Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Kappadokien – zurück zu den Wurzeln

10:09:00 PM

Ein Beitrag von: Charlotte Ernst

Sieben Uhr morgens. Viviane ist schon wieder eingeschlafen. Wir sitzen komplett übernächtigt im Shuttlebus Richtung Downtown ohne einen Schimmer, wo wir unterkommen werden. Obwohl ich eigentlich nichts lieber tun würde als zu schlafen, nehme ich mich zusammen, um die Gegend anzuschauen. Kappadokien… Während es draußen langsam heller wird, frage ich mich, was wohl so Besonderes an diesem Ort ist, der sich aus der kahlen Flughafeneinöde am Horizont langsam in eine grüne Hügellandschaft verwandelt.

Es ist ihre letzte große Station gewesen. Mir fällt auf, dass ich nicht einmal genau weiß, in wie vielen Ländern dieser Welt meine Oma in ihrem Leben überhaupt schon war. Ganze Abende hatten wir oft zusammen gesessen und uns ihre bebilderten Reiseberichte angeschaut, bis uns die Augen zufielen. Jedes noch so kleine Detail, das sie während der Tour aufgeschnappt hatte, hatte sie fein säuberlich von Hand übertragen.

Nun mussten mir die festgehaltenen Notizen weiter helfen, um mehr über ihre Lebensgeschichte herauszufinden, denn ich konnte sie nicht mehr fragen. Sommer und verschneite Winter hatten sich abgewechselt, bis sie im Alter von 88 Jahren schließlich entschieden hatte, dass es Zeit für sie sei, zu gehen. In der Nacht sah ich sie wieder – sie regnete in unzähligen Sternschnuppen vom Himmel herunter.

Ein Tisch mit verschiedenen Dingen darauf

Ein Zimmer

Das Buch über Byzanz zu meinem 26. Geburtstag. Ihre letzte Reise in die Türkei.

Mir wurde klar, dass sie es alles genau so gewollt hatte, auch den Unfall und den schweren Kampf, das langsame Abwechseln der Rollen und das Abschiednehmen. Sie hatte gewollt, dass wir uns frei machen von allem, was uns an sie band und unseren eigenen Weg finden. Was uns verband, waren die Liebe und Dankbarkeit, die wir für sie empfanden, dafür, dass sie immer da gewesen war. Den Schmerz zu akzeptieren, war das Schwierigste.

Doch sie machte es uns gut vor. Ohne mit der Wimper zu zucken, ließ sie alle Behandlungen über sich ergehen. Erst in der Nacht, bevor wir sie wieder nach Hause brachten, verstand ich, dass die Krankheit sie von innen auffraß. Oma knirschte vor Schmerz mit den Zähnen. Ich lag in einem Beistellbettchen neben ihr und hielt ihre Hand, bis es hell wurde. Sie drückte zu wie ein Schraubstock und ich drückte dagegen. Es war ein bisschen wie beim Armdrücken. Oma hatte mich immer haushoch geschlagen.

Sie ist eine Kriegerin gewesen. Würde sie das jetzt hören, würde sie trotzig die Stirn runzeln und entgegnen: „Ach ’n Quatsch!“ Dinge auszuschmücken, mochte sie nie. Schwärmen hingegen liebte sie. Und ihre Arbeit. Jeden Morgen um halb 6 begann auf der Badezimmermatte mit den fünf Tibetern ihr Ritual, für das sie aus dem höchsten Maß ihrer Kräfte schöpfte, um allen großen und kleinen Anforderungen, die sich so einschleichen könnten, gewachsen zu sein.

Eine Schrankwand

Eine Frau im Bett

Meine Brüder und ich pflegten sie „Om“ zu nennen. Oms und mein Leben überlappte sich für 27 Jahre. In meiner Erinnerung sehe ich ihre kleine Gestalt durch das große Haus wuseln. Ausgerüstet mit Arbeitskittel, hier ein Blättchen aufsammelnd, da ein paar Teppichfransen glatt streichend, dann in den Garten zu ihren Blumen, so streifte sie umher, den Oberkörper immer wie ein Skispringer nach vorn gestreckt, als wolle sie sich selbst überholen. Aus jeder Ecke erzählten Andenken aus aller Welt Geschichten, die sie auf ihren Reisen erlebt hat.

