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5 Methods For Improving Your Coastal Landscapes

5 Methods For Improving Your Coastal Landscapes

Seascape

 

It’s the school summer holidays here in the UK which means many will be heading to the coast either on day-trips or for a longer holiday which gives us photographers the chance to capture a few coastal landscapes. If you do have coastal landscapes on your summer shoot agenda, here are a few tips to think about.

 

1. Time Of Day

You can capture coastal landscapes at any time of the day, however, most photographers favour the light during the ‘golden hours’. You get this light regardless of where you are, but it is where it falls that is important. On the east coast, the land gets warm light early in the day but not later when the sea gets the benefit. On the west coast, it is the other way round. But this is a massive generalisation because of the way the coastline is not made up of straight lines. Check an OS map to see the potential of the coastline you’re visiting and do your research online to ensure you don’t miss the best light.

It’s also worth noting that everything from blue skies dotted with white clouds to brewing storm clouds can work well at the coast, you just have to be out at the right time of day with the right gear which includes waterproofs and protection for your camera gear if you’re heading out when the heavens have opened.

 

2. Pack The Right Accessories

Wide-angle lenses will be what we tend to reach for first when landscapes are in-mind and a tripod is an essential piece of kit no landscape photographer should be without. As you could be working with lower light levels and slower shutter speeds you may want to consider taking a remote / cable release to reduce the risk of camera shake and make sure image stabilisation is switched off when supporting your kit on a tripod otherwise shake could be introduced. To balance the exposure, you may find an ND grad filter handy as the sky tends to be a lot brighter than other areas of your shot.

 

3. Foreground interest

There’s nothing wrong with a photo of an empty beach stretching out for what seems to be miles but by adding some foreground interest you’ll give your image more depth, help guide the eye through the shot and keep people interested in your photo for longer. A low angle and a wide-angle lens will help exaggerate the perspective of the shot and anything from rocks and wood that’s washed up after a storm to jetties, lobster pots and patterns in the sand can be used to add interest the foreground of your shot. Just remember you’ll need a smaller aperture to get everything from the front to the back of the shot in focus. This could increase the exposure time, particularly if you’re shooting during the ‘golden hours’, so make use of your tripod.

Reflections can be used as foreground interest to add more depth to a scene. They’ll also help brighten your foreground, making the overall shot more evenly lit. Look for puddles left by the receding tide or try using the water sat in rock pools to capture reflections of a cloud-dotted or sunset sky.

 

Coastal Landscape

 

4. Long exposures

If you’re working when the light’s lower or just like the ‘misty’ water effect, you’re going to need to use slower shutter speeds. For this, you need a strong, sturdy tripod and you must make sure it’s not going to topple over if a wave circles it. Try pushing the legs into the sand slightly to anchor its position; just remember to wash the feet when you get home to get rid of the sand and salt. If it’s a particularly bright day you’ll need an ND filter to reduce the amount of light reaching the camera’s sensor and remember to use low ISOs as well as a small aperture. If you don’t want to capture the ‘blurred’ water shot, you’ll need to use quicker shutter speeds, wider apertures and you may need to increase your ISO level. Alternatively, visit the location earlier / later (depending on the time of day) when there’s still plenty of light in the sky.

A blurry sky dotted with clouds will give you the chance to create patterns as the longer exposures cause the cloud’s movement to stretch across the sky and if you wait until the sun’s set you could capture the movement of the stars as trails above the ocean, but this is a wholly different technique in itself.

 

5. Horizons

You don’t want it to look like the sea and sand’s about to slide out of shot so make sure the horizon’s straight and don’t put it in the centre of the frame. If the sky’s more interesting move the horizon down but if there’s more interest in the foreground lose some of the sky and move the horizon up. If you are going to deliberately slope the horizon make sure you make it obvious otherwise it’ll just look like you’ve not looked through the viewfinder to check if the horizon’s level or not.

