One of the best parts about living in a town with public access to a well-kept, clean, sandy beach is that it isn’t necessary to rush there to enjoy it. With your beach gear at-the-ready, you can mozy on over for a laid- back afternoon. Being close by makes it easier to find a scene worth shooting in the golden hours, too.
Beach-butt real estate frees up as the tide heads out and town visitors depart for other evening activities. You can cool off with ocean breezes when the sun is lower in the horizon; take a barefoot stroll; build sandcastles; dig holes; hunt for shells; hit the surf on a boogey board; take a quick dip; unwind to the sound of the waves crashing or lapping at the shore’s edge.
For me, a beach is my happy place. When I visit a beach, I want to enjoy use of it. Part of my pleasure includes taking photos that help preserve my memory of the time spent relaxing there. I like to watch people frolicking just as much as I like to tune them out and enjoy inhaling the briny humid air, listen to the repeat of the waves breaking on the shore, and squish the wet sand in my toes. It’s all good.
Here are just a few precautionary beach-going photo tips:
1) If you don’t have a reliable companion or two to keep an eye on all your stuff, don’t bring along your camera equipment. At least, don’t leave it sitting on your towel; use it and then leave it in your locked car with the windows up.
2) Camera gear taken to the beach–even in the gear bag–needs to avoid the sand at all costs. Unless you have a wind shelter, do not even consider changing lenses while laying on your beach blanket in the sand. Bring one walk-about lens and stick to it.
3) Until a scene inspires you to snap-at-will, keep your camera inside a large zip-lock typed clear plastic bag to protect against the unwanted sand and moisture.
4) Keep your eyes open for the people entering your sand zone and take cover. Even with the best intentions and pound of prevention, it’s very hard to keep equipment sand-free. Strangers, beach-combers and children trod carelessly across one’s toweling and blankets, or they kick up sand in your direction while walking by. Ocean breezes feel good, but are masters of moving sand into a gear bag. While packing up, beach-goers shake off their towels and blankets and the wind moves that loose sand into your space.
If I sound like a nervous Nelly, well, I’ll take it.
And yes, when the sun is shining and the water temperature reaches 64F, I am going to dunk under the waves.