Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Beach photography: Simple precautions to carefree shooting

The holidays yield invariably good pictures. Especially if the setting is a beach paradise. But, photographic equipment and the natural elements like sand, salt spray and humidity are not a happy couple.

However, nothing prevents the photographer to record beautiful surroundings with much less concern. A series of simple steps, these hours can greatly help prevent a lot of future headaches.


Before you leave, you must pay attention to accommodate the equipment. Remember that the beach is a place where the sand, the simple blowing of a breeze, leaves the ground and covers everything that lies ahead. A good backpack or purse, well fenced, good quality, is usually enough to ensure the necessary protection while the machine is not in use. If this is not your case, you should not have to despair.

In a simple bag, use plastic bags and wrap each piece individually. Okay, problem solved.


Keep the kit some "tools" basic cleaning. An air puffer, a soft brush (or something similar a LensPen is even better), tissues, wipes, isopropyl alcohol, gauze, and whatever else find it necessary and interesting. Better to be alert to everything.


- Avoid changing lenses. If possible, use only one. The less the camera is disassembled for changing lenses, the more difficult the entry of sand or dirt on the lens itself in the body;

- Lenses with fixed focal length lenses are even better to use the beach when it comes to avoiding subject. No zoom ring, these objectives are virtually sealed for sand;

- If you do not use, store. Avoid getting the camera exposed to the attacks of the sand and sea. Take it where necessary;

- By entering and leaving environments with very different temperatures, as a place with air conditioning for example, keep the camera inside the backpack or purse. The temperature difference can cause problems because of water condensation caused by sudden change. If the lens blurred, just wait. Try not to rub anything to see again. The sand sticks in moisture easily, and the risk of causing damage to the lens is great;

- Hands are a great enemy in these hours. Sweat makes the sand stick and often do not realize that the photographer is handling the equipment with dirty hands. A dry towel can help keep your hands clean;

- At the close of the shoot, take all the equipment of the bag / purse, clean up with a good brush, initially, and make sure there is sand in the body, lenses, accessories and bag. Few minutes are "lost" the holidays, but for a worthy cause.


- Many photographers, by habit, they tend to clean the lens with the shirt, or even cloth handkerchief. This is a common practice, however, the beach does not allow it. Every grain of sand in the lens, when dragged, can cause a great damage. The first to touch the lens for cleaning, in any situation like this, or is the LensPen brush. You must make sure that there is nothing in the elements that may cause risks;

- Compressed air can be a great ally, but caution is necessary. I know several photographers who have ruined equipment by abusing this feature. The air pressure can push elements into the lens or camera body, or, in extreme cases, move them around. The compressed air must be used at the right distance, which can remove debris and dust without causing too much pressure on the elements. This caution is especially necessary for those using compressed air compressors. For those who use cans of compressed air, the problem is much smaller.


- Protection is never enough. Covers, waterproof bags, or any other accessory that allows photographers to work with more protection are always helpful. If you want something simple, use a clear plastic bag, do a front opening and be happy. It is not pretty, the front element makes the lens exposed, but keeps the rest of the set reasonably safe;

- Trunk is better than the bank: if you leave the equipment in the car, prefer the trunk. Besides being more secure, since no eavesdropper will see it in the bank, the temperature in the trunk tends to be smaller than the area inside the car;

- Use sunscreen!

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