beach photography gear and tips needed

Vipmediastar_JZVipmediastar_JZ Posts: 1,708Member
edited August 2013 in Nikon DSLR cameras
Im looking into doing some long exposure at the beach.
Currently I have a sunpak pro 523px2 carbon fiber tripod with a pistol grip. It's great for portraits and landscape but the plastic release clip is unsafe for beach photos.
Without spending over 150.00 is there a tripod that you recommend.

Also without getting an ultra wide like the 16-35 for the angles are there any tips to get the low shots? I know there Is the option of putting the camera upside down on the tripod but not with the current one that I have.

I tried my best this past weekend for beach shots but the harbor and tripod didn't cooperate but the few shots that I got I was happy with.
I really would hate to have more expenses but I'm looking into getting some shots before fall ends and I can edit and hibernate for the winter.

Comments

  • KnockKnockKnockKnock Posts: 372Member
    edited August 2013
    Joby? Neutral density filter. Maybe circular polarizer too. Might help you block enough light so you can play with wider-open apertures and shortened depth of field.
    Post edited by KnockKnock on
    D7100, D60, 35mm f/1.8 DX, 50mm f/1.4, 18-105mm DX, 18-55mm VR II, Sony RX-100 ii
  • proudgeekproudgeek Posts: 1,422Member
    Skrimping on a tripod is likely to leave you with a camera full of sand. If you want to shoot low, you'll want a tripod that collapses. Also, the wider angle the better.
    +1 on the ND filter. I shoot with a 10-stop and love the effect of mixing fixed objects (concrete docks, etc.) with moving water at longer exposures. Make sure you get a remote and that you use the function to cover up your viewfinder.
    If memory serves you live in Chicago. I once ran up and down the the water's edge and think those jetties and concrete structures would be awesome, even in winter.
  • Vipmediastar_JZVipmediastar_JZ Posts: 1,708Member
    edited August 2013
    I thought less is more so I left some details out.
    I have a ND filter and remote wired and wireless check todays pad for a recent photo at the harbor. It was a bad choice for location but we were in the area so I took advantage of the spot.

    Im looking at a polarizer too maybe this weekend I'll order one.

    I'll try to do a chicago beach soon but I need to go with my fishing buddies for some locations unless I head out to the north piers or beaches. For that I would like a tripod first.

    I know skimping out would be bad considering the equipment at hand but for my budget I already passed it unless I do some more gigs as that is how I buy my stuff for photography and that would be another thread lol.

    Should I stick the tripod in the water? I will be using the sigma 35mm most likely and if I'm feeling like bringing out the 24-70 I'll do that but the distortion at 24 is what I don't like. I feel the 35mm handles better overall.


    I just saw the JOBY. hmm that could be an option. Thanks for the tip.
    Post edited by Vipmediastar_JZ on
  • Rx4PhotoRx4Photo Posts: 1,200Member
    edited August 2013
    @ Vip, shooting at the beach is much like (I would imagine) shooting the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah in that many people think that a low angle is necessary to yield the best results when the opposite is actually true. Unless you're shooting detail of seaweed and shells then the best views are often made with a regular height tripod. In other words, you'd lose to much interesting detail if you shoot a beach landscape from too low of an angle.
    Post edited by Rx4Photo on
    D800 | D7000 | Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 | 24-70mm f/2.8 | 70-200mm f/2.8 | 35mm f/1.8G | 85mm f/1.4G | Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art | Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art | Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM | Zeiss 100mm Makro-Planar ZF.2 | Flash controllers: Phottix Odin TTL

  • Vipmediastar_JZVipmediastar_JZ Posts: 1,708Member
    edited August 2013
    @rx4 good point on the low angle.

    I was looking to include foreground.

    A quick search on flickr for lake Michigan nd and sorted to relevant gave me the top choices of what I'm looking for.

    There a few spots that I can include foreground like rocks and that's when I think I need the tripod.
    For the other shots a normal tripod would work like the two photos on my flickr

    Here is the flickr search http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=lake+michigan+nd
    Post edited by Vipmediastar_JZ on
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited August 2013
    Always proceed with extreme caution should you think about putting your tripod and camera in any form of water (specially salt water at the beach) without proper tripod gear.
    ...I know there Is the option of putting the camera upside down on the tripod but not with the current one that I have....
    Here are some examples of why I strongly believe in starting out with the right tripod gear, thus allowing the shooter all options he or she wishes in taking a shot. This is one of the main reasons why I stand so firmly behind getting Really Right Stuff equipment.

    Should you have any question about some or all the item in the images below let me know and I will give you all the info.

    Setup:

    ARN_4914-2
    D7000 35 1.8G 1/400 ISO 100 @ f/5.0

    ARN_4915-3
    D7000 35 1.8G 1/400 ISO 100 @ f/5.0


    Sample shot from the Setup:

    ARN_9953-4
    D4 Sigma 35 1.4 1/500 ISO 100 @ f/7.1

    Cropped version.

