Beach photography: how to get close for portraits and macro images

Beach photography: how to get close for portraits and macro images

Creating an outdoor studio

You can get great results from fairly simple set-ups for your beach portraits, but if you want pro-level shots you’ll need to get a little more adventurous with your lighting.

One of the most popular ways is to use battery-powered flash units to combine outdoor locations with studio-quality lighting.

You’ll need powerful flash units to light full-length portraits in sunny conditions, such as those offered by Bowens, Elinchrom or Calumet.

These studio lights have large battery packs to power the flashes, and have the same range of light modifiers such as umbrellas, softboxes and snoots to allow you to tailor the light to your exact requirements.

The bulk and complexity of the equipment may require you to take someone else along to help, and don’t forget to take something to weigh down the lighting stands to prevent them being blown over in the breeze.

What to pack

  • Telephoto lens
  • Macro lens
  • Flashgun
  • Reflector
  • Polariser

Keeping your gear safe
There will be plenty of sand and water blowing around in most coastal locations, so you need to protect your expensive camera equipment.

Try to avoid changing lenses too often. In particularly bad conditions it’s worth having a clean, dry plastic bag that’s large enough to accommodate your camera and lenses when swapping them.

Another bag can be handy to protect your camera from spray and sand.

PAGE 1: How to shoot beach macro photography
PAGE 2: How to shoot portraits of family and pets on the beach
PAGE 3: Creating an outdoor studio

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