Photography Under Piers
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|Category:||Landscape and Travel|
Photographing Under The Board Walk - Once you've played in the arcades and had your fish & chip dinner don't take a walk over the pier go under it.
You can't get underneath all piers so please use your common sense and don't put yourself in danger for a photograph. If you do plan on spending time under the pier, make sure you keep your eye on the tide as if you're distracted it can easily take you by surprise.
Most lenses, from wide-angle to telephotos can be used for pier photography, but if you want to get in close to the rust patterns and seaweed you'll need a macro lens. If you don't have one, try a close-up lens or even an extension tube. Pack your tripod if you want to play with long exposures and if you don't have one, you can win one of four fantastic Manfrotto 290 Series tripods in our exclusive competition!
If you're planning on taking a tripod on your travels you may want to consider packing something more compact such as the Befree tripod or the Compact Series tripod both of which are part of the Manfrotto range of supports.
Lines And PatternsThe underside of a pier is a hidden world of patterns and strong compositional lines waiting to be photographed. Position yourself right and you'll be able to follow the vanishing point into the sea and photograph the solid shapes formed by the supports that frame it. If you're on the beach late afternoon and the pier you're under is made of wooden boards you'll see rays of sunlight shining through, which will add even more interest to your frame.
If you don't want to get your feet wet walk further up the beach and focus your macro lens on the rusting nuts and bolts that hold the pier together.
Tide TimesCheck the tide times and head out at low tide when you'll find seaweed and barnacles decorating the supports with bands of colour and textures or take an exposure from the sky to turn the pier into a silhouette and leave all the detail out.
Longer ExposuresAs mentioned above, take your tripod along and you can put your camera on a long-ish exposure to leave the still strong pier surrounded by smooth, fluid waves. This can take a while to get right as waves can grow too big or shrink to something not worth photographing so you may have to experiment with exposure times and just keep taking photographs until you get it right. Have a lens cloth to hand as sea spray will land on your lens, leaving dots of water in the process and make sure your tripod is sturdy as all it takes is one, strong wave to knock your gear over into the sea.
Choose RAWIf you can, shoot in RAW as you'll be surprised how much detail you'll be able to bring out in the highlights and shadows in post production without ruining the look of the rest of the image.
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