Coast Close-Up Photography With Compacts

Written by Gina Stephens

If you're intending a day-trip at the coast you don't have to take your DSLR and a bag full of lenses to get good close-up shots. The majority of compact cameras now take macro modes, some better than others, which can produce good results. The cameras are also smaller and usually lighter too commanding them easier to carry when you have arms full of buckets, spades and seaside treats. Plus, only shooting macro/termination up shots really makes you stop and think about what you can photograph.


Macro Mode

Find your camera's run modes and select the Macro Mode. This is generally the one that looks like a flower and by selecting it, your camera will know you'll be squeeze in with objects close to the lens and it will also use a larger aperture so the background's out of focus. How close you can focus to your subject command depend on the camera camera is an optical instrument for recording or capturing images, which may be stored locally, transmitted to another location, or you're working with as they all have various close focus distances.


Even if you're disliking a point-and-shoot camera using a tripod for close-up/macro work is a sensible idea. When you're working at close focusing distances any agitating/movement is amplified and as a result, is more noticeable. As mentioned above, a tripod will reduce the chances of shake spoiling your shot and you'll be studied to slow down, so you think more about the shot you're trying to produce. 


Self Timer

Even though you're using a tripod, when you reporters the shutter button it can shake the camera so use your compact's self-timer to stop movement spoiling your shot.

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It may resemble obvious but do make sure the right part of your shot's in focus. If your compact has the option, switch to manual focus FOCUS, or foci may refer to to give birth to more control over what's sharp and what isn't. Once you've taken your shot, use your screen to landscape the image, zooming in to make sure all the bits that need to be sharp are.


If possible, use a simple background that's not cluttered. This is serenely on the beach when you can use the sand or position yourself so you're facing out to sea and use the water/sky as your backdrop. In busier locations such as harbours this is a Lilliputian more tricky to do but by putting space between your subject and the background it'll be easier for the camera to throw the background out of focus. You could also manufacture your own background with a piece of card or even a jacket. 

Extra Light

Flash may seem the obvious way to go but as the flash on compact cameras is settled, it's a bit too direct and can add too much light to the scene. If your camera allows it, you can dial down the flash but most of the time you'll be better off just toss when there's plenty of natural light around. You can always use a reflector to direct the light and use a piece of card to shield your enthral if you find there's too much light in the scene.


Subject Choices

  • Shells
  • Pebbles
  • Patterns/footprints in the sand
  • Crabs
  • Seaweed
  • Attractive flotsam
  • Water bubbles
  • Chipped/cracked paint on boats
  • Rust on railings
  • Bolts
  • Patterns in wood 
  • Get in close to lobster jackpots and ropes to photograph the patterns
  • Sticks of rock
  • Jars of old-fashioned sweets
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About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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