The sea presents one of the most diverse and overall dramatic subjects of photography. The sea’s calm tranquillity, its raging power or its seemingly infinite reach provides an ever changing and dynamic landscape with a rich variety of natural light settings in which to shoot. All these characteristics make any sea or beach spot a natural arena for producing exceptional pieces of fine art photography.
However beautiful the scenery may be, it is easy to end up with an endless roll of the most static and boring images of this marine landscape. There are a few important tricks of the trade to achieve beautiful and captivating beach photographs.
The very first thing that a photographer wants to do when filming at sea locations is to be aware of how timing affects the lighting in the image. When a scene is very reflective it produces a glare that causes too much contrast. The sea is a very reflective surface and the light colour of sand also makes it reflective. Therefore, shooting in the mid-day sun is not recommended. The best lighting for sea photography is at dawn or dusk. Not only do these two times dramatically change the scenery, but the specular colours that come with it is a nice change to the regular blue and yellow of sea pictures.
A sea or beach shot can be made redundant if the picture is not taken with a focal point. Shooting the wide open spaces of sand, sea or the horizon will generally produce a flat uninteresting image. However, finding an interesting subject to bring focus to the image will greatly enhance the picture and add character. Just take a second and look around before you start shooting. This location is filled with interesting subjects from patterns in the sand, marine life, structures or articles in or on the beach or even the pattern of clouds in the sky; all of which will help to frame your photograph and add a more realistic feel to the image. These focal points can also add a splash of brilliant colour that adds more life to the image. The rule of third is also a relevant point to note since this prevents the photographer from capturing images that lack proper composition. If ignored, this too could produce uninteresting images.
Be on the lookout for occasions where the sea maybe different. Boats or other vessels cruising along, waves and ripples, changes caused by the weather like storm clouds or fog, and shooting in the night time are all occurrences that provide for the opportunity to obtain amazing photographs of the sea landscape. It is important to note also that exposure time can produce more detail to enhance your images. Use shorter exposure time for slower movements like ripple and small waves and long exposure time to freeze and capture harsher motion live spraying waves.
Like shooting any other type of image, an eye for details and good technique will help the photographer to produce exceptional sea images.