Top Tips For Photographing At The Coast

Here are some top tips for photographing the coast out of season.

31/01/2014 - 00:00

THE pebble
'THE Pebble' by Peter Bargh

This time of year can be an ideal time to shoot at the coast as although it's cold, and you'll need to wrap up warm, it provides a great opportunity to shoot at the beach without having loads of tourists and holiday makers in the shot. 

Here are some top tips for out of season coastal photography:

Compose the image carefully - Think carefully about what you're including in the image, and be sure to cut out any distracting features that take away from the main focus of the image This might mean moving the camera slightly, or physically removing the offending object, if it is seaweed, for example. 

Consider portrait landscapes - Just because you are shooting a landscape view, doesn't mean you have to shoot in landscape format. Sometimes, using the portrait format for a landscape can help to lead the eye through the image better, especially if there is interest at the front of the image as well as at the back, for example an interesting looking rock covered in limpets. 

Foreground interest helps - Having something of interest in the foreground as well as the background can help to add depth to the image. Use a small aperture to get front to back sharpness, and you can use foreground objects, when composed properly, to lead the eye up to the main background interest. 

Take a different angle - Think about all the different angles you could shoot the same scene from, and choose the one that look s best to you. By moving around and exploring before you settle on an angle, you'll make sure all the bases have been covered  and you've got the ideal one for the shot you're after. 

Filters - Filters are great for balancing out the brightness in shots. Use an ND graduated filter to add mood to a cloudy sky, and balance out the exposure of the image. A polarising filter can be used to eliminate glare and reflections from water is necessary, too. 

Choose the right lens - You can go for the traditional wide angle if you want to fit a lot of the view in the one shot, but a telephoto lens has its merits, too, for detailed foreground interest. A telephoto will work for a portrait landscape shot, too. 

Use a tripod - A tripod will enable you to shoot at slower shutter speeds without getting a blurry image, plus it will enable you to set the camera up and position it perfectly for the shot, leaving you free to move around. A shutter release will also be ideal for longer exposures when you don't want to cause shake by pressing the shutter.

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