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Shooting at the Beach

We love going to the beach. Most of the time it is for a day or two. When I first started shooting I became frustrated with shooting in the harsh sunlight that is present mid-day. You know that swimming in the golden hour of the evening sun is not really an option, though it would make for pretty pictures.

Over time I have learned several things that have helped me deal with capturing our day at the beach. First I bump up my aperture to as high as 4.0. I usually prefer to shoot at 2.0; however at the beach 4.0 works well for me. Second, look for the light. See where it is casting shadows on faces and then move. I want my subjects face to be in the shadows and have even light across it. (As much even light as you can get.)  Then I position myself so whoever I am shooting is back lit; meaning the sun is not hitting their face directly but is coming from behind. I tend to shoot this way most of the time when the sun is out. Then I meter (shooting in manual) for shadow on their face and shoot away. When shooting children remember to get down at their level and capture them in the moment of what they are doing. Hope you get to enjoy sand between your toes sometime this summer!

Below was Myla’s first beach experience in 2009. It was my first experience shooting on a beach mid-day.

Notice how she is not back lit. If I would have moved to the other side of her the sun would then be behind her.

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