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Thread: Beach Photography

  1. #1

    Beach Photography


    I am going to Barbados in March and I would like the forum's help. I currently shoot with a 60D. My lenses are 17-55 2.8, 60 2.8 Macro, 50 1.4 and the 70-200 4.0. What is the best lens for beach photography, both portrait and landscape? Should I look into renting a fisheye? Please feel free to ask questions - thank you for you help!


  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Big Mouse Florida
    Pay my airfare and I will do it for you .

    Outside.... lots of light generally speaking....

    I would think an extension tube to cover the macro stuff and leave your macro lens and the 50mm home if you are looking to save weight and bulk. The 70-200 makes are pretty good flexible macro (heavy etc but IQ is there - is it the IS version?)

    I am not a fish-eye kind of guy, might look at renting the 10-22 if you need something wider.

    I am thinking your are doing pretty good. Are planning shots of the beach bonfires, etc.? Then the 1.4 is a good idea.
    If you see me with a wrench, call 911

  3. #3
    Thank you for your quick reply.

    To answer your questions;
    No - the 70-200 is NOT the IS. I plan on using a tri-pod if I use this lens.
    I am not planning shots of a bon fire; however, if there is bonfire then I will certainly love pics of that action.
    I plan on shooting while walking on the beach, from my balcony, around the beach or general walk around actives.
    I should note that I am brining my GoPro for the excursions; I don't want to soak the DSLR, but I'd love to have the 60D with me as much as possible.

    Thank you again.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    New Hampshire, USA
    Hi Bruce,

    As you are discussing with Mike, there are two distinct lighting conditions that you may want to consider, literally, night and day. For night, you likely do want the f/1.4 lens.

    For day, or sunrise/sunset, focal length is not much about the "beach" and is more about subject and composition. I've shot beach sunrises with my 16-35 and with my 150-600 and every lens in between. it all depends on what you want in the composition. And I would think about that while you are there. Sometimes it is more interesting to focus on something specific (longer focal lengths) and sometimes it is better to display the entire scene or pull multiple components of a scene together (wider focal lengths).

    So, I would be tempted to bring at least the 17-55, 50 f/1.4 and 70-200. The macro would be more if you are planning to take pics of exotic flowers, or something like that. Its the one I would be on the fence about.

    But, a few items I would also consider:
    • Good tripod
    • CPL (polarizing filter) can be used to minimize glare from water and even help you see into the water in some conditions.
    • Graduated ND filter to work with that sky land interface for landscape shots.
    • Reverse graduated ND filter same as grad filters but for sunrises/sunsets as the filter is darkest at the horizon and lightens above that.
    • 6-10 stop ND filter, just in case you want longer shutter speeds, to blur the water, blur out people as they walk on the boardwalk, etc.
    • Something to protect your camera/especially if changing lenses on the beach (sand is not your camera's friend)

    So, I would think about the type of shots you will be trying to take. I often browse flickr looking for specific forums that focus on pictures I might be taking (a few possible examples: beach, beach, beach and Barbados) and I figure out how they took the shot and what I would need to do something similar.

    I would consider something like a 2 stop hard edge graduated ND filter (I recommend Lee), a 3 stop soft edge graduated ND filter (Lee again), a 3 stop reverse ND filter (I own Signh-Ray), and a CPL. I have to admit, I have used my grad ND filters less and less, but that is more about the subjects I have shot and the fact that in the last year or two I haven't shot many sunsets and if I did I waited until after the sunset to get the reflection off the clouds.

    Good luck, and enjoy the trip. I've heard good things!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Steilacoom, WA
    4 years ago I went to Kauai twice in a 6 month period. The first time my most used lenses with my 7D were: a Rokinon 8mm Fisheye (corrected in post), a Tokina 35mm macro and the Canon 70-200 non-IS. The 2nd time, my most used lenses with the 5Dc were: a Tokina 16-28, a Canon 50 1.4 & the 70-200 non-IS. Both trips I brought along my 100 USM Macro, but used it less than 5% of the time.

    I had wished I had a CPL or ND filter attachment for my UWA/Fisheye lenses. Both trips I brought a tripod, but the 2nd trip I picked up a travel tripod.

    Have a great trip!
    Way too much gear and even more lighting equipment.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Central Kentucky
    The camera body and 4 lenses could easily fit in a small carry on bag ... take all of them

  7. #7
    Thank you very much for your information. I appreciate you taking the time to reply.

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