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Top 10 Tips For Shooting At The Seaside

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Category: Landscape and Travel

Top 10 Seaside Shooting Tips - Stuck for traditional seaside photography ideas? Take a look at our top 10 tips.

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Photo courtesy of David Clapp - www.davidclapp.co.uk


This traditional feature of the seaside is unfortunately falling into decline, Many lighthouses are now no longer used, or fully automated so that no human contact is needed, which is a shame. But, they still make good photos, whether from outside or inside, from far away or close up.

For lighthouse photography tips, take a look at these articles:


It is tradition to have an ice cream when you go to the seaside, so why not do some quick creative photography with your cones before you eat them. A cone with a flake and the beach in the background is a sums up the British seaside in one shot. You can also get creative with your shots of sweets – rock is another seaside favourite. Some macros of rock ends with words in them make interesting and sometimes abstract shots.

Arcades And Rides

They're noisy, and they're everywhere! You can't go to the seaside without seeing an arcade, so why not utilise them?  As well as shots of rides and amusements, the lights can make good photos if you use slower shutter speeds to blur their movement.

For tips on shooting fairground rides, have a look at this article: Fairground Rides At Night


Whether it's a close up of the sand, your kids running towards the sea, or the patterns left behind when the tide goes out, the beach will no doubt feature somewhere in your holiday snaps. Try taking some panoramic shots if it's a long beach, or some fish eye effects if it's a small cove. Be creative – beaches hold loads of possibilities.

Take a look at these tips for more ideas on what and how you can shoot photos at the beach:


On their own, or as a group, shells make interesting still life subjects. They come in all shapes and sizes, and some have fantastic opalescent properties making them great subjects for photography. Big or small, flat or conical, each has a story to tell. Try using a macro lens for some nice close ups. For more tips, take a look at our sea shell photography tutorial.

david clapp shells

      Photo courtesy of David Clapp - www.davidclapp.co.uk


From crustaceans to donkeys, it's all here at the coast! Rock pools are good for close-ups, but do keep a good grip on your camera while hovering it over water!


From crashing waves to slow moving tides, the sea can make some great images. Getting up early and shooting the sunrise over the water will produce some great shots. You will need a tripod however as slower shutter speeds are generally needed at this time of day. 

For tips on photographing the sea and sunrises, have a look at these tips:

Sand Castles

Sand castles come in all sizes. If you have kids, use their buckets to create some castles to shoot, or keep them entertained by asking them to make some which you can then photograph. Decorate it with shells and seaweed, and it'll look great. Time lapse photography might work here too, as the castle is claimed by the tide.

Buckets and Spades

Some close ups of these hanging up in shops will make good holiday snaps, as well as using them to create your own scene with a sand castle on the beach. A set scene like this will really sum up the holiday atmosphere.

Beach Huts

Beach huts are wonderfully photogenic and are found at many coastal spots around the UK. You can capture candids of people using them, fill your frame with beach hut detail or shoot them on overcast, moody days to give your seaside shots a different feel. For more tips, take a look at these tutorials:
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