 

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Perfect Your Coastal Panoramas With These 5 Simple Tips

Perfect Your Coastal Panoramas With These 5 Simple Tips

Capture more of the coast in one image by shooting a panorama. It’s easier than you might first think!

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Landscape and Travel

Coastal Landscape

 

Standing on a clifftop surveying a gorgeous vista can lift your spirits as high as the summer breeze. It doesn’t take much effort to sit still for half an hour listening to the gentle sounds of lazy waves, distant boats and calling sea birds and forget all about why you were there – to photograph a coastal panorama.

Coastal cliff top scenes or images shot from the shoreline can add that real something else to your portfolio and today’s software is very capable of helping you achieve your vision.  

Many people believe they need specialist tripod heads and other tools, but for a simple coastal vista, all you need is a correctly levelled tripod and a spirit bubble hot shoe level. It’s also worth remembering that shooting manually (white balance, focus and exposure) will make life easier in the long-run as you probably won’t have to spend extra time adjusting each image before stitching.

Before starting your panorama, do take a look at the foreground as if you have elements which are much closer to the camera you may want to consider moving to a different spot as the final image won’t look right or stitch well unless you’re using a purpose-built panoramic tripod head.

 

Boat on the sea

 

How To Capture The Perfect Panorama:

1. Ensure the tripod is set on sturdy ground. Alter the leg length for comfort, and then alter the length for a second time using the tripod’s spirit bubble (most have this built-in), so that the tripod head will rotate on a horizontal plane.

2. Attach the camera with lens in either landscape or portrait orientation (depending on your view and the overall size you want your panorama to be) and check everything is level. When shot in landscape orientation, panoramas tend to be much more narrow but this can work well with some shots so do experiment. 

3. Look at the scene you are trying to capture and decide on a start and endpoint for your image.

4. Ensure the scene hasn’t got a speeding boat or the white line left from the wake that could occur in more than one image, as this will make the task of stitching the images together extremely difficult and could ruin the panorama. 

5. Quickly shoot the entire scene, making accurate movements. If you can imagine you have a protractor on the scene in front of you try to take a shot every 10-15 degrees. Always leave some overlapping (around one-third approximate overlap between each frame)  and use a remote / cable release if you have one to prevent shake as you don’t want to get home to find that one out of the several images you’ve taken isn’t sharp. You may also want to shoot a little wider than necessary as the stitching process can often leave the end result requiring some cropping.

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How To Capture Beachcomb Coastal Close-Ups

How To Capture Beachcomb Coastal Close-Ups

Take a walk along the beach and see what the tide’s brought in as all of the wood, glass and other items can make really interesting subjects.

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Landscape and Travel

How To Capture Beachcomb Coastal Close-Ups

 

Beachcombers find all sorts of treasures that make perfect photographic subjects. So while you’re at the coast, take a walk along the beach to see what interesting objects you the sea has washed up for you to photograph.

 

1. What Gear Do I Need? 

A good zoom lens with a macro feature or good close-focusing ability will help you get in close to the various items washed up onshore. A proper macro lens will get you in even closer.

If you’re out with the family at a time when the sun’s high in the sky a polarising filter will reduce reflection, glare and boost the colours of the items you discover.

If you need some extra support a monopod is more convenient than a tripod, but generally, as you’ll be on the move, it’s easier to capture these shots hand-held. It all depends on who you are with and how much time you have got to linger. By the way, if you do use a monopod or tripod, wash the feet when you get home to get rid of the sand and salt.

 

2. Safety And The Sea

Before we cover what there’s to photograph we need to talk about safety. The sea can be a very dangerous thing and it needs treating with respect. Make sure you know when high tide will be and always be aware of the incoming tide so you don’t get swept away or stranded. Broken glass, nails and other sharp objects can be washed up so take care to not cut or injure yourself.

Walking along the coast, searching for washed-up items can become rather addictive and before you know it you’ll have been out on the beach for a couple of hours so don’t forget your sun cream and if it’s particularly sunny a hat!