Jeden hatte sie im Krankenhaus noch einmal scharf angeschaut, so als würde sie bemessen, dass auch alles gesagt sei. „Um Dich muss ich mir keine Sorgen machen – Du hast Deinen Weg schon gefunden“, hatte sie zu mir gesagt, als es einmal um die berufliche Zukunft der Enkel ging. Zwar hatte es mich beruhigt, doch außer der einzigen Konstante, die mir anhing, nämlich meiner Kamera, fühlte ich mich in meinem ewigen Pendeln zwischen Mexiko und Berlin noch gar nicht so, als hätte ich meinen Weg schon gefunden.

Kurve um Kurve schlängelt sich der Minivan durch die grüne Landschaft. Den Kopf an die Fensterscheibe gedrückt, schaukele ich mit und bemerke, wie erste Schneeflocken leise in der Luft tanzen. Mit einem Mal verändert sich die Stimmung und erst kann ich gar nicht sagen, was es ist, doch dann höre ich auch von hinten die „Ahhs“ und „Ohhs“ und alle schauen mit offenstehenden Mündern nach draußen, wo die merkwürdigsten Felsgebilde sichtbar werden, die auf einmal immer zahlreicher aus dem Boden zu schießen scheinen.

Eine surreale Landschaft

Spitze Berge

Sie erinnern an riesige Zipfelmützen, Pilze, an Tipis und Steinkamine. Nun beginnen sich auch kleinere Häuser unter die außerirdisch anmutenden Formationen zu mischen und mir fällt wieder ein, dass wir immer noch keine Unterkunft haben. Ich drehe mich zu meiner Sitznachbarin und frage sie, ob sie weiß, wo man hier schlafen könne. Meine Stimme ist noch nicht besonders geölt und auch meine Pupillen haben sicher Rekord-Stecknadelgröße, denn sie schreckt leicht zurück. Wir schauen beide kurz ein bisschen dumm aus der Wäsche und dann lächelt sie und sagt mir, sie übernachte mit ihrem Freund im „Stay in Peace Hostel“.

Das Hostel liegt in einem der zahlreichen zu Wohnungen ausgehöhlten Felsen. Es ist überraschend gemütlich, der Eingangsbereich ist mit dicken dunkelroten Teppichen ausgelegt und in der Lobby flackert uns aus einem alten Eisenofen ein warmes Feuer entgegen. Zu meiner Überraschung sind die ersten Worte, die zu vernehmen sind, keine türkischen, sondern spanische – mit unverkennbarem Mexiko-City-Slang. Ihre Besitzer sind ein Junge und ein Mädchen, die neben dem Ofen sitzen und aufgeregt diskutieren. Es geht um die weitere Reiseplanung. Während sie sich nicht sicher ist, ob sie nach Berlin zurück fliegen soll, möchte er bleiben. Spannend.

Wir begrüßen uns und um nicht der Müdigkeit anheimzufallen, ziehen Viviane und ich gleich weiter, um bei einem Spaziergang die Gegend nach Fotospots zu erkunden. Mit im Gepäck: Die Mamiya mit zwei Filmen. Wir laufen durch den kleinen Ort, dessen Läden und Straßen einen unwirklichen Kontrast zu den Höhlen und riesigen Felsspitzen zeichnen. Unter unseren Sohlen knirscht der frische Schnee und wir saugen die kalte Luft tief ein, während unsere Blicke in alle Richtungen gezogen werden.

Ein Mann, der mit mehreren Hunden Gassi geht

Blick in ein Friseurgeschäft

Nach kurzer Hand-Fuß-Kommunikation steigen wir in einen von den Vans, die an dem kleinen Busbahnhof stehen. Die Idee ist, den magischen Ort wiederzufinden, den ich aus dem Shuttlebus heraus entdeckt habe. Eine Weile fahren wir auf einer einsamen Straße durch die weiße Natur. Unter den wohlwollend neugierigen Blicken der anderen Passagiere kleben wir wieder an den Fenstern – weiß gepinselte Bergspitzen und Felskamine ziehen an uns vorbei.

