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Beach Pictures

Whether it's your honeymoon, a family vacation or spring break, vacation photos are the most important souvenirs you'll bring home. They provide a lasting record of the time you've spent with loved ones and the exotic places you've visited. Vacation photos can be challenging, especially beach pictures, but by following a few tips, you can produce photographs you'll treasure long after the vacation ends.

Beware of too much sunlight.

This is one of the most important considerations. Sunny days are great for spending time at the beach, but they can wreak havoc on your beach pictures. Too much sun can create excess contrast--making some areas of the picture too bright and others too dark. And you don't want your subject squinting because the sun's in their eyes. It's best to wait for an overcast day. The light is softer, eliminating the harsh facial shadows that can be produced by too much sunlight. If you can't wait for an overcast day, position your subject so they're in the shade, or wait until a cloud passes in front of the sun. Then, use a strobe to add light. The strobe will fill in any dark areas in the photo. In fact, overcast lighting is best for close-up portraits, and can create dramatic close-up shots.

Use a disposable camera.

Taking beach pictures can be a danger to your camera, with the water, sand and heat. Try using a one-time use camera so you can concentrate on getting a great shot, instead of worrying about your camera. Some disposable cameras work underwater--great for pictures of scuba diving or swimming.

Protect your camera.

If you do use your regular camera, keep it safe. Store your camera and film in a case or zippered plastic bag when you're not using them, and place them under a towel to protect them from the sun. Load your film in the shade so the sun won't ruin it. If sand gets on your camera, blow it off and use a lens cleaning brush to clean the camera.