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  1. #1
    Worker 11811's Avatar
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    How to photograph sandy beach?

    I spend a lot of time at Presque Isle State Park in Erie, PA, shooting pictures on the beach. I get some good shots but find it hard to get really good pictures when everything is the same color or value.

    I try to use light and shadow to show texture or detail but, when everything is sandy gray, it's hard to make a subject stand out.

    Fish-Kebab by Randy Stankey, on Flickr

    Here, the fish is brownish gray. The sand is mostly gray. The branch is steely gray.
    I've tried shooting scenes like this before, using different exposures or waiting for the light to change but I never seem to find the right combination to make things stand out.

    I wonder if there is a filter, a different developing technique or some other strategy I could use to make a merely "good" puncture better.

    Does anybody have any hints?
    Randy S.

    In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni.

    -----

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/randystankey/

  2. #2
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Try a green or red filter, and play with selective focus.

  3. #3

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    Also an orange or light orange or light green if the red and green are too much. Remember that the filter closest in hue to your subject will render that hue "lighter" in your print.

    I tend to use the "light" versions of the filters more often and tweak the contrast where needed with filtration on multigrade paper but it all boils down to personal tastes.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/

  4. #4
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    I think lighting is the real issue. Shoot during sunset or sunrise with the light raking across the sand. You'll get a dramatic texture. Lighting is everything.
    "Photography, like surfing, is an infinite process, a constantly evolving exploration of life."
    Aaron Chang

  5. #5
    wildbill's Avatar
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    shoot things that are back-lit or side-lit, not front lit.
    www.vinnywalsh.com

    I know what I want but I just don't know how to go about gettin' it.-Hendrix

  6. #6
    Worker 11811's Avatar
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    It was shot about 30 min. before sunset. Facing in a southerly direction. Sun was behind and to the right of the camera. Pretty low in the sky.

    Used Legacy/Fuji 400. Developed in Diafine. Regular agitation instead instead of the usual "gentle" method.

    I have a red filter that I use for enhancing the sky. I'll experiment with that. Next time I go to the toy store I'll look at some yellow and orange filters.

    I try to experiment with the light. It's something you've just got to practice at.
    When you're outside, you can't just move the sun a little lower and to the right.
    Randy S.

    In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni.

    -----

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/randystankey/

  7. #7
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    I love Ed Weston's work with dunes. Not quite a beach though.

    http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-.../1987.1100.129
    "Photography, like surfing, is an infinite process, a constantly evolving exploration of life."
    Aaron Chang

  8. #8
    Jim Taylor's Avatar
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    I agree with the lighting angle suggestion - but I really like the shot that you've posted.

    I wonder if the sand might be more apparent if you use a finer grained film, so it's easier to distinguish the graininess (a real word?) of the sand from the graininess of the neg/print?

    Just a thought!
    Cheers,

    Jim.

  9. #9
    Mike Wilde's Avatar
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    The challenge in a lot of beach shots is the reflective nature of many sands.

    I have seen old exposure tables warning me to class scenes on sandy beach or snow with one stop more EV than good old sunny 16.
    my real name, imagine that.

  10. #10
    Mike Wilde's Avatar
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    Filter wise, think of same color to brighten the object you are interested in, and opposite to darken it.

    You describe the sand as greyish - well fiter against that and all you get in neutral density.
    my real name, imagine that.

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