Unfähig zu entscheiden, wo wir aussteigen sollen, wobei wir offensichtlich in die völlig entgegengesetzte Richtung fahren, rufe ich schließlich das türkische Wort, das ich kurz zuvor auf einem Stoppschild gelesen habe: „DÜR!!“ Der Fahrer dreht sich um und schaut ein wenig ungläubig, doch dann macht er die Tür auf und wir hüpfen hinaus in die verschneite Stille.

Während der Bus allmählich vom Nebel verschluckt wird, habe ich das Gefühl, wir wurden gerade bei unserem Blind Date mit der Unendlichkeit abgesetzt. Die klare Luft defragmentiert alle meine Gedanken mit einer Klarheit, als ob jemand kurz auf Reset gedrückt hätte und das Einzige, was ich denken kann, ist „Zuhause angekommen“.

Es ist dieses innere Heimatgefühl, das sich immer dann wie eine Wärmflasche in mir ausbreitet, wenn ich auf meine Intuition gehört habe und einen Weg gegangen bin, der Herz hat. Wie diesen. Wir stehen vor unserer Geschichte und fragen uns, wo Sterblichkeit aufhört und das Leben beginnt.

Mit Flip Flops bekleidet klettert Viviane den vereisten Hang hinauf und rutscht erst ein paar Mal wieder runter. Irgendwann ist sie glaube ich festgefroren, denn sie steht für ein paar Sekunden. Ich mache ein Foto. Dann müssen wir auch schon aufhören, die Kälte zieht sofort in die Zehen und nachdem ich auch noch einmal vor die Kamera komme, zittern wir beide wie Espenlaub.

Eine nackte Frau zwischen surrealen Bergen

Eine nackte Frau vor verschneiten Bergen

Und der Rückweg? Etwas verloren beginnen wir, in die Richtung zu gehen, aus der wir hergefahren sind, wobei wir weder unsere Füße noch unsere Nasen spüren, als auf einmal ein Wagen neben uns hält. Ein italienischer Geologe und ein Türke sitzen im Wagen und fragen, ob wir mitfahren wollen, sie seien unterwegs zu einer Kirche in einem Berg. Wir überlegen nicht lange und werden am Eingang von einem Dromedar begrüßt, das friedlich unter dem Schnee nach Grasbüscheln sucht.

Beim Teetrinken erfahren wir, dass durch die Lavaflüsse dreier Vulkane, die hier vor Millionen von Jahren das Land unter einer dicken Rußschicht begruben, über die Jahrtausende und durch Wind und Witterung das kappadokische Hochplateau entstanden ist, das die Einheimischen wegen der charakteristischen Tuffsteinspitzen „das Land der Feenkamine“ nennen.

Am Abend fällt mir noch einmal der Traum mit dem Sternschnuppenregen ein. Und gleich darauf fällt mir etwas ein, das ich erst nach Oms Tod bemerkt habe. Sie ist ihr Leben lang Lehrerin gewesen und hat ihre Arbeit mit Ehrgeiz und Freude bestritten. Einmal bin ich mit dem Auto an der kleinen Schule vorbei gefahren, in der sie unterrichtet hat und zum ersten Mal ist mir das riesige Wandgemälde an der Vorderseite des Gebäudes aufgefallen, das einen Ritter zu Pferde zeigt, der mit einem Schwert gegen einen Drachen kämpft.

Darunter in großen alten Lettern die Worte: „Sich selbst besiegen, ist der schönste Sieg.“ Vielleicht hat Om mir in dieser Nacht sagen wollen, dass die Option, sich etwas zu wünschen, immer offen bleibt. Dass man nach den Sternen greifen muss, koste es, was es wolle.


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Join Me For a Drop-In Studio at GPP2017

11:07:00 AM

Just a quick heads-up for anyone headed to Gulf Photo Plus in Dubai that I'll be holding a drop-in studio session on the afternoon of Weds., Feb 15th. It's not an official class, just something cool happening on the side.

