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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 21 Mar 2012 (Wednesday) 14:26
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Taking pictures at the beach

 
AvailableLight
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Mar 21, 2012 14:26 |  #1

The word I get is to avoid it at all costs. My camera body is obviously not pro-level and I understand the risks of sand and sea spray, etc. Still, I was curious to see if anyone has done it and what precautions were taken, protection/gear used, etc, other than avoiding changing lenses. I'll be back to check replies in a couple of hours. Thanks.


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stsva
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Mar 21, 2012 14:36 |  #2

AvailableLight wrote in post #14127012 (external link)
The word I get is to avoid it at all costs. My camera body is obviously not pro-level and I understand the risks of sand and sea spray, etc. Still, I was curious to see if anyone has done it and what precautions were taken, protection/gear used, etc, other than avoiding changing lenses. I'll be back to check replies in a couple of hours. Thanks.

I was at the beach recently on an extremely windy day, and just made sure I didn't point the camera into the wind and held it with lens toward the ground when not actually shooting (I was using a 400mm f/5.6L, which has a pretty long lens hood, so I figured that would provide plenty of protection from salt spray, etc.).


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imjason
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Mar 21, 2012 14:52 |  #3

AvailableLight wrote in post #14127012 (external link)
The word I get is to avoid it at all costs.

if that was the case, no one would be taking awesome photos on the beach. I leave silica packets in my bags at all times anyways just in case im in a humid area. As long as you don't drop your camera into the sand or get your camera wet, then youre fine.

heres a link on some beach photography care tips: http://www.digital-photography-school.com …igital-camera-maintenance (external link)


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nathancarter
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Mar 21, 2012 15:23 |  #4

Around here, the beach isn't really any more humid than my home. Most of Florida is barely a few feet above sea level, and humid days are the norm. So, I don't worry about humidity.

Also, most beaches have sand which is relatively coarse. There are some beaches with very fine, powdery sand, like Siesta Key (external link) - I might worry about those - but the coarse crushed-shell sand on most beaches isn't going to ruin anything. Anyway, I don't set the camera down right in the sand.

Anyway. I wouldn't say "avoid it at all costs." I would say, take a little extra care to protect the camera while you're there, and if you're making a regular habit of beach pictures, then consider some extra protective gear to avoid fine wind-blown sand (if you're on that kind of beach) and salt spray.


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mpix345
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Mar 21, 2012 16:02 |  #5

One option to consider is a water and dust-proof point and shoot. IQ is lacking vs a DSLR, but you have no worries about the elements. Camera can go in the ocean with you, and provides shot opportunities that you just won't get with a DSRL. I think it is a great choice for capturing shots of the family at play on the beach. Not what I'd want if trying to shoot classic beach landscape shots though.

I think the biggest risk with OPs gear is the zoom lenses. If you take decent care the body should be fine, but sand in zooms is something you do hear about.


  
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mplezia
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Mar 21, 2012 16:20 as a reply to  @ mpix345's post |  #6

Not having expensive gear helps. I usually take the kit lens or the 50mm when we go to the beach. If it gets damaged (pretty unlikely) they can be replaced for $100. I don't do any lens swapping while I'm there and I'm mindful of where I set it down (usually in a dedicated bag), but other than that I just go about my business.


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AvailableLight
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Mar 21, 2012 17:53 as a reply to  @ mplezia's post |  #7

Appreciate all the responses. The lady at the camera store scared me because she says they get a fair share of camera bodies/lenses brought in for repair, and on some the repair costs are astronomical.

@mplezia: The 50mm 1.8 is what I had in mind. If damaged, not an enormous loss.

@mpix345: Good suggestion on the water-proof point-and-shoot. The lady at my camera store suggested that as well. Also, no way I was going to use my zoom lens. Those things suck in air and who knows what else along with it.

@imjason: Right? That's what I was thinking. Someone out there is taking beach pictures, so I might as well try it at least once.


