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5 Top Pier Photography Tips For Coast Photography Fans

If you're heading to the coast soon, and why not as the weather should be getting better, here are a few tips to help you capture shots of piers from under, above and on these seaside structures.

| Landscape and Travel

5 Top Pier Photography Tips For Coast Photography Fans: Cleethorpes Pier


Piers are strong structures that stand along the coastline of many of our favourite seaside resorts and they're a brilliant subject for a photographer. Not only can you photograph them as a whole, but you can also get in close with a macro lens, focus on patterns, point your lens at passers-by or wait for the sky to change and capture these historical structures at sunrise/sunset. 

With so many ways you can photograph piers, you really can keep yourself busy for quite a few hours so with this in mind, here are our 5 top ways you can photograph a pier next time you're at the coast.  


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1. What Photography Kit Do I Need For Pier Photography?

5 Top Pier Photography Tips For Coast Photography Fans: Cleethorpes Pier


Wide-angle lenses will always be useful when photographing piers as you'll be able to capture shots of the beach, sea and pier as well as interesting sunsets or sunrises, depending on what time of the day you're visiting the coast. Close-up lenses or better still, macro lenses will allow you to get detailed shots of textures in the wooden boards, patterns in rust and more. Don't forget your tripod and pack a polarising filter to reduce glare and increase saturation so blue skies appear to be even brighter. This doesn't mean you can't shoot on a dull day, however as rain clouds building in the background of your beach landscape will add mood and create a different feeling in your pier shots.  


2. Go Wide On The Beach

5 Top Pier Photography Tips For Coast Photography Fans: Cleethorpes Pier


Shooting from the beach will give you a cracking shot of the pier in its surroundings that works particularly well at sunrise/sunset. For added atmosphere try slowing your shutter speeds down to blur the movement of the sea as it crawls up the beach.


3. Get On The Pier, Guide The Eye

5 Top Pier Photography Tips For Coast Photography Fans: Coastal shot


Take a walk along the boards early morning before the tourists arrive and the empty pier can be used to guide the eye out to sea. If you want to emphasise the bustle of the seaside resort try using slower shutter speeds to blur the movement of the people walking up and down the pier.


4. Walk Under The Pier 

5 Top Pier Photography Tips For Coast Photography Fans: Cleethorpes Pier


If it's safe to do so go and have a walk under the pier as you'll often find a symmetrical structure that creates a strong graphical shot when photographed from the beach. The supports closer to the sea will often have interesting tide line patterns, seaweed and creatures worth a quick snap with your macro lens too. Just keep an eye on the tide if you venture under as you don't want you and your kit getting wet or worse still, swept out to sea.

5. Patterns Can Be Perfect 

5 Top Pier Photography Tips For Coast Photography Fans: Sea


When you've photographed the popular pier angles, the patterns in the wooden boards, rust on bolts and peeling paintwork on railings make great texture shots you can blend into other images in Photoshop.

Bonus Tip: When you're back at home remember to wipe down all of your gear to remove sand, sea salt etc. and leave it to dry out completely. 

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