You can learn more about it here, but basically it is free and we'll be experimenting/learning/failing/etc. Specifically, we'll be working with gels in the context of future posts in the just-started Lighting 103 module. So I thought it would be espcially cool to possibly incorporate photos of some of Strobist's international readers as we get further into the course.

Which is why you are getting this invite!

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Filmmakers Who Trampled The Grand Prismatic Spring, Sentenced

10:07:00 AM
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Serious Consequences for “High on Life” Crew

In May 2016, a group of 4 men who were later identified by the internet as online filmmakers for the Canadian clothing brand “High on Life” walked all over the Grand Prismatic Spring of Yellowstone National Park in order to shoot videos for their company.

These men, who purposefully ignored the signs in the National Park by deciding to hop into the thermal springs and pose for the people, were video taped and photographed by a visitor who then emailed the footage of the entire stunt (photos and videos) to the Yellowstone National Park.

The public also contacted the National Park after the men had posted pictures on their Facebook page that was later deleted.

Both the public and social media helped with the investigations, and on July 13th the group announced this on a Facebook post,

“We want you all to know, we take full responsibility for our actions, and will pay restitution for our poor decisions in the states. During the past 6 weeks, we’ve had time to reflect on our actions and understand that what we did was wrong and cannot happen again.”

They’ve now been sentenced for their irresponsible behavior with fines and jail terms in Wyoming after returning to the United States.

Who Are They?

These men are part of a Canadian clothing brand called “High on Life SundayFundayz” who document their travels through photos and videos and share them on social media.

The Grand Prismatic Spring

The Grand Prismatic spring in Yellowstone Park, Wyoming is the largest hot spring in the US and the third largest hot spring in the world and is a place of great natural beauty. The water beneath the ground is heated up by magma and it bubbles to the top, cools and then sinks. This cycle then continues to repeat.

The vibrant colors are not chemicals but formed due to the microbes that thrive in these warm waters.

There are different microbes that thrive at different temperatures here, ranging from 30 degrees Celsius (86 F) to about 72 degrees Celsius (161 F) and each of these bacteria produce a different pigment. The deep blue color at the center is the natural water that’s too hot for the bacteria.

Walking on these colorful grounds can damage the microscopic living things, leave footprints and the fragile crusts can cause falls creating fatal burns.

Aerial view of Grand Prismatic Spring; Hot Springs, Midway & Lower Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park

Aerial view of Grand Prismatic Spring; Hot Springs, Midway & Lower Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park –
Image by Jim Peaco, National Park Service

Grand Prismatic Spring

Grand Prismatic Spring – Image by James St. John

What Exactly Happened Then?

A group of four Canadians Charles Ryker Gamble, Alexey Andriyovych Lyakh, Hamish McNab Campbell Cross and Justis Cooper Price-Brown from the Canadian brand “High on Life” were having a fun day at the Grand Prismatic Park when they hopped off the wooden boards onto the thermal springs.

This was both a hazardous act for the men and a damage to the national park.

The group has before this incident, done commercial photography without a permit, used the drone in a closed area and ridden the bike in other national parks. Rebels, you might say.

The internet tracked them down from the images they captured during their walk on the spring that were posted to social media. Does the above image not prove that there might be someone taking a picture of you or capturing the reckless behavior on video?

Apart from the Yellowstone Park, these guys have committed violations at the Zion National Park, Death Valley National Park and Mesa Verde National Park.

The group initially tried to hide their stunt, and of course failing at this. In turn, this forced them to own up to their misconduct and subsequently, tried to get their fans to make donations towards the park, but these failed attempts resulted in the public calling for their arrests.

People were naturally outraged over this, calling for their sponsors to stop supporting them.

An Attempt to Salvage Something

The team was also trying to set things right by setting up a system where they will donate a dollar (up to $5,000) each time someone uses the hashtag #‎DonationforYellowstone when posting a Yellowstone story to the park’s facebook page.

As a result of their act, these men have been shamed publicly and on social media. Plus they’ve also been threatened for the wrong decision they made whilst on their road trip. Pretty serious stuff, I think they’ll openly admit.

