Suncream, Sandcastles and Stunning Scenery: South Africa’s Kwa-Zulu Natal Coastline (Part 1)

This is for all the beach lovers out there (personally, I’m more of a ‘safari’ kinda person, but even I cannot deny the photographic inspiration that can be found around the coast).  Last month, my family and I went on a trip to the Kwa-Zulu Natal coast.  Before we left, I did some research on beach photography.  Here are a few of my favourite ideas that I was able to put into use:

    • Try to add an object in the foreground of your photo, such as a rock or even a sandcastle.
    • Footsteps make great leading lines.
    • A long exposure gives the waves a mist-like appearance (unfortunately I wasn’t able to use this as whenever it was dark enough outside, it would begin to rain – remember that for a long exposure you need very little light. You could use a Neutral Density filter, though, if you have one.)
    • There are many things that would work as good natural frames at the coast – the beams supporting a pier, or even something as basic as two rocks next to each other.

Here are my favourite beach photos from the holiday (be sure to also have a look at Forests, Fungi and F-stops: South Africa’s Kwa-Zulu Natal Coastline (Part 2)!):


I found this rock while on a slow afternoon walk down the beach.  I thought it was a great representation of texture, especially with the different shades of brown.


This cute little bunch of shells was on a very similar rock to the one in my previous photo.  Something about the harder, more geometrical shape of the ones on the right against the softer, curving shape of the ones on the left really appealed to me, and I quickly took to photographing them.


Unfortunately – from a beach-goer’s perspective – the weather was very cloudy for most of our trip.  Luckily, this provided a wonderfully moody sky for some of my pictures.  For instance, in this photo – though I eventually decided to set the White Balance to ‘Shade’ to counteract the extreme blue tinge provided by the sky.

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I loved both the shape and texture of the pier – is it just me, or does it remind you of a spine and ribcage?  By underexposing slightly, I tried to emphasize the texture.  I used Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 to convert the picture to black and white.