Beach Vacation Photo Tips ? Make Your Vacation AND Photos Memorable

Most people, who go on a family beach vacation, take plenty of photographs. Once you're home and you view or print them out; are you ecstatic, bored, or disappointed? Be honest, now!

Does this sound familiar? You arrive at your destination, check the place out, and quickly change to go to the beach. Happily, you've remembered to take your sun block, nose plugs, and bathing suit. Maybe you remembered your camera, maybe you didn't.

Going on a family beach vacation brings up contradicting desires. On the one hand, you want everyone to have a wonderful, fun, relaxing, memorable vacation. On the other hand, most people don't want to do what's required to preserve the memories.

We will show you how to have the best of both worlds. By providing photography tips, you can capture outstanding beach vacation pictures, enjoy taking the photos, and ensure that when you look at the photos at home, you won't be thinking: "Was this OUR vacation!?!"

Can't-Miss Beach Vacation Photo Tips

1) Packing the Right Equipment

When you pack for your dream beach vacation, remember these essential items: Camera, batteries, memory cards, camera case, battery chargers, external flash (if available), tripod, and portable digital storage device. If you have an abundance of memory, you can leave the storage device at home.

2) Consider These Purchases

I know? you're already spending more than you want to on the vacation. So the last thing you want is some stranger suggesting you spend more on photo accessories. But, read on and find out what these low cost accessories will do for you before you skip to Tip #3.

Consider purchasing a circular polarizer filter for your lens. STRONGLY consider it! It will be one of the least expensive accessories you can buy, and you will LOVE the results. What are the results? A bluer sky, the ability to see objects under water, and creating colors that will "pop" off the page.

3) Insurance

Do you have insurance on your possessions? Did your camera cost more than $25.00? Then do yourself a big favor and buy a UV filter to place over your lens for protection. If your lens becomes damaged, your camera is ruined. You can probably get a good UV filter for under $20.00.

4) The Magical Landscape Shot

If there are colorful bluffs, harbors, or other landscape picture opportunities on your beach vacation, you want to capture them, of course. Not only that, but wouldn't it also be impressive to add some family member(s) to the shot and have the people AND the background in focus?

Set your F-stop for a high number (at least F-11, or at the "infinity" or "landscape" setting of your camera). Position the people in the foreground, the landscape in the background. Focus on your human subject(s), while being at least 15 feet away (25 is even better, if you have a telephoto).

Adjust the circular polarizer filter to obtain the desired shade of blue in the sky. Skip this step if you didn't purchase a filter. Don't worry, though. If you don't like the vividness of the sky after the print is developed, you can always take out a magic marker and color the sky. (You didn't hear that from me.)

Finally, gently squeeze the shutter and? voila! A perfect "postcard" photograph.

5) Silhouettes

Silhouette beach vacation pictures (or, non-beach vacation pictures for that matter) produce one of the most artistic and/or emotional-looking photographs possible. Most people never take silhouette photographs, and yet, they are just as easy as photographs taken during the day light.

The best time to take silhouette photos is from approximately 1 hour before sunset, to ½ hour after sunset. Use evaluative or matrix metering (which is probably your default metering mode anyway), and focus on the HUMAN SUBJECTS, with plenty of the cloud-filled sky in the background. Then compose the shot, as desired.

Did I mention that sunset shots without clouds are fairly disappointing? Sort of like winning the lottery and losing the ticket.

The silhouette effect results from the camera thinking the overall scene is brighter than it is, and therefore under-exposes the dark areas (human subjects).

To see sample photos and additional tips, check out

Article courtesy of, where you can see numerous sample pictures & photography tips on many subjects and events.

Copyright 2005 Robert Bezman. All rights reserved.

Robert Bezman is a professional photographer and owner of Custom Photographic Expressions. Robert has created to help the digital photography users create better photographs. Robert has a blog at

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