Of the four men, Hamish cross pleaded guilty in November 2016 and was fined for his act.

The Superintendent of Yellowstone National Park, Dan Wenk said,

“The judge’s decision today sends a very clear message about thermal feature protection and safety. Hamish Cross’s egregious actions damaged a world-class hot spring and risked his own life coupled with the lives of responding rangers. We look forward to the outcome of the case regarding the three remaining defendants.”

He also added,

We implore all visitors to learn about the rules in Yellowstone, respect the rules and follow them. We ask visitors to take the Yellowstone Pledge. Protect your park and protect yourselves by staying on the boardwalks. If you witness resource violations, call 911 or contact a park ranger.”

To Summarize Their Charges

  • All four men will be paying fines and will be losing park privileges, with two of them serving sentence a week in jail.
  • Gamble and Lyakh pleaded guilty to creating a hazardous situation and for walking barefoot in a thermal area and will be serving seven days in jail and pay $2,000 in fine, restitution and community service payments to Yellowstone Forever.
  • They will have to remove all the photos and videos of public lands from their social media profiles, be banned from US public lands for five years and will be doing community service for the Yellowstone Forever organization.
  • Brown, for creating a hazardous condition and foot travel in a thermal area, will pay $3,500 in fine, restitution and will be doing community service for the Yellowstone Forever organization.
  • Hamish Cross who walked barefoot on the hot springs pleaded guilty in November 2016 and was fined $8,000. He will be on probation for five years which includes a ban from US public lands.

The Reasons Behind their Misconduct

  • Their aim was to inspire people to explore the national parks, Gamble’s attorney Alex Rate said
  • Thomas Fleener, former lawyer of Gamble, Lyakh and Brown said, “They’re really nice, funny, smart 20-something professionals, and they travel around to show people how much fun they can have, they intended no harm in any of this.”
  • The team wrote about the reason behind their behavior as, “Three days ago we were lucky enough to visit Yellowstone National Park. We got over zealous in our enthusiasm for this wonderful place. When standing at the face of such natural wonder, we were drawn to it.In an attempt to get the perfect shot, we acted in a way that doesn’t reflect our respect for the environment we were trying to capture. We wandered off the laid out path and took photos of the Grand Prismatic Springs, unaware of the ecological ramifications and safety precautions. For this, we would like to sincerely apologize to the Yellowstone park community and the public.

A screenshot from one of their deleted videos

Thoughts from the Public on their Behavior and this Sentence

As you’d expect, the public are furious at their acts and think that their act was ignorant. Some feel that the sentence and fine given to them is not severe enough whereas others feel the penalty seems awfully steep for people that came forward and admitted they did wrong.

However, some argue, “They didn’t come forward; they got busted on social media. Then they attempted to laugh it off.”




Learning Resources

If you’re traveling and aspire to shoot some beautiful sunsets, this course with Brent Mail Photography allows you to get a real understanding of exactly what it takes – Amazing Sunsets.

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Dahlia Ambrose

Dahlia is a physicist and self taught photographer with a passion for travel, photography and technology. She can sometimes get obsessed trying new photography techniques and post processing styles using Lightroom or Plugins in Photoshop. She occasionally writes articles on topics that interest or provoke her. You can check out her photography on Instagram, 500px and Flickr
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3 Hugely Common Misconceptions About Histograms

8:02:00 AM
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Histograms Cause Confusion but Ironically, Clarity too

So there are common misconceptions about histograms circulating, have always been, so we’ll quickly clear them up here today. Basically, what your camera’s LCD is displaying can be open to vast interpretation. We’re gonna cover three of the most common.

common misconceptions about histograms

Image by Jan Vašek

1. There’s no “Perfect” Histogram

Sorry to disappoint, but trying to strive for a single end goal of the perfect curves in your histogram chart is not going to make your images better. There’s a reason for this, there are individual scenes which present varying lighting and therefore provide different levels of highlights, mid-tones and shadows.

Even when you’ve nailed your exposure and you know it’s absolutely spot on, the histogram may not show this and that’s okay. You know you’ve put your techniques and skills to use and that’s what matters here. Plus, post production will be lighter work!

