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Photographing A Message in the Sand

Updated on June 27, 2013
Public Domain CC0
Public Domain CC0 | Source
Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)
Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) | Source

This is a cool conceptual photographic project involving shapes in the sand that tells of a message or instills and idea into the minds of those who look at the images.

The project is actually quite simple to accomplish and besides sand, preferably moist, you will only need some props that you will use to make impression upon the sand. In a way you are an artist that creates shapes and messages in nothing but plain beach sand.

To further understand what this concept entails, imagine a foot print of a man, next to it a mathematical plus sign, next a foot print of a woman followed by a mathematical sign for equal which is immediately followed by a foot print of a baby. Thus the intended message is rather clear; a man and a woman leads to a baby.

Another good, although dramatic sample, would be a shape of a liquor bottle followed by an impression of a steering wheel with a drawing of a jail cell next to it.

As this is a conceptual photographic project there are many such messages that can be drawn upon the sand but whose message is clear cut and direct. One just has to think carefully about which impression or drawings will state your intended message clearly and concisely.

Your goal is not to confuse but to be a clear as possible so that your audience draws the intend rather quickly and the message is strong enough to make them realize it.

Your message do not have to be so dramatic, messages of hope, love and even those that are rather comical in nature can be used towards the project. you just have to be creative and simple at the same time. The good thing is that the project itself involves barely any costs and can be done quickly.

You can ad variations to the theme if you like such as including people or real artifacts around which you draw complementing elements such as a man sitting ion a beach, apparently after being marooned and pretending to be working on a "sand" drawn desk or office.

Try not to use words or any other writing. Try to convey your message by using only shapes and simplicity works best. Too many details or a complex set of designs can be confusing.

As far as the technique itself, be mindful that most if not all of your photographs will be taken by standing directly above the designs and you can risk including your shadow in the image. Doing it while the Sun is still low in the horizon and observing the image before you snap the shutter can allow you to work yourself or rather to position yourself correctly to eliminate the changes of adding you shadow.

Apart from that, a tripod may be suitable depending on the available light in case you need a long exposure time and hand holding a camera often results in blurry photos.

You should also take care to keep your gear water and sand free as these can damage it rapidly if allowed to enter the camera housing. You should also be mindful is the location happens to be windy as this can play havoc by getting very fine sand particles into the inside of your camera and lens housings.

Like photography, want to see more project ideas?


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    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 5 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Lynn & daisydays: Thank you both

    • profile image

      Lynn S. Murphy 5 years ago

      That's fun and I love the concept. I do have grandbaby's footprints in the sand. One-in-a-row. LOL!

    • daisydayz profile image

      Chantele Cross-Jones 5 years ago from Cardiff

      I love that footprint one, so cute!