5 Quick Tips for Coastal and Beach Photography

I love to be outside on a beach and make pictures. There is nothing more exciting in photography than capture beautiful coastline, make a portrait with golden light from sunset, take a picture of sea life and birds on a beach. I have my favorite spot here in Brooklyn, it is Jamaica Bay wildlife Refuge.
Here is 5 tips for your next photography trip to a coastline:

  1. Look for Reflection.
    Any time you around water you can find reflection from water. This is very easy to spot during sunrise or sunset, when the sun is low. Reflections enhance your images dramatically. I made a picture of this seashell during sunset on a beach.

  2. Focus on details
    What often grabs your attention most on coastal shoots is the grandeur of the landscape – so it’s easy to overlook what might be at your feet as you’re lining up your shot. The coast is full of smaller opportunities for amazing shots – whether it be sea shells on the waters edge, the footprints of an animal in the sand, small wild flowers growing in the dunes or patterns in rock formations. Take the time to look around you at the detail of what surrounds you.
  3. Add Foreground Interest
    When shooting seascape shots its very easy to end up with images that contain few focal points of interest (ie: shots that are half sky and half sand). One way to add interest to these shots is to look for opportunities in the foreground of your shots. If you’re able to place something interesting in the foreground (perhaps some interesting rock pools) you’ll lead the eye into the image. When doing this test shooting from different heights – sometimes getting down quite low and will add more interest to the shot while sometimes a higher vantage point might work better. Also remember that if you want the foreground and background to be in focus that you’ll want to shoot with small aperture (high f numbers).
  4. Slow things down
    Image by Matthew Stewart
    Another way to add interest and atmosphere to seascape shots is to slow your shutter speed down so that blur any part of the image that is moving. In this way you might get a misty looking sea that captures the movement of waves or a furry carpet of swaying sea grasses. Of course to do this you’ll want to shoot with a tripod to make sure your camera is perfectly still.
    Camera with manual setting work best here.
  5. Horizon
  6. coastal-photography-horizons
    Image by Garry
    Two last tips when it comes to horizons. Firstly – make sure they’re horizontal with the framing of your image. There’s nothing like a horizon that slopes unnaturally down at one edge of the frame to make those looking at your shot a little sea sick. If you’re going to break this ‘rule’ – break it well and make it an obviously intentional thing. Secondly – the convention is to avoid placing your horizon in the middle of your frame but rather to position it nearer one of the thirdway points (depending upon whether there’s more interest in the sky or foreground of the shot). Of course ‘rules’ are made to be broken but for balanced shots keep these in mind.

I got this post ideas from www.digital-photography-school.com
excellent website for photographers. I added some details from my own experience.



  1. great tips! Thanks for sharing them!

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