Photograph of dunes at Pea Island Refuge
  Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, NC
  Credit: Gabby Salazar

When I was younger, my family went to the beach for a week each summer or fall. While I spent the first few days playing in the sand, I always took time to explore the seashore with my camera. Next time you visit a beach, take a few minutes to look around before getting in the water and you'll be amazed by the images you find.

Take Action:

  • Look for patterns in the sand that are created by wind and water. Find interesting shapes and check them throughout the day to see how the sun changes the shadows on ridges of sand and dunes.


  • Scan the beach for seashells, pebbles and driftwood. Try photographing these objects as the waves cover them up.


  • Look for birds or crabs that call the seashore home and photograph them in their environment. For instance, photograph a crab with the beach in the background.


  • Photograph the beach at sunrise and sunset for different types of light. Check on the Internet or find out where and when the sun rises and sets. Take some wide-angle shots of the whole landscape or focus in on the clouds and colors reflected in the ocean.


  • Look for National Wildlife Refuges you can visit on your vacation. Many states have refuges along their shores. Please be aware that many national wildlife refuges close beaches during nesting