Taking vacation photos should be as fun and relaxing as going on holiday, so here are our top 10 amazing tips and tricks so you know exactly how to take good vacation photos – without the stress of struggling with your camera! As well as providing valuable beach vacation photography tips for beginners, we will go over some beach portrait photography tips and we will look at how to take travel photos of yourself.
1. Consider a compact camera
When it comes to photography for vacations at the beach you don’t want to be bringing a heavy photography kit with you. It’s up to you whether you want to take a DSLR to get the best photos or to take a compact camera that will be more portable and easy to travel with. However, there are many great compact cameras on the market that don’t compromise on quality such as the Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II. A weather-proof bag to store all of your gear is also a must-have.
2. Wide-angle lens
How to take good travel photos? Use a wide-angle lens.
If you’re using a DSLR, taking a wide-angle lens is a great way to get amazing beach photos. A wide-angle lens is commonplace in landscape photography as the wide focal range creates a beautiful sense of depth by sharply defining the foreground.
When taking portraits, this is helpful as it emphasises the subject. To achieve the right sense of depth, focus on your focal point in the foreground as close and as low as possible.
3. Polarising filter
We recommend using a polarising filter to create a defined contrast and to help reduce reflections. A UV filter will also be useful help to protect your lens from the weather.
4. Protect your gear
Do you find when you’ve returned from holiday, sand still happens to turn up in random places? Sand has a way of getting everywhere, so protect your gear from wear and tear by taking some precautions. When heading to the beach, taking an air blower and a lens cloth is important to make sure that your lens is free of sea spray and those pesky grains of sand.
5. Lightweight tripod
You will also need a lightweight, portable and durable tripod that is easy to carry around and isn’t susceptible to the elements. A tripod with spiked rubber feet is a great option because it will prevent slipping in wet sand; ensuring stability when taking photos.
6. Use your smartphone
Many people are wondering how to take beach photos with a smartphone. Because of the impressive quality of many smartphone cameras, it is possible to get some great beach vacation photos on your smartphone. We have created a smartphone photography guide to help you to understand how to manage exposure, lighting, sharpness, and composition on your smartphone, as well as the best smartphone photography accessories to help you take some excellent photos.
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7. Golden hour
Lighting is one of the most important elements of photography. Golden hour is the hour when the sun casts a golden glow – either sunrise or sunset. The lighting at this time is soft, muted, and easy to manipulate. Midday is possibly the worst time to take photos; the strong sunlight makes it difficult to achieve the right exposure. If this cannot be avoided, a reflector can be useful to redirect light and reduce harsh shadows.
If you can get up early and head to the beach this is not only great for the lighting but there will be fewer people around to get in your photos. If you’re not an early riser, sunset is also a great time to take photos but be aware that there will likely be plenty of people around.
Blue hour is the hour after sunrise when the sun has faded from view and the light appears to be blue. This can also be a wonderful time to take photos as the beautiful blue and purple hues will create an amazing atmosphere.
8. Night beach photography settings
For those of you that are enjoying the beach under the moon and stars, it is a great opportunity to take some stunning photos, but it will require adjusting your camera settings.
- Shooting in RAW is advisable as it gives you more control in post-processing.
- AWB (Auto White Balance) is preferable at night.
- You will need to set your camera to manual mode.
- Your camera should also be set to manual focus as autofocus doesn’t work well in the dark.
- A shutter speed of 30 to 60 seconds should work as you will need more time to allow the light to enter the camera.
- An aperture of f8, f11, or f 16 is recommended for a longer depth of field. F8 will create a darker image and f16 a lighter image, and f11 will produce something in-between.
- Your ISO should be 100 or 200 to reduce noise and create a sharp image.
9. Take photos of yourself using a tripod
If you’re wondering how to take good beach pictures of yourself, a tripod is a necessity.
When travelling solo or when you need the whole group in the photo, asking someone else to take photos of you doesn’t always go well. You can try taking some photos of yourself using your camera and a tripod. Turn on continuous mode so the camera will continuously take photos of you.
If you want to see yourself whilst taking the picture, use a tripod and a remote shutter by using a camera with a Wi-Fi capability and a wireless Bluetooth remote shutter through a smartphone to take photos of yourself.
Camera companies such as Olympus, Canon, Sony, Nikon, and Lumix have an app that you can download free of charge to connect your phone and camera. All you have to do is turn the Wi-Fi mode on your camera on, and connect your phone to your camera using an app, and you’re good to go!
10. Candid photos make great lifestyle portraits
Of course, you’re going to get plenty of posed beach vacation photos, but the candid photos usually end up being the most loved as they show you relaxed and having fun on holiday. Playing in the sea and exploring the area make for great photos. Finding caves to block out the harsh sun can be great for portraits in the harsh sun, or under trees.
After taking your amazing photos, try using the new Splento App to share your vacation photos.
The Splento App allows you to share your vacation photos easily and securely. You can store all of your vacation photos in one album, and you can then share it with anyone you like (but only the people you allow have access to it), simply by sharing a link to your album.
Those you share the album with can like, comment or even add their own pictures to it – but again, you are in control of who can do what.
Best of all, it takes up zero space on your phone – so you can create as many amazing holiday photos as you like, and never worry about running out of space!
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