3. Blur the seaside for abstract coast photos
A classic technique for photographing the shore is using a slow shutter speed combined with horizontal panning to turn the beach and sea into a dreamy blur (learn how to fake a panning effect on your computer).
The resulting images exude tranquillity, and work well as either standalone images or as similarly composed triptychs (download our 25 free triptych photo frames for Photoshop).
Photographer Paul McGee uses a tripod fitted with a ball head that he can level and spin to create motion blur. “Good results can also be had doing these entirely in Photoshop,” he says.
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- Use a tripod and fit a polariser and a strong ND filter to your lens. The polariser will cut the glare from the water and enhance the blues in the sea and sky. The ND filter will enable you to set a long exposure even in bright sunlight.
- Start with a shutter speed of at least a second. Adjust your camera’s aperture and ISO to lengthen or shorten the exposure (What is ISO? Click to answer any questions). The longer the exposure, the smoother the image.
- To blur the sand, ensure the water reaches as far as the bottom of the frame so that the water blurs out the detail. Or try panning horizontally during a shorter exposure without the ND filter attached.