Beach Photography Tips for the Sugar baby

Our beach photography tips are intended to guide you so that you can capture the beauty and splendor of the beach and ocean.

There’s an undeniable force at the beach that brings people all around the world back time and time again. With our beach photo tricks, you’ll be able to get results like the pros and capture those feelings and memories forever.

See our collection of beach photo tips below:

Ideal Lighting

If possible, try to plan to take photographs at the beach during hours in which the natural light is most conducive to photography. The hours at the beginning and end of the day generally provides the best light as it is softer and more diffuse.

The hours right before sunset are often referred to as the “golden hours” due to the warm and often golden light that is cast on your subject.

During these hours, the light is coming from an angle that naturally brings out the textures and doesn’t create such harsh shadows that can be seen when sun is directly overhead.

Bright overcast days can sometimes soften the light enough during times of the day that normally would be too bright. This can be a great time for taking photographs that don’t require a bright blue sky, i.e, closeups, etc.

Black and White

beach photograph in black and white On days that are terribly overcast and you would not normally think of going to the beach, try taking black and white photographs. The active surf prior to a storm with dark, ominous, stormy clouds rolling in can be a wonderfully dramatic photograph. The use of black and white is less typical these days and can generate more appeal than a color photograph that may seem somewhat colorless. Try to look for compositions that will have ranges of lights and darks in your color image. When these are converted to black and white, they strong contrast will make a wonderful photograph.

Keep your camera in full color mode when you take your photographs of the beach, and convert to black and white with a editor on your computer. You’ll have more control and get better results doing the conversion on your computer, instead of on your camera.

Often times, what you think is a poor photograph is a diamond in the rough – if you just apply the correct cropping after converting to black and white. You’ll find more beach photography tips below.

Dealing with Harsh Sunlight

Shooting in noon-day sunlight can be particularly troublesome at the beach. The sun is nearly overhead, very bright, and casting strong shadows directly down. Combine these effects with strong reflections from a large body of water and you’ve got the making of an exposure nightmare.

One trick that will help adjust the exposure during these harsh conditions requires using some manual settings on your camera. Set your aperture to F/16 with an shutter speed equal to the inverse of your ISO speed. If you are using ISO 100, set your shutter to 1/100 second.

“Bracketing” is another method that can be employed to try to get the best results in a difficult situation. Essentially, this means taking 3 or more photographs of the same scene and framing, but by quickly adjusting a key setting one notch in either direction.

Try the following to get slightly different exposures of the same scene – you’ll improve your chances of getting an exposure that is pleasing to your eye.

  • F/14 aperture, ISO 100, and 1/100 second shutter speed
  • F/16 aperture, ISO 100, and 1/100 second shutter speed
  • F/18 aperture, ISO 100, and 1/100 second shutter speed

Using Flash

attractive woman backlit on the beach Many photographs don’t turn out as expected simply because the subject was back lit by the sun, or a bright sky. With such a bright background, the camera will often read the light conditions such that the subject is not properly exposed and may appear as a silhouette.

As the photographer, you can use this to your advantage and create a compelling image by utilizing this silhouette.

However, if you decide that this is not the effect that you’re going for, a great way to avoid this is to use a flash as a “fill”. This will allow your subject to be lit sufficiently to allow the camera to properly expose the subject.

Walk around the subject and observe the light on their face. Try having them turn slightly to avoid looking into the light, but still have some natural light hit their face. Take the shot that strikes you as most appealing, using the flash if necessary to help fill in some shadows.

Balance the Horizon

One of the quickest ways to create a distracting and unprofessional photograph is to have a non-horizontal horizon line. No worries, we’ve got just the right beach photography tips for you.

Unless you’re intentionally taking a stylish beach photo that’s obviously and intentionally angled, users will expect the horizon to be flat. Be aware of this faux pas when composing your image, the horizon is a major component of the image, try to keep it horizontal.

Take the time to fix this in a digital editing software package by rotating and cropping the image if you see the mistake after the fact. The extra effort to fix it will make a much more compelling photo.

Eliminate Distractions

closeup photograph of beach thistle The biggest rule in photographic composition is to make sure your subject is clear. If there are objects in the background of the image, you’ll want to take steps to remove them or minimize them.

If the object does not add to the value of the photograph, remove it. However, if there’s no way to remove it you can use some additional beach photography tips to deal with the situation.

