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Top Tips for Great Beach Photography

Protecting your camera from the elements


Summer is here, and many people will be heading off to a beach at some point or other over the next couple of months. And if you’re going to a beautiful beach, the chances are you’ll want to take your camera with you. But sand and salt water are definitely not good for your photographic gear – so here are a few tips on keeping everything safe!

 

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1. Try to avoid changing lenses when you’re on the beach. This is almost asking for sand to get inside your camera! If you really need to do so, make sure your hands are completely dry and sand-free, and shelter the camera from any wind with your body.

2. Start the day with a new memory card so that you won’t have to change that either.

3. Keep a UV filter on your lens – if anything is going to get scratched by sand, better it’s a filter than the front element of your lens!

4. When you’re not using it, keep the camera inside a proper bag with zip closures, not just loose inside a beach bag.

5. Keep the camera bag in the shade if possible to avoid the camera getting too hot.

6. After swimming or applying sunblock, wipe your hands on a clean dry towel before handling your camera.

7. After a trip to the beach clean your camera carefully to make sure all traces of sand and salt are removed. Make sure the outside of the camera is clean before you open the camera or take off the lens.

8. If you’ve used a tripod on the beach, make sure that is properly cleaned and dried afterwards too. Sand in the leg joints is not good!

Beaches can provide some fabulous images – especially early and late in the day when the light is good and the crowds aren’t there – just remember to take that little bit of extra care with your camera, and enjoy!

Geoff Harris

I am a photography journalist and photographer and currently work as the Deputy Editor of Amateur Photographer (AP) the oldest weekly photographic magazine in the world. Before that I served as the editor of Digital Camera, Britain's best-selling photography magazine, for five years. During my time as editor it became the UK's top selling photo monthly and won Print Publication of the Year at the 2013 British Media Awards. As well as being lucky enough to get paid to write about photography, I've been fortunate to interview some of the greatest photographers in the world, including Elliott Erwitt, Don McCullin, Martin Parr, Terry O'Neill, Steve McCurry and the late Mary Ellen Mark. This has been a wonderful learning experience and very influential on my photography. Beyond writing, I am a professional portrait, travel and documentary photographer, and reached the finals of the 2016 Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year competition. I am a Licentiate of the Royal Photographic Society and hope to take my Associateship whenever I can find the time.

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