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Shooting Great Beach Photos

Welcome to our new DAW Tip of the Week – Shooting Great Beach Photos.

by Jon Pine

With summer now in full swing it’s a good bet you and your family are hitting the beach. Here are some simple tips to capture those memories in beautiful photographs.

1. Be a late-comer to the party. The quality of sunlight in the morning and mid-day here on the East Coast is not great for photos. The optimal time is in the hour or two before dusk, when the sun is low in the sky and less intense.

2. Use a tripod. It will help you to keep the horizon line nice and level. It will also help you to compose your image more consistently.

3. Keep the sun behind you. Stay back and use a lens with a medium-to-long focal length – 50-150mm – to keep your shadow out of the frame.

4. Shoot in manual mode, use a low ISO, 100 or 200, and keep your aperture in the middle range – f8-f10. This will blur the beach and ocean in the background. Set your shutter speed according to your light meter, overexposing slightly. Or, if you have a decent flash (stronger than the pop-up flash on your camera), expose properly. Your flash will fill in the light hitting your subjects nicely.

And that’s it. Keep in mind that a clear blue sky over the ocean will make the water nice and blue; an overcast sky over the ocean will make it appear grey or green.

If you've found this tip helpful, please make sure you visit and subscribe to our page to make sure you get future tips, as well as information about our upcoming workshops and seminars.

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