 

How To Capture Beachcomb Coastal Close-Ups

 

3. Follow The Tide Lines

To find the most interesting objects you need to follow the tide lines just after a good storm or strong winds have blown in. head out not too late after high tide to give you the best chance of uncovering some photo treasures before they get picked up or the surrounding sand’s spoilt with footprints.

 

4. More Subject Suggestions 

Seashells, fossils, shards of pottery and glass objects, driftwood and large plastic objects thrown overboard all wash up on shore and all have photographic potential. The key is to get in close to photograph the scratches, marks and cracks that make these objects unique. If you find larger items such as driftwood try taking a step back to give the item context. You could even collect lots of smaller items up and shoot a seaside themed still life. Obviously we do not encourage you remove stones, pebbles and the like.

 

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5 Top Ideas To Improve Your Coastal Photography

5 Top Ideas To Improve Your Coastal Photography

Head out to the beach in time for the sunset and shoot some coastal imagery during and after the sun has set on your seaside location for another day.

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Landscape and Travel

Coastal photography

 

It might seem strange to be out on the beach at night with your camera but you can get some interesting pictures so delay the visit to the pub for a little longer and do some night-time coastal photography once you have your sunsets in the bag.

 

1. When To Shoot

The usual thinking for low light work is to shoot while there is still some colour in the sky and this helps avoid those stark black backgrounds. This is definitely good advice and helps you avoid pictures with too much light pollution, which comes out a yucky yellow and can look horrible. But after you’ve got your sunset shots, stay out after the twilight hour and continue shooting to even later.

You can try this photography at any time of the year, however you may prefer to wait until later in the year when the sunset isn’t as late so you don’t have to stay out for as long or late.

 

2. What To Shoot

As the sun sets, try shooting silhouettes or if the sky is particularly impressive, make this your focus. Later on, what you shoot is dependent on where you are. If you are at a traditional seaside resort with some nightlife there may be a pier and amusements that are worth shooting. On night’s that are clear and the moon is full, try shooting some seascapes decorated in moonlight.

 

Coastal photography
 

3. White Balance

The colours you get with different artificial lamps can vary, and you can get orange or green colour casts depending on the light type. Leave the camera in auto white balance and see how it copes with the light source. If you do not like the look of the results, try setting the colour temperature manually. To be honest, though, do not worry too much about weird colour casts because they can embellish the moodiness of the scene.

 

4. Flashguns

You could introduce your own light to close-by subjects thanks to flashguns. The flashgun on the camera hot-shoe will work fine for many scenes but beware of glare off glossy surfaces. 

 

5. Longer Exposures

Another way is to have the camera on the tripod, open the shutter on a long exposure setting of a few seconds or use the Bulb setting with a remote release to keep the shutter open while you fire the flash several times to light up foreground features. If you’re working on the sand do make sure your tripod is balanced and secure.  This painting with light technique is fun and will need several attempts to perfect so don’t expect to get it right straight away. When trying this technique, do not stand between the subject and the camera and fire the flash because your ghostly image will show. 

 

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5 Top Coastal Photography Tips: Capturing Photos Under The Pier

5 Top Coastal Photography Tips: Capturing Photos Under The Pier

Once you’ve played in the arcades and had your fish & chip dinner don’t take a walk over the pier go under it instead.

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Landscape and Travel

Pier

 

Taking a walk to the end of a pier and back is a must when visiting the coast. However, instead of walking up and over the beach why not step down onto the sand and under the pier for a spot of pier photography with a difference?

You can’t get underneath all piers so please use your common sense and don’t put yourself in danger for a photograph. If you do plan on spending time under the pier, make sure you keep your eye on the tide as if you’re distracted it can easily take you by surprise.

1. What Gear Do I Need?  

Most lenses, from wide-angle to telephotos can be used for pier photography, but if you want to get in close to the rust patterns and seaweed you’ll need a macro lens. If you don’t have one, try a close-up lens or even an extension tube. Pack your tripod if you want to play with long exposures. 
 