2. The Histogram You See on Your LCD is a JPEG Representation, Even if You’re Shooting RAW.

Of course, it’ll show up in post as RAW file and because of this it will contain a load more data – therefore, your histogram will be more detailed than the one you’ve just seen only moments before on your camera’s LCD.

This is a good thing as it means you have more data to work with and therefore have a lot more control over how you personally edit your photographs. If you blew out some highlights a little, shooting in RAW will help you do a little recovery, so don’t panic if your LCD shows things a little bunched up.

If shooting RAW, the information and latitude collected is far more than what can be displayed on the JPEG shown on the LCD.

3. Different Lenses Affect Your Histogram – No Matter What

Keeping EVERYTHING the same apart from your lens, i.e. the Scene, ISO, Shutter Speed, Aperture etc and changing your lens will affect your histogram – this seems fairly intuitive when you think about it.

The light traveling through the lens will affect things differently if your lens changes, this will then affect the light hitting your sensor and so this is represented differently on your histogram. All lenses are not created equal either, that is, f/2.8 on one lens is not necessarily the same on another.


Remember, the histogram needs to be used, especially out in the field as your LCD will not show an accurate image when compared to the data your histogram is showing. It’s a tool to use to improve your photography and have a reference point based on data, it’s not something to aspire to.


Further Resources

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Russell Goodman

Russell is a self-taught photographer and yogi who loves travel and capturing life as it unfolds. After living in the far east for a few years and some long term travel, this ignited his true passion for photography. Lifestyle, Food, and Event Photography are areas he enjoys most.

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10 Tips To Create Beach Photos You’ve Only Dreamed About

6:02:00 AM
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Beach Photo Tips To Get Your Creativity Pumping

Whenever I go down to the beach (luckily I live on the cliff top, so it’s close) my mind is always ticking, always looking for extraordinary things. Things like new debris washed up, the way shells have been dumped in a particularly beautiful circular way or the reflection of a red and golden sunshine from behind the pier.

beach photo tips

Image by Aaron Burden

Beaches are vastvary greatly and can possess beauty in sometimes unusual ways. Personally, I make a daily habit when I visit the beach to look for the amazing opportunities laying amongst the mundane boring things, that to most, don’t appear to ever change.

That’s what makes photographers different. We find and look for different patterns, shadows, textures and light fall amongst ANYTHING. Sometimes I feel I have “composition brain”, where I’m removed from where I am for a moment and just think about what I can make from this scene.

Whatever interests you about beach photography the most and whether that’s on a beach vacation, your local stretch of coastline or a one-off trip to an exotic corner of the Philippines.

If you want to get the most from your time, and you’re looking for some great beach photo tips to get things going again or even if you’re just starting out.

1. Finding the Perfect Spot

This is, of course, the first here on this list of beach photo tips because, with no location, there are no photos. Think about what you would like to capture, perhaps make a quick list and us this to leverage your decision. Browse online and find some inspiration and look to put your stamp on a stretch of beach which interests you.

So, once you’ve chosen your beach location, you’ll want to be thinking about “what” you’re going to photograph first. Getting there early in the morning to grab a slice of the golden hour means it can play a huge part in what you want to frame.

Remember, you can walk up and down the beach, up high onto cliff tops, find a pier or boardwalk, or really low to focus closely on the water.

beach photo tips

Image by Zukiman Mohamad

2. Choose your moment – Golden Hours

Early or late in the day, that’s where we should be aiming with this. Try to avoid shooting during the bright of daytime, if you must, then consider where the light is – i.e. the sun and how this will affect your exposure.

Depending on what you’re photographing, I’d opt for a fairly small aperture f/11 to f16 to limit overexposing. Keep a check of your histogram!

We all know that the light at dawn or dusk can be quite spectacular and really add a dimension to your images you perhaps never anticipate, this for me makes it all that bit more exciting and where the golden hours really are wonderful for gorgeous colors.

