June Theme Challenge – “At The Beach”

This month I encourage you to go out to your local beach and see what kind of images you can create. With the current pandemic restrictions you are still able to go out in your own area, by keeping proper social distancing in mind. Keep last months challenge, observation, in mind for this months challenge. Hopefully you will see a lot of image opportunities.

Similar to previous challenges, it doesn’t matter what camera you have, even the camera in your phone will work. Depending on the gear you have it will allow you to take different images. Better yet if you have a DSLR or dedicated camera compare the images you were are able to create with both your DSLR and your camera phone. In summary try different cameras, focal lengths and perspectives.

Caution: Taking your camera to the beach can be hazardous to your equipment, so its best when it’s damp or NOT windy because you do not want the sand to penetrate your equipment. Do not set your equipment down in the sand. Keep sand off your hands as the sand will transfer quickly to your gear. You can use a plastic bag and some elastic bands to help keep the sand out or an OP/TECH USA Rainsleeve (amazon) that you would normally use for rain, also do not change out any lenses while on the beach. These techniques will minimize sand getting on or into your equipment. When you get home use a clean, never been used before, paint brush to clean your equipment.

Let’s take a look at some image examples:

Waves; Depending on the weather conditions you may be in luck to capture some wave action. Below shows an overcast windy day with a pretty good surf. In the image below the wind was coming offshore so as the wave was ready to crash the wind was creating spray blowing back from the top of the wave.

Portraits; If you have your child or pet with you, this is a great opportunity to capture some memorable moments. Remember with a portrait to get down to the same eye level as your subject. The images are even more memorable when you capture that special moment. Many times there are people with their pets at the beach, you can always ask them if it’s ok to take pictures of their pet, get their email so you can send them some complementary images. Remember your mask and social distancing.

Landscapes; Depending on the light you may be able to capture some great landscape images. Below you’ll see an image that has great sunset color with a slow exposure to make the water look milky, an image of waves crashing with light peeking through the clouds, and an image that is an ICM (intentional camera movement) slow shutter speed pan of the ocean and distant islands. Create an image that suits the conditions.

Details; Take some intimate images of things that you see such as; rocks, inuksuks, seaweed, and the salt water bubbles. These type of images are best suited for days when there is harsh light, embrace the harsh shadows by adjusting your composition accordingly.

Anything that interests you; Below the left image is the grass along the road by the beach with the water blurred out which creates a clean background for the grass. Many times people are flying kites on the beach which also make interesting subjects.

Let’s see what images you create this month.

Students are encouraged to develop their ability to tell a story or invoke an emotion, as well as how to plan and troubleshoot while creating their images. As such it’s important to not only create the image but to also include a “title”, and write a short paragraph about; how they came up with the idea, any interesting back ground that compelled them to make the image, and describe any techniques on how they overcame any obstacles.

As always with our monthly theme challenges we try to seek out an instructional resource, below are some YouTube video links to help with some important tips, hints, ideas, or just something to think about.
Beach Photos instructional aids:
Photography at beach | Creative mobile photography ideas by: Pixel Street (3min 34sec)
Landscape Photography Tips & Techniques: Seascapes by: Thomas Heaton (10min 8sec)
6 Tips For Killer Seascape Photography by: Joshua Cripps Photography (11min 44sec)

An important part of improving your photography is practice, which is one aspect of the monthly theme challenge, in addition you have an opportunity to learn about different genres, techniques and tips.

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