2. Capture Lines And Patterns

The underside of a pier is a hidden world of patterns and strong compositional lines waiting to be photographed. Position yourself right and you’ll be able to follow the vanishing point into the sea and photograph the solid shapes formed by the supports that frame it. If you’re on the beach late afternoon and the pier you’re under is made of wooden boards you’ll see rays of sunlight shining through, which will add even more interest to your frame.

If you don’t want to get your feet wet walk further up the beach and focus your macro lens on the rusting nuts and bolts that hold the pier together.

 

Pier
 

3. Study The Tide Times

Check the tide times and head out at low tide when you’ll find seaweed and barnacles decorating the supports with bands of colour and textures or take an exposure from the sky to turn the pier into a silhouette and leave all the detail out.
 

4. Play Around With Longer Exposures

As mentioned above, take your tripod along and you can put your camera on a long-ish exposure to leave the still strong pier surrounded by smooth, fluid waves. This can take a while to get right as waves can grow too big or shrink to something not worth photographing so you may have to experiment with exposure times and just keep taking photographs until you get it right. Have a lens cloth to hand as sea spray will land on your lens, leaving dots of water in the process and make sure your tripod is sturdy as all it takes is one, strong wave to knock your gear over into the sea.
 

5. Choose To Shoot In RAW

If you can, shoot in RAW as you’ll be surprised how much detail you’ll be able to bring out in the highlights and shadows in post-production without ruining the look of the rest of the image.
 

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How To Photograph Coastal Images With A Creative Twist

How To Photograph Coastal Images With A Creative Twist

Flotsam on the beach

 

As an island nation, many of us live fairly close to the coast and as well as tidal patterns in the sand, surf, sand dunes, grasses and breakwaters, the coast is host to a certain amount of flotsam. Although, rightly, we consider flotsam as undesirable rubbish, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it won’t make a good photographic subject. In fact, a day on the beach finding flotsam can be a great photographic challenge.

 

Where To Look For Flotsam

Branch on a beach

 

Finding flotsam is not too difficult, selecting what to take and making anything of it photographically is the most challenging aspect. Apparently the most common piece of flotsam is the humble cotton bud, but they’re not the most exciting photographically. I like to look for shapes and textures – from rubber gloves to tin cans, which work best in close up using parts rather than the whole, giving a more abstract appearance.

I once found a broken plastic “beach” tennis racquet, and a few metres away from a smashed tennis ball – they simply had to go together. A partly submerged skateboard made another great subject – because only the end of it was sticking out of the sand it had a really discarded feel.

Old nets from fishing boats snagged on breakwaters can look good too, and washed up wood that has been eroded into smooth sculpted shapes by the sea can look fabulous.

 

The Best Light

Flotsam on a beach

 

Ideal lighting is probably hazy sunlight – enough to give some shape to your subject, but not too much to create harsh shadows – as with everything, there are exceptions, and will be many subjects that suit either very overcast or very sunny conditions. I do find a reflector can help with bouncing light back into shadows.
 

Safety First

More than anything though, be careful on the beach, windblown sand is not the best thing to get inside your camera so make sure lens changing is kept to a minimum, and shield your camera from the wind when you do change lenses. I turn my back to the wind, and use my body to protect the whole camera – I also make sure that I change lenses as quickly as possible, to leave the camera exposed for the shortest possible time.

Tripods, no matter how stable, can sink into the soft wet sand, so ensure they don’t fall over, and lastly, be aware of the tide tables, check them on the internet, and don’t get caught out by tides coming in fast whilst you’re concentrating on pictures.

So next time you’re at the beach, keep a lookout for other people’s rubbish, which can become your art!

 

Flotsam on a beach

 

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Take amazing coastal photography this winter

Take amazing coastal photography this winter

For someone who describes themselves as ‘a poor swimmer and a poorly sailor’ it seems incredible that award-winning coastal and seascape photographer Rachael Talibart chose the sea as her muse. ‘I’m afraid of the sea,’ she laughs. ‘I think it’s dead scary, but that’s part of its appeal to me. You feel very alive when you’re afraid.’

