You’ve bought the ticket, packed the bags, and now you’re headed to paradise. But while a week in Hawaii may be picture-perfect, capturing that beauty on film or in your social media posts may not be as easy as it looks. With harsh sunlight and an endless horizon, getting the ideal beach shot takes some practice. Here are our top tips for beach photography:
- Timing is Everything -- Avoid the direct sunlight of mid-day in favor of the angled light that is common to the morning or late afternoon. The “golden hour” offers interesting shadows, colors, and a warmth you don’t get when the sun is beating directly down.
- Opt for Manual -- If you’re shooting in the powerful sun of midday, switch to the manual setting because the auto mode is likely to underexpose your image.
- Find a Focal Point -- A beach shot can appear fairly expansive unless you focus in on a point of interest. An interesting shell, a set of footprints, or a lifeguard tower can tell the story of your travels and break up the endless array of horizon photos.
- Force the Flash -- Since a beach setting is one of most glaring examples of light, force the flash when shooting close-ups of people. This will allow you to prevent their faces from being underexposed when the background is really bright.
- Switch to Black and White -- One of the benefits of a harsher light is that it works great for black and white photography. Stripping the color on a shot can change the mood of your photos and is a great way to add emotion to a cloudy or overcast day.
- Hold for Action -- To capture an action shot, like a family simultaneously jumping into the air, use a continuous burst-shooting mode and hold down the shutter button. This increases the chances you will capture everyone in the air at the same time by giving you a variety of pictures leading up to and following the action.
- Don’t Chop the Image -- When you shoot an image with the horizon directly in the background, it chops the person in half and creates a flat shot. Instead, shoot parallel to the water with the water to the object’s right or left side and directly behind.
- Change Your Perspective -- To add another dimension to your image, try photographing the beach from higher ground. This gives a grander image and provides a point of view most visitors never see.
You can capture the beauty of Hawaii and its legendary beaches on YMT Vacations’ Best of Hawaii Four Island Tour. This 13-day trip takes you from Waikiki Beach to the mystical Fern Grotto, the Black Sand Beach to Hawaii’s Volcanoes National Park. See Thurston’s Lava Tube and the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. To join this journey, call your travel agent or YMT Vacations at 1-888-756-9072.