11 Tips for Photographing Cliffs and Coastlines

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Early Mornings and Late Afternoons Are the Best times for Cliff Photography

The other important point for creating an excellent coastline photograph: light.

Getting to the location you have chosen at the right time could make the difference between a great photo and one where the sun is shining too strongly. Or at least it’ll give you enough time to adapt.

So a possible choice could be early in the morning because the dawn with its soft lights could draw a totally unexpected picture. Another possible choice is the warm and beautiful light of the sunset. Or before and after the sun has dived into the sea.

Even the weather can create play of light on your scene and your composition. With the right clouds you can play with shutter speeds, leaving long crawls in the sky.

Seasons

Related to finding the right time to photograph the coastline, is finding the right season. During the year the sea changes the landscape, but not only. Potential floraalong the coast that you can include in your photography will also change.

Other elements that can highlight your subject are increasing or decreasing tides.

I live in Italy. The daily tides here are either small or smaller. This is consistent throughout the year, so seasons don’t really affect my photography.

But in the north of Europe, for example, it is not strange to find daily tides of 5-10 meters. While photographing along the coast of Scotland or near Etretat in France, the sea took over the beach within a few hours.

Even local storms can be very interesting, and can give your composition and your picture a totally unexpected look.

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