9 creative photo ideas to try in November


09 Shoot a coastal landscape at first light


Photo Ideas: Shoot a coastal landscape at first light

Although there are many uncontrollable elements when it comes to landscape photography, there’s also a lot you can prepare for.

“You need to understand your environment and revisit your chosen spot on a few occasions to get the shot,” says landscape photographer Martin Lawrence. “I took this image as the sun had just peeked through the clouds, and I knew the tide would be out. I was on the scene well before the sun had risen.”

Even when the weather isn’t so good Martin still gets out with his camera. “That way you can find the best photo locations and already have the composition of your shot set up, so you’re ready if the weather improves,” he explains.

It’s important to understand hyperfocal distance. This is when you set the focus distance according to the aperture and focal length used, so that all the scene appears sharp.

“In this shot, I knew I’d get the sharpest results if I set my 24-105mm lens to f/11 at 24mm and focused at 2.5m,” says Martin. “You need to know your kit well to get good results.”

Look for key elements to include in the frame when shooting coastal landscapes. In this example, the castle in the background draws the eye in. This, teamed with the green seaweed in the foreground, adds another layer. Finally, the textured sky replicates the bumpy sand.

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  •  A graduated Neutral Density (ND grad) filter enhances the colours in the sky and stops down the light to balance the exposure.
  •  Pack a tripod and use the self-timer or a remote control to take the shot. If there is a strong wind, weigh the tripod down.
  •  Use an aperture of around f/11, and focus roughly at a third of the way into your scene.

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Shoot a coastal landscape at first light


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