    ARN_9953-5
    Post edited by Golf007sd on
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • Vipmediastar_JZVipmediastar_JZ Posts: 1,708Member
    edited August 2013
    @golf rrs L plate and tripod. Nice. I heard lots of good stuff about that brand. The plate and tripod will probably go over budget but I have considered the L plate for convenience.

    I re checked my sunpak tripod. I can remove the center post and put it upside down but I would need a different ball head as the pistol grip can be removed. I have another metal pistol grip with a metal release but it doesn't have the screw for going into the center post. On the sunpak the pistol grip has the ball head and under that is the screw that screws into the center post. It's a great tripod especially at the incredibly low price that I got at a best buy clearance sale.

    Great tips everyone.

    Random - getting ready for my self family shoot I can't find the adapter to attach the sb-800 to the light stand attached to the umbrella. I remembered getting a free knock off joby and I attached the flash to that and wrapped it to the stand and umbrella.
    The JOBY is looking tempting right now.

    Off to test for tommorows shoot at the forest preserve.

    @Rx4Photo below is a picture that I took. That is also what I'm looking to accomplish. The shot was taken on the edge of the road. It was impossible to get a low angle or low to the water but this photo is to make an example of that I'm looking for foreground.
    Also it seems that I should have changed focus from infinity to possibley the closest rock as its either difrraction or out of focus in the foreground?

    I really like landscape and hope to improve in this type of photography
    Shot at F/11 4/sec

    Waukegan Harbor rocks/a>
    Post edited by Vipmediastar_JZ on
  • ElvisheferElvishefer Posts: 329Member
    Beach tips:
    • Remember to clean salt spray from your lens regularly. You might not feel it on your face and sometimes it puts enough translucent crud on the filter/lens to start bouncing light around and messing with your images.
    • Beware of sand. Wipe your tripod down thoroughly before bagging it. Try to keep it out of threads and other areas where it can grind.
    • Watch your footing near the water, especially when on rocks or near strong waves. I've shot Peggy's Cove in Nova Scotia a couple of times and quickly learned the crashing wave/wind/wet rock combo is both unpredictable and kick-ass dangerous.
    D700, 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII, 24-70mm f/2.8, 14-24mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.4G, 200mm f/4 Micro, 105mm f/2.8 VRII Micro, 35mm f/1.8, 2xSB900, 1xSB910, R1C1, RRS Support...

    ... And no time to use them.
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited August 2013
    Sand is challenging for sure. Pick the lens you want and stick with it. You really want to avoid getting it on the sensor. When I was up in northern California in December, Ironhart and I spend a nice day on the beach shooting. The wind was blowing very good and we had to use our bodies to shield the camera during lens changes. Here are some shots from our day on the beach.

    Have a look at this image and full size and you will see the sand was flying all over the place.

    ARN_6032.jpg
    D4 14-24 2.8 1/800 ISO 100 @ f/5.0
    Larger Image Size

    On this shot...the 70-200 got a nice taste of the sea foam.

    ARN_5963.jpg
    D4 70-200 2.8 1/200 ISO 100 @ f/10



    Post edited by Golf007sd on
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,089Moderator
    Sounds like all you need is a better head - assuming that is where this plastic release clip thingy is that you speak of.
    Always learning.
  • cowleystjamescowleystjames Posts: 74Member
    When I lived down in Cornwall, UK, I used to use clingfilm(shrinkwrap) on my tripod legs. This stopped all the nasties, sand, salt water, sea foam, getting into the tripod legs(it was a carbon Giottos).
    Worth a thought.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    As I have posted before, I use an ewa-marine U-B 100 for my D4. This is an economical solution for protecting the camera in surf and snorkeling situations. The results have been satisfying to my eye and the front glass is optically very good.
    Msmoto, mod
  • Vipmediastar_JZVipmediastar_JZ Posts: 1,708Member
    Sounds like all you need is a better head - assuming that is where this plastic release clip thingy is that you speak of.
    Yes indeed. I contacted BnH and they recommended a new tripod because the pistol grip had the male stud and finding a new ball head with it is difficult. That would have worked out great. The sunpak the plate on the camera is metal but the release is plastic. It already broke once but sunpak sent me a free replacement.

    Greats tips. Shrink wrap is a great idea. I have plenty at home that I can use. Never thought about it.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,089Moderator
    OK, well all you need to do is loctite a cut-off 1/4" x 20tpi screw into the tripod to reverse it from a female to a male then pick a good head (there was a good thread in the last three or four weeks on heads).

    Top tip I can give is ALWAYS have your camera in a good plastic bag with just the lens end poking out. You will not ever keep the sand from getting under controls and everywhere else otherwise unless your pockets are deep enough to afford a marine housing. Mine aren't. Having said that, a plastic bag will breathe when you zoom, would a marine housing?
    Always learning.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    edited August 2013
    The ewa-marine U-B 100 is a glorified plastic bag...LOL and it is flexible. Here is a shot immediately after the wave broke over both me and the camera

    Hatteras, after the splash
    Post edited by Msmoto on
    Msmoto, mod
  • cowleystjamescowleystjames Posts: 74Member
    All perspective has gone in that image. That could be 3" surf close up or 30 foot at a distance, cool.....
Sign In or Register to comment.