A former solicitor, Rachael has spent a large chunk of her life at university, where she studied the sublime – a term sometimes used to describe the delicious terror we experience when faced with nature at its most forceful and immense – think mountain ranges, deep chasms, raging seas etc. ‘My big wave pictures are hugely informed by the fact that I’m afraid of the sea,’ she reveals. However, this fear is matched by a deep respect and an even greater love for the ocean.

Take amazing coastal photography this winter 1

Genesis, 2019. Canon EOS 5DS R, 100-400mm, 1/1000sec at f/13, ISO 400

Find a mentor
When Rachael decided to take her coastal and seascape photography more seriously in 2015, she embarked on a mentorship with fine art photographer Jonathan Chritchley. At this point she was selling the occasional print and running a few workshops, but the returns barely covered her expenses. ‘I would not have described myself as even a semi-pro back then,’ she admits. So, to invest a considerable sum of money in her photography was a big commitment. But, having been on workshops with Jonathan in the past, she was confident that with his advice and a lot of hard work, she could move her photography up to the next level. ‘Psychologically it was huge,’ she recalls, ‘It was me saying to myself, right you’ve made the decision, you want to go for it, commit fully and make sure that you’ve got something to lose.’

Take amazing coastal photography this winter 2

Clearing Fog, 2017. Canon EOS 5DS R, 24-70mm, 1/250sec at f/10, ISO 100

Photograph what you love
Jonathan sent Rachael a detailed questionnaire, and designed a bespoke programme based around her responses. ‘Some of the stuff he got me to do seemed a bit strange, but I trusted that he had a plan, and he did,’ she recalls. One piece of advice that struck a chord was, ‘photograph what you love.’ The more Rachael thought about it, the more her mind (and heart) came back to the sea. ‘Everyone is trying to find their voice and one of the easiest ways to do it is to focus on what you love,’ she suggests.

‘Try and think of a thing that you could spend longer looking at than anybody else without getting bored, that way you will see more, explore a subject more, and you will find new ways of expressing it. I think you have to have something to say in your photographs apart from “this is what it looked like”.’

Take amazing coastal photography this winter 3

White Cliffs, 2016. Canon EOS 5DS R, 70-200mm, 30sec at f/13, ISO 100

Return to the same place
Rachael can happily spend all day at the beach – once she was even lulled to sleep by the sound of the waves in the Outer Hebrides. Scotland’s Western Isles are just one of four locations that she returns to regularly (the others being Sussex, Oregon and Portugal), and this familiarity, coupled with the knowledge that she will return, enables her to relax and to be more experimental. ‘Many of my best photographic moments have happened on the beach closest to where I live,’ she says. ‘On the rare occasion when I find myself somewhere new, I work better by promising myself I will be back.’ This approach allows Rachael to focus on small details – water washing over a shell, or an abstract painting of rust, for example – without worrying too much about whether or not she has captured the ‘famous big vista.’

Take amazing coastal photography this winter 4

Loki, 2016. Canon EOS 5DS R, 70-200mm, 1/800sec at f/9, ISO 200

Notice the details
These quieter shots, often created at the tideline, are particularly rewarding for Rachael. ‘You can capture that moment nobody else has seen, before the tide washes it away,’ she suggests. ‘No one will have photographed that particular shell as the sea did that particular thing around it.’ While these beautiful unplanned moments create unique opportunities, there are some things that Rachael never leaves to chance. ‘I would definitely never go out without knowing the tides, and I choose where I go based on that,’ she reveals.

Using an app called NAUTIDE, she can see what the tide is doing two years in advance, which is essential when scheduling trips and workshops. ‘Knowing the tides drives what I do much more than the weather forecast,’ she reveals. In fact, while plain, blue-sky days might be off-putting for some photographers, Rachael urges everyone to get out with the camera anyway. ‘If you’re pointing down at a shell, or a detail, it doesn’t matter what the sky is doing,’ she assures.

