Photographer Emily Kwan says her love for nature can sometimes come across as a bit of a challenge.
“Sometimes I find myself looking in a direction where I’m not sure what to do,” she says.
“I’ll often just try to do it the way I want to do things.”
Here are some of the best beach photography tips for photographers looking to capture their own unique look.
The beach is the most beautiful place to photograph It can seem like you’re always in the midst of a dramatic moment, but in reality, most of the time, it’s just a blur.
That’s where photographers come in.
“The most beautiful part of a photograph is the beach, and in this case it’s the ocean,” says Kwan, whose beach photography is featured in a new book called Beach: A Portrait of a Beach Photographer.
“If I’m just looking at the beach in my mind, I’ll be doing it with the assumption that there’s nothing there.
But I’ll also be trying to capture something that doesn’t really exist, which is the essence of the ocean.”
The ocean is Kwan’s favourite place to capture images of.
She says she doesn’t need to worry about the water’s level or the weather — all she has to do is concentrate on the water.
“For me, the ocean is a constant backdrop and everything in my photographs is framed by it,” she explains.
“In some ways, I feel like I’m in the middle of a waterfall.”
The ocean feels more real than in nature “I’m more interested in capturing the ocean’s beauty,” says the Vancouver-born Kwan.
“My style of photography is all about capturing beauty through the natural environment.”
Kwan has been photographing the sea for nearly 20 years, and she has an affinity for the sea.
“It’s the perfect place for me to capture my true personality,” she admits.
“When I’m doing my work on the beach I find that I’m so much more interested by what is there than what is visible.”
She says the same applies to her photography of the sand.
“You can never have enough sand, and I think that’s the beauty of the sea.”
You can’t always photograph everything “Photography is a process and if you don’t have the right tools, you don and I believe that this is one of the biggest mistakes people make,” Kwan explains.
For example, she says, it can be hard to capture the essence in a photograph when it’s cloudy.
“There are times when I think, ‘Why am I taking this picture?’
And I’m like, ‘I can’t make this picture out of clouds because I don’t know what’s going on in the water,'” she says with a laugh.
“So I try to focus on what’s important and make the most of what I have.”
Your best bet for perfect beach photography isn’t to photograph the water herself “I think it’s important to think about the whole environment you’re photographing,” Kran says.
She encourages photographers to take time to look at their surroundings.
“Most of the pictures I do are actually taken from a safe distance, and if there’s anything you can’t do, you can at least ask your subject what he or she would like you to take pictures of,” she adds.
You’ll find your inspiration at the water line “When you’re at the ocean, there’s something about being at the end of the line that’s just breathtaking,” says a proud Kwan of her favourite places to photograph.
She adds that she loves the way the water and sand are both so much bigger than the rest of the landscape, and it’s hard to get your mind around just how beautiful the water can be.
“Some people would love to photograph this perfect beach in the ocean and it would be so wonderful, but it would probably be so expensive,” she reveals.
Take your time, but keep your photos beautiful The key to beautiful beach photography, says Kran, is to “take your time and be very deliberate in your composition and take care of the details.”
For example: “I always look for the waterline and look for where the water is running and where the sand is running,” she recalls.
“Because when you’re looking at a picture, you’re not looking at anything.”
She also stresses that you need to remember to use the right filter.
“As a photographer, you always want to make sure you have a great filter that’s not going to catch any rainwater,” she points out.
That’s why we’ve got to be careful and use the filter with care and be careful not to break it.”
Be creative with lighting, lighting conditions