10 Dec 2007

Photographing seascape and coast - Part 2

With all that reflected light off the sea, sand and sky, the exposure meter in your camera can be fooled into thinking the scene is brighter than it actually is – and this can lead to under exposure – dull images. Provided you are aware of this, it should not present a problem. You can easily compensate for it. If you are using the ‘M’ (Manual) mode, just over expose by at least ½ an f-stop. If you are using one of the automatic exposure settings – Aperture or Shutter Priority for instance – you can use the Exposure Compensation facility to over expose.

Setting the Exposure Compensation to plus +½ or 0.5 of an f stop.

There are countless different subjects on the coast, so learn to be ‘visually agile’ - keep your eyes open all the time so that you spot pictures everywhere. Look for colour blends and contrasts; shapes and textures. The beautiful, soft, high quality sidelight has added shape and form in the picture of the the rocks and pebbles.

Fascinating close-ups are all around you on the sea shore. Here I’ve photographed the rusting ironwork of an old jetty. Don’t always try to complicate these shots by looking at the surface at an oblique angle. This often confuses the image and detracts from the visual interest of the subject’s texture and colour. Try shooting at rightangles to the subject’s surface – and you won’t have to worry too much about depth of field if you do. Keep it simple and you will raise the impact level of your close-ups. This picture relies on the colour and texture of the subject for its appeal. Make sure you get your close-ups absolutely pin sharp – people will peer more closely at a close-up and expect to see all the fine detail.

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