The classic sunset is a hugely popular time to photograph beaches and the coast because not everyone likes to be up early doors, which means in the winter the duvet is often most appealing! Living in the UK, I face this predicament often, very often.

However, I will say this, if you want epic crisp morning sunrise shots, you gotta shake a leg and get out the door wrapped up warm.

beach photo tips

Image by Russell Goodman

3. Your Gear & Protection

On this topic, I’ll say never put your camera down – have a strap, have a few straps. Remember, where there’s water, nature, sand, dirt, wind you’ve gotta keep your gear safe. Aside from this, think about a protective sleeve for your camera.

This doesn’t have to be expensive, you could even make one with a zip lock!

Regarding lenses and filters etc, I would say some varying filters would be useful: ND filters, Polarizing Filters and Graduated Filters. Using a zoom lens can really become handy for varying your composition without moving from your favorite spot! Plus, sun flare (if you want it) is also easier to achieve with a zoom over a wide angle prime.

4. Find Interesting Subjects – Driftwood, Rocks, Debris etc

It’s not ALL about getting your perfect horizon lined up waiting as the sun rises or sets, think about what objects are actually just laying around – these can really bring some depth to your images.

beach photo tips

Image by Harry Stilianou

5. Composition & The Rule of Thirds

Remembering the rule of thirds when composing beach photos will ensure you avoid any kind of trouble or disproportionate photos. Of course, you can bend and break the rules as you please, but just keep this as a guide to get your images looking neat.

6. Capture Motion – Long Exposures

We’ve got some great resources here on using Long Exposures and Filters. These will be how to nail that technique for you to photograph some amazing shots of the beautiful ebb and flow of the ocean tide.

beach photo tips

Image by Zukiman Mohamad

7. The Advantages of Reflection

When you’ve got the sun right where you want it, reflections can help create photographs your peers will be applauding at. With this amount of water around, you’ve got ample opportunity for using reflections as a tool to produce some amazing results.

This is where the weather and time of day really are so important, as you’ll need the sun or moon in clear view – use it to your advantage. Using reflections can add that missing element from your shoot.

8. Clouds Add Drama

Whether a storm is looming or they’re just pretty benign, clouds can bring some creative storytelling to your photographs. They’re often dramatic because of the sheer vastness of them across the skies.

If your beach looks somewhat “plain”, then if you’re not approaching from the angle of a minimalist look, then how about using clouds to draw viewers into your photos – create contrasting effects – calm, smooth sand and stones, and rugged-looking clouds can be enticing.

Also, consider using a Polarizing Filter to remove any unwanted glare.

beach photo tips

Image by Dimitris Vetsikas

9. Black & White or Color?

Instinctively, you’d expect color to be the go-to choice of processing your images, but not always. Yes, it’s a great place to start but don’t ignore what kind of details and emotion a good black and white conversion can do.

beach photo tips

Image by tim2853

10. Layering Your Shot – Foreground & Background

Whilst considering the awesome power of using the rule of thirds, don’t forget to use other elements – particularly in your foreground. These elements can either balance out an image or add a whole new dimension for the viewer and create a great composition.

Examples on a beach could be birds, rocks, shells or a person. It just means you can have an additional or alternative focus in your frame. And when you’ve located that object which initially caught your eye, approach it, stand back, crouch down, analyze and figure out how this will add to your photograph.




Further Resources

Further Learning

There are some fantastic apps for getting those stunning Sunset shots, from sunset times to direction of the sun, golden and blue hours…plus a load more.
Well, this course with Brent Mail Photography allows you to get a real understanding of exactly what it takes to capture Amazing Sunsets.
With all these tools…you’re unstoppable!

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Russell Goodman

Russell is a self-taught photographer and yogi who loves travel and capturing life as it unfolds. After living in the far east for a few years and some long term travel, this ignited his true passion for photography. Lifestyle, Food, and Event Photography are areas he enjoys most.

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Time Trap Photography is dedicated to freezing those special moments in life that can be revisited and admired for generations to come. - Shannon Bourque

The lens in focus

“Life is like a camera. Just focus on what’s important and capture the good times, develop from the negatives and if things don’t work out, just take another shot.” — Unknown

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