Experimenting with Coastline Photography

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When taking landscape and outdoor shots don’t forget to head down to the coast to capture some magnificent images. Seascapes, like landscapes, can be quite magnificent since you can capture different moods with them. Of course, this may be a little hard to do if you don’t live anywhere near the coast. However, you might be able to take some shots the next time you go on vacation.

It’s a good idea to include some type of foreground in some of your shots as it often adds to the interest. For example, if you’re at the beach you may want to include something like a large rock formation. If you can find an object that naturally leads your viewers’ eyes, it will generally work better. Also try out a few different angles such as from below and above.

Foregrounds and other objects will often give your images a sense of scale.

Experimenting with Coastline Photography

The sea and the coast offer a lot of variety due to the different tides and weather conditions. Taking a shot at a beach on a hot sunny day will offer a good contrast to the same location when it’s surrounded by dark, cloudy and stormy skies.

You should also take a few shots from the waterline while facing the land. Just make sure you take the proper precautions to protect your camera and accessories from the sand and water.

When taking shots of the water you’ll need to consider your shutter speed since this can often have a big impact on the mood of the photo. Remember that a fast shutter speed freezes the action. This means there won’t be any motion blur in the water.

It also depends on how quickly the water’s moving, but generally anything starting at 1/20th of a second and faster will usually freeze the action in water. You should take a few practice shots first though to see if it provides the effect you’re looking for.

When you use a slower shutter speed to shoot water, it will provide you with different degrees of a blur effect. You might want to start out taking a few shots at a half of a second to see how they look. This speed usually offers some degree of blur along with enough detail of the water.

If you slow the shutter speed down to a second or longer the effect will generally be sort of foggy. This is quite popular as it creates an interesting atmosphere and mood. Again, experiment with slower speeds to see how the images look.

Basically the shutter speed you select will be a personal choice. However, sometimes you might not have as many options due to the lighting conditions. Sometimes there won’t be enough light to use a fast shutter speed. You can also try using a filter in sea shots, such as a neutral density filter (ND) or a graduated neutral density filter (GND).

Many photographers use GND filters when the sky is a lot brighter than the foreground. The filter can balance the exposure. Another method instead of a filter is to take shots at different exposures and combine them with a photo-editing program. A ND filter can cut down on the amount of light which strikes the camera’s sensor. These filters are ideal when using longer shutter speeds and are available in a variety of light-reducing strengths.

Posted in: Digital Photography Tips and Tricks

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