use some friends, preferably couples and enlist them to act-out romantic scenes such as embracing, kissing, cuddling, laying on the sand and so on.

Other interesting set ups will include people walking with their pets or even the pets by themselves as they run and play with the water.

If the location allows for it try to rent a horse and showcase a person riding it along the water's edge. These are fantastic scenes which play out quite well in photographs.

Whatever subject you end photographing, remember to include details about the scenery as well too.

A portrait by itself can make for a good photograph, but a portrait complemented by beautiful beach and ocean scenery is much better.

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A good technique which I always pay attention to is to browse through various publications , greeting cards and other literature which feature beach scenes.

These usually give me an idea of what images are popular and are being featured on the pages of these publications.

Browsing through such works can often give you an inspiration as well as showing the best techniques to capture such images.

This technique does not mean that you will re-create what you see published somewhere else.

It is just meant to give the photographer a better idea in how to approach such a project and with the added bonus that it can often point out good locations, even some that you may not have thought of before.

For the majority of these shots your basic photo gear should be enough. Using flash is probably not a good idea since you want to allow for the Sun's golden light and other subtle hues to show as this is what gives the scene its romantic feeling.

Using flash will illuminate your main subject but this takes away from the overall effect plus you do not need flash if doing silhouettes.

Using a solid tripod and a triggering mechanism may also be necessary, especially if you want to take long exposures.

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CC BY 2.0 | Source
CC BY 2.0
CC BY 2.0 | Source

One thing to consider is to check with the local authorities before you begin such a project if you are planning on conducting it during dusk since many public beaches close to the public from dusk till dawn.

Another thing to keep in mind is whether or not pets such as dogs are allowed and whether horses, if this is on your mind, are allowed to even be on the beach much less being ridden.

There are a lot of safety and health concerns concerning public places so far as animals are concerned and this is worth checking out.

For example horses may be allowed but you will probably need to obtain special permits among making other arrangements such as their handler, waste clean up and insurance just in case.

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CC BY-SA 2.0 | Source
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CC BY-ND 2.0 | Source

© 2013 Luis E Gonzalez

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2 comments

elayne001 profile image

elayne001 3 years ago from Rocky Mountains

Beautiful pictures - some of my favorite pictures that I have taken are at the beach at dusk. Voted up!


LuisEGonzalez profile image

LuisEGonzalez 3 years ago from Miami, Florida Author

elayne001: Thank you

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