This is my inaugural photography weblog post and am pleased to be joining the Web 2.0 Internet revolution.
I just returned from a glorious week in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. While it was mostly a family vacation, I did manage to sneak away here and there for some rewarding photography—much to my family’s chagrin. These brief excursions were usually timed around some undesirable “stay-at-home” meal, like bland grilled chicken breast with generic BBQ sauce. Seriously, I’ve been visiting this location for about 10 years and am quite familiar with the best locations.
While there is much to see and do photographically, the biggest challenge when shooting in a beach location is undoubtedly the light—which can be harsh and unforgiving to say the least. On a typical sunny or partly sunny beach day, just about everything is highly reflective—from the specular water hotspots to the bright sand. Highlight blowouts are a huge problem—and many of your photos will look hazy and washed out, even when using a good polarizer filter and lens shade.
So my advice is this…spend time with your family during the day…and only concern yourself with sunrise and sunset shooting. Which brings me to my last and final advice, which is to purchase a good set of Graduated Neutral Density Filters from the fine folks at Singh-Ray (www.singh-ray.com). If you’re serious about landscape photography and want to control the extreme dynamic “highlight to shadow” range found in most high contrast scenes (like the beach), than these are a must.