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crn3371
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Mar 21, 2012 18:36 |  #8

You just have to use some common sense. No different than shooting any other place outdoors. If there's blowing sand and salt spray everywhere than I probably wouldn't shoot. Calm day, no problem.




  
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CalPiker
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Mar 22, 2012 00:51 |  #9

I shoot at the beach all of the time. I change my lenses while I am at the beach too. I use my L lenses at the beach. I've never had a problem. The only "damage" I did to my camera was when I tried to change the lens while it was in my bag. I stuck my finger on the mirror and left a nice big fingerprint on it.

Unless you are in a windstorm or standing close to being submerged in the water, I wouldn't worry about anything.


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Polarized
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Mar 22, 2012 01:10 |  #10
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How would you expose for a sunny day on the beach?




  
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pbelarge
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Mar 22, 2012 01:12 as a reply to  @ CalPiker's post |  #11

I know this may sound silly...I was on vacation in the Carribean. I used my s95. Believe it or not, I put my sunglasses in front of the lens, and I could not believe how well that worked. :cool:


just a few of my thoughts...
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tonylong
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Mar 22, 2012 02:09 |  #12

Polarized wrote in post #14130503 (external link)
How would you expose for a sunny day on the beach?

Well, "how" you would expose depends on what exposure mode you want to use!

In general, realize that a bright sunny day at the beach will "fool" your camera meter -- the meter wants to center the "needle", meaning that it will expose to make the "scene" "medium" in tone, whereas the sand, the bright blue sky, and likely the water are in fact brighter than "medium". As a result, the camera will tend to underexpose your shots. The way to respond to this is to increase your exposure a bit, maybe as much as a stop, but avoiding clipping needed highlights.

Now at the beach this highlights issue can be a real concern because of the whitewater created by the breaking waves. In my experience, much detail in the waves can be retained, but some will just be so dang bright, you may need to just accept some clipping. If you are serious about getting the best results, you will need to include Raw shooting in your bag of tricks, but that can be a complicated area to discuss...

If it was me, I'd shoot in the Manual Exposure mode but most people who are less experienced with Manual will tend to shoot in Av or Tv, nothing wrong with that, just be ready to use Exposure Compensation, using either Live View or an image Review to "chimp" your initial shots and anytime you change your "view" to take in different lighting.

pbelarge wrote in post #14130510 (external link)
I know this may sound silly...I was on vacation in the Carribean. I used my s95. Believe it or not, I put my sunglasses in front of the lens, and I could not believe how well that worked. :cool:

Heh! That's interesting, Pierre, working like a Neutral Density filter to slow down the shutter speed, eh?


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imjason
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Mar 22, 2012 02:26 as a reply to  @ tonylong's post |  #13

Polarized wrote in post #14130503 (external link)
How would you expose for a sunny day on the beach?

pbelarge wrote in post #14130510 (external link)
I know this may sound silly...I was on vacation in the Carribean. I used my s95. Believe it or not, I put my sunglasses in front of the lens, and I could not believe how well that worked. :cool:

maybe the sunglasses "Polarized" the light. hehehe.

You can use a circular polarizer or other filters to help. I usually just expose for the subject as the bright sand will underexpose the overall image in general. You can spot meter or use exposure compensation, or just do everything in manual. If youre camera has a decent metering system, sometimes you wont need to do much.


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stsva
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Mar 22, 2012 08:21 |  #14

Polarized wrote in post #14130503 (external link)
How would you expose for a sunny day on the beach?

Start at f/16 and 1/[ISO] shutter speed and work from there. ;)


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http://www.pbase.com/s​tsva/profile (external link)
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AvailableLight
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Mar 22, 2012 10:44 |  #15

pbelarge wrote in post #14130510 (external link)
I know this may sound silly...I was on vacation in the Carribean. I used my s95. Believe it or not, I put my sunglasses in front of the lens, and I could not believe how well that worked. :cool:

I've heard of other people that've done this with nice results as well.


AJ
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Taking pictures at the beach
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