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z0rk Jul 25, 2007 11:41 PM

Hey Everyone,

I am going to down to North Carolina Beach in a couple of weeks and I was wondering what sort of advice you all have on shooting in a beach setting. A few shots I wanted to grab were nice sunrise/sunset shots, and great daytime beach shots of family and friends. What sort of aperature settings are best for this? What white balance? What Shutter Speeds? Should I bring a tri-pod. I am relatively new to all of this, and I am trying to read up as much as I can for now

My current rig is a Canon Digital Rebel XT, the standard 18-55mm 3.5 USM kit lens, and a Canon 28-105 3.5-4.5 USM. That's all (I literally upgraded to a DSLR about a week ago).

BillDrew Jul 26, 2007 10:34 AM

There are two basic issues: metering and dynamic range.

A tripod is usefull to be able to easily combine two images shot at different exposures thus increasing dynamic range. See for an excelent article in that subject. In any case, a tripod is pretty much always a good idea for any landscape photography.

It is possible to get part way hand holding by using the autobracketing feature of your camera, but you will still have to ding about aligning the images. You can also shoot RAW and "develope" one image for shadows and one for highlights - or combine those techniques.

Metering: spend a bunch of time before you leave getting used to your camera. In particular with using spot metering, manual exposure, and the histogram. Your camera manual is the best source of information on that.

BillDrew Jul 26, 2007 10:35 AM

Sorry: duplicate post.

John at the Beach Jul 27, 2007 6:22 AM

Hello Z.....
Being new to DSLR any advise would be good and books on shooting around water and the beach would be a big plus...But since your vacation is coming up soon you probably wont have time to get to deep into the "how to's"...I live on the beach here in NC and do alot of morning shoots and late afternoon shoots...These are the best times for pretty much any type of shots down here...Matter of fact, morning and evening are best times for taking pictures anywhere...Anyway, in your case, I would set the camera on "auto" and have fun with it...Sunrises are not really rocket science but you have to get your shots quick because sunrises don't last that long...I like the late afternoon because you get more time for color changes in the sky and different lighting before it gets to dark...Play with the camera is the best advise I have...You might suprise yourself with what you come up with...One other thing, if you can, get a circular polorizer filter...This time of the year is hazy hazy and more hazy...Plus shooting around water you get reflections that could ruin the shot...Try to keep the sun to your back as well...
I have some sunrise and beach shots posted on webshots if you would like to take a look...

john :G

z0rk Jul 28, 2007 3:31 PM

Thanks John,

I took your advice and ordered a Polarized Circular Hoya Filter. I will be there for a few days, so I guess I can start the week on auto and take note of what the camera's settings are. As the week progresses I will slowly ween myself on to Manual settings.

I'll post a few pics when I get back, I hope you can critique them for me and let me know where I went right and wrong.



John at the Beach Jul 28, 2007 3:57 PM

Enjoy your visit to the beach....If you going to the Outer Banks, watch out for the rip currents..Atlantic Beach, Topsail Beach, Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, Ocean Isle are nice this time of the year...The water is warm...
Send me some of your vacation shots.... [email protected]

nixter Aug 24, 2007 3:00 PM

I was just shooting beach at sunset last night and I can seriously verify the need for a tripod! I ended up buying one on the way home :) I went for a cheaper one as i can always use the timer or a cable so remove the chance of movement when releasing the shutter.

Have fun though! It's an amazing time of day in terms of light. If your exposure is good it's almost hard to take a bad photo!

I"m going to head back again in the next couple days armed with my tripod. Forutately I live in Vancouver so the beach, mountains and forest are all a few minutes drive.


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