Take amazing coastal photography this winter 5

The Far Hills, 2017. Canon EOS 5DS R, 24-70mm, 0.8sec at f/16, ISO 100

Stay safe and aware
Of course, another reason for checking the tides is safety. ‘As I said before, I am very afraid of the sea, so I take safety seriously,’ says Rachael. ‘Knowing your location really, really well certainly helps, but I would also advise standing a bit further back than the closest you think is safe, because when you’re concentrating on taking photographs, and you’re in the zone, you forget about everything around you. What’s more, if you’re using a long lens, you’ll be concentrating on a small part of the sea and you might not be aware of what the rest of the sea is doing. I definitely think it’s wise to keep looking.’ Of course, ‘being in the zone’ is what many of us crave, but not paying attention to our surroundings can have dire consequences. In Newhaven, for example – where Rachael shot her Sirens series – lives have been lost to the sea. ‘I have seen some mad things down there,’ Rachael warns.

Use robust equipment
While Rachael has never been in any serious danger at the coast, she admits to being ‘surprised’ by a wave in Portugal, leading to an expensive camera repair bill. ‘I’ve tested the weather-sealing on the Canon EOS 5DS R thoroughly, and I can tell you it works!’ she laughs. ‘The only thing you can’t do is immerse it in the sea!’ Rachael uses two 5DS R bodies and a Fuji X-T2 (mainly for video). ‘I handle lots of different cameras on my workshops, but my Canon feels like an extension of my hands – I never have to think about it,’ she explains. She teams the EOS 5DS R with one of four lenses: 16-35mm, 24-70mm, 70-200mm or 100-400mm.

‘The lens I use most has changed over time,’ she explains. ‘When I started out, the 16-35mm would have been my go-to lens, and it still is if there is an amazing sky, but over time I’ve found myself using ever-longer focal lengths. I really enjoy shooting with the 100-400mm at the long end, picking out patterns on the surface of the sea or in the waves, for example.’ If the spray is strong, Rachael uses an inexpensive Op/Tech rainsleeve to protect her gear.

Get out there
At a time like this, experiencing the vigour and majesty of nature is a genuine tonic. ‘Nature is therapeutic and redemptive,’ says Rachael. ‘As a species we have become disconnected from nature and it has allowed us to abuse and exploit the natural world, rather than having a symbiotic relationship with it. I think the more time we spend in the company of nature the more likely we are to become the best version of ourselves.’ Surely, there’s no better reason to head to the coast.

Rachel’s top tips

Follow your passion
Ask yourself what it is you love – it might be food, dance or, in Rachael’s case, the ocean. Find something you could spend a lifetime exploring without getting bored, and dedicate yourself to photographing it. The deeper you dig, the more you will find.

Take amazing coastal photography this winter 6

It’s all in the detail
If you shoot on a falling tide, interesting details will often be revealed on the rocks and sand. Rachael admits that she probably spends more time on these ‘quiet’ pictures than she does shooting ‘scary waves’. It’s also an ideal time to shoot because the sand will be free of footprints.

Take amazing coastal photography this winter 7

Check the highlights
While Rachael isn’t fond of ‘chimping’ (constantly reviewing images on the LCD screen), she advises checking the histogram occasionally to avoid blown-out highlights. When storms are blowing through quickly, the sun is constantly peeking through the clouds, which can create problems on white foam.

Take amazing coastal photography this winter 8

Leave a gap
Rachael likes to leave a long gap between capturing images, reviewing them, and editing them. By allowing these intentional pauses, the emotional high from the shoot dissipates and she can edit her work calmly and objectively. Generally speaking, she only spends 10 minutes or so editing a picture.

Take amazing coastal photography this winter 9

Know the tides
Never go out without knowing the tides, for safety and for photographic purposes. When there’s a big tide Rachael likes to go to Birling Gap, because more sand will be revealed (it’s predominantly pebbly), but if it’s shallow she prefers West Wittering – although on a big tide you have to walk out to get to the sea.