This is most effectively done by either blurring out the background (with a narrow depth of field resulting from a large aperture), or composing the image so that there are minimal distracting elements around your subject. This may be as simple as walking around the scene a little to find the perfect angle.

The quickest way to weaken your photo is to not be aware of what’s going on around your subject. Watch for distractions!

Squash the Squint

These beach photography tips will help you avoid one of the most common beach photo problems!

Asking your subjects to look into the bright sun is a sure way to end up with a “squinty” image. Instead, ask them to turn 30 or 45 degrees in one direction or the other so that they’re face is still lit with natural lighting.

Or, if you decide to back light them with the sun, consider using a flash to fill the shadows cast on their face.

Using Filters

beach scene with deep blue sky When taking photographs outside in the bright sun, the use of a circular polarizer will help limit and remove glare caused by reflections on water, glass, and other smooth reflective surfaces. Removing reflections will allow for greater definition of your subjects and textures in the image.

Think of a polarizer as “sunglasses for your camera”. The effect is the same, colors become more vivid and more importantly to beach photography, skies will be more blue!

The use of a UV filter is also recommended for a couple key reasons. First, it acts to protect your lens from being scratched. Secondly, it can help avoid a blueish atmospheric haze that is created by UV light in outside photography.


Sunsets are the pearl of all beach photography! And why shouldn’t they be? Wonderful colors cause the sky to light up with a glorious glow. But, they can be tricky to photograph! We’ve got just the beach photography tips you’ll need to tackle this shot!

If you don’t choose the correct exposure the colors represented in the image will not match the explosion of color that you just experienced. To improve your chances try these beach photography tips to get the best results:

  • Using a bracketing method similar to the one used above, plan on taking at least three photographs of your sunset.
  • First, using your camera’s internal meter, aim at a bright portion of the sky to set the exposure. With your camera button half-pressed, compose the image to your satisfaction and take the photograph.
  • Secondly, aim at a darker section of the sky (or foreground) to set the exposure. Adjust the framing of the image and take the photograph.
  • Finally, select an area of the sky that falls between the two extremes above. Compose the image and take the shot.
  • Repeat with different focus points until you find one that gives you the effect you want. You may find that you like more than one!

Creative Subjects

So, you get home and look at your beach pictures and your pictures all seem the same. You’re probably stuck in the point and click rut. These beach photography tips will help you take more interesting photos. Take a pause before you snap your photograph and look for unusual subjects that you normally don’t photograph.

The beach is full of beautiful and unusual subjects. Sometimes, you just need to look where the people aren’t! For example, beach grasses make wonderful foregrounds and backgrounds for your images.

Another way to make your photographs stand out is to vary your perspective and angle. As with any photograph, you’ll get the best results by eliminating background distractions – so, don’t be afraid to get eye-level with your subject and get nice and close, or use a zoom lens to make sure your subject is clearly understood.

Using Motion Blur

kite surfer on the waves The beach is full of motion. Capturing this energy in a photograph is a fantastic way of remembering activities you love at the beach.

Think of all the things in motion at the beach! For any one of these, you can slow your shutter speed (Tv) on your camera to cause action to blur and transfer the sense of movement and motion to your photograph. Combine this with a tripod to ensure that other objects in your photograph remain in sharp focus, and you have a recipe for a very compelling photograph.

Consider these subjects at the beach that are always in motion:

  • Children
  • Surfers
  • Kites
  • Dogs
  • Birds
  • Crabs
  • Waves
  • Boats
  • Skim Boarders
  • Grasses

Don’t Forget the Night

Your beach photographic tips would be incomplete if you didn’t consider the possibilities when the sun goes down! Bring your tripod to capture longer exposures lit entirely by moonlight. In many locations, you may see the many other lights reflecting on the water. For example, look for boats, piers, etc.

Protecting Your Equipment

The beach can be a harmful environment for your camera. Salt water, sand, and wind can be a recipe for disaster. Plan ahead and bring a camera bag or case that will keep your camera and lens safe when it’s not in use.

If you’re coming outside from an air conditioned area, you’ll want to let your camera warm up to the outside temperature slowly to help avoid condensation that can occur when going from a low humidity cool environment to a warm humid beach environment.

Use a can of compressed air to blow sand out of hard to reach cracks and crevices. Be sure to carefully clean your lenses and filters so as not to scratch them.

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