Take amazing coastal photography this winter 10

Try black & white
Perhaps unusually, Rachael finds it easy to switch between black & white and colour. To assist her, she shoots raw, but switches the in-camera Picture Style to Monochrome – that way she retains all the detail while being able to see what a later monochrome conversion will look like.

Take amazing coastal photography this winter 11

Rachel’s kit list

Fotospeed paper Rachael is a Fotospeed ambassador and recommends checking out the company’s website for tutorials. (Rachael also runs printing workshops via her company f/11.) One of her favourite papers is Fotospeed NST Bright white 315.
Take amazing coastal photography this winter 12

Canon 100-400mm lens
Rachael predominantly uses four lenses, but the Canon 100-400mm is her favourite for picking out patterns and details. She also uses a 24-70mm lens for ‘proper’ abstracts, as it allows her to get close to her subjects and is sharp from corner to corner.

Take amazing coastal photography this winter 13NAUTIDE app
For tide, wind and wave information the NAUTIDE app is hard to beat. Rachael used to use a simpler app that told her the times of high and low tide at locations, but it wasn’t enough. With NAUTIDE she can see tide heights and depths, and predict a big spring tide or shallow neap tide years in advance.

Take amazing coastal photography this winter 14

LEE Filters
Rachael is a LEE Filters master and wouldn’t be without a set of grads in her kit bag. She often uses a 0.6 ND Hard Grad, but has recently gravitated towards a lighter version (the 0.3) for more subtlety. She also uses a 3-stop ProGlass ND and a polariser.
Take amazing coastal photography this winter 15

Op/Tech rainsleeve
Op/Tech rainsleeves are super-cheap and can be screwed up and carried in your pocket. They feature a drawstring opening for a snug fit around lenses, and an opening for the eyepiece so you don’t have to look through a piece of plastic. Perfect for protecting your gear from sea spray.
Take amazing coastal photography this winter 16

Canon EOS 5DS R
The weather-sealing on the Canon EOS 5DS R has been put to the test countless times by Rachael and, apart from one immersion experience, it has never let her down. This DSLR offers 50.6 million pixels, and provides critical sharpness when she needs it the most.

Take amazing coastal photography this winter 17

Check out Rachel’s new book
Rachael’s beautiful new edition, Tides and Tempests, which features more than 120 images, can be ordered from Kozu Books, priced at £45 (standard edition). See here for more

Take amazing coastal photography this winter 18

Further reading
How to take better sea shots

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5 Top Tips For Perfecting Out Of Season Coastal Shots

5 Top Tips For Perfecting Out Of Season Coastal Shots

Some great coastal photos can also be captured out of season, as we find out here.

| 
Landscape and Travel

Pier

 

After summer ends and the chips, candy floss and plastic buckets have long left the seafront, the British seaside resort morphs into a place that’s desolated and full of photographic potential. 

 

1. Gear Suggestions

A zoom lens will give you the flexibility of both wide and telephoto options in one lens which is good news for the photographer who doesn’t want to be carrying too much kit on their seaside walk. Plus, you don’t really want to be changing lenses when there’s a strong breeze blowing sand and salt which could damage your equipment. A tripod will help you steady your camera while the strong coastal breeze blows around you.

 

2. Be Prepared

A bonus with this time of year is that parking’s a doddle and accommodation should be cheaper if you’re planning a full weekend of photography. 

Don’t forget to check the all-important weather forecast and make sure you note down what time the tide will be on its way back in. If you don’t,  you could find yourself paddling through saltwater with your camera gear if you do head for the beach. 

 

3. Light And Feel

Low-angled light will give colourful beach huts more punch while a bright blue sky dotted with white clouds will add a bit of life to what can be drab looking shops and piers. 

If you find that Mother Nature has realised you’re at the coast and as a result predictably turns the sky grey don’t be too down-hearted as a storm brewing over the sea will always look good. To give the sky more detail fit an ND filter to your lens but if it’s still too dull and flat, shoot the scene anyway and try converting it to mono when you’re back in front of your computer. If all else fails, there’s always the option to shoot some macro detail of nets, ropes and wet pebbles on the beach. Just remember to fill the frame to give your shots more impact. 

 

Sea front

 

4. Photograph People

The ice-cream seller may be long gone but you will get the odd resident, brave surfer and fishermen still walking around the empty seaside towns. Even though it’s always polite to ask before you take your shot, sometimes candids, where you snap a couple of shots without them knowing you’re doing so, do work better. Many people won’t mind you taking their photograph if you ask politely enough though so don’t be afraid to approach someone with your camera and a pleasant smile. Try getting in close if they have a strong face that will make a good character portrait then stand back to give the shot more context. This can work well with a lonely surfer stood on a damp, deserted beach or with a café owner clearing tables in an empty shop. 

5. Life’s A Beach

The pier is a photographic opportunity not to be missed at this time of year as you won’t have tourists walking into your shot and morning fog can be found circling the supports, making them an eerie photographic opportunity. Go wide, shooting from the beach if possible or shoot from the top, using the pier as a leading line into your image.

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5 Tips For Perfecting Out Of Season Coastal Shots

5 Tips For Perfecting Out Of Season Coastal Shots

Some great coastal photos can also be captured out of season, as we find out here.

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Landscape and Travel

After summer ends and the chips, candy floss and plastic buckets have long left the seafront, the British seaside resort morphs into a place that’s desolated and full of photographic potential. 

 

Pier

 

Gear Suggestions

A zoom lens will give you the flexibility of both wide and telephoto options in one lens which is good news for the photographer who doesn’t want to be carrying too much kit on their seaside walk. Plus, you don’t really want to be changing lenses when there’s a strong breeze blowing sand and salt which could damage your equipment. A tripod will help you steady your camera while the strong coastal breeze blows around you.

 

Be Prepared

A bonus with this time of year is that parking’s a doddle and accommodation should be cheaper if you’re planning a full weekend of photography. 

Don’t forget to check the all-important weather forecast and make sure you note down what time the tide will be on its way back in. If you don’t,  you could find yourself paddling through saltwater with your camera gear if you do head for the beach. 

 

Light And Feel

Low-angled light will give colourful beach huts more punch while a bright blue sky dotted with white clouds will add a bit of life to what can be drab looking shops and piers. 

If you find that Mother Nature has realised you’re at the coast and as a result predictably turns the sky grey don’t be too down-hearted as a storm brewing over the sea will always look good. To give the sky more detail fit an ND filter to your lens but if it’s still too dull and flat, shoot the scene anyway and try converting it to mono when you’re back in front of your computer. If all else fails, there’s always the option to shoot some macro detail of nets, ropes and wet pebbles on the beach. Just remember to fill the frame to give your shots more impact. 

 

Sea front

 

People

The ice cream seller may be long gone but you will get the odd resident, brave surfer and fishermen still walking around the empty seaside towns. Even though it’s always polite to ask before you take your shot, sometimes candids where you snap a couple of shots without them knowing you’re doing so do work better. Many people won’t mind you taking their photograph if you ask politely enough though so don’t be afraid to approach someone with your camera and a pleasant smile. Try getting in close if they have a strong face that will make a good character portrait then stand back to give the shot more context. This can work well with a lonely surfer stood on a damp, deserted beach or with a café owner clearing tables in an empty shop. 

Life’s A Beach

The pier is a photographic opportunity not to be missed at this time of year as you won’t have tourists walking into your shot and morning fog can be found circling the supports, making them an eerie photographic opportunity. Go wide, shooting from the beach if possible or shoot from the top, using the pier as a leading line into your image.

Support this site by making a Donation, purchasing Plus Membership, or shopping with one of our affiliates:
Amazon UK,
Amazon US,
Amazon CA,
ebay UK,
WEX

It doesn’t cost you anything extra when you use these links, but it does support the site, helping keep ePHOTOzine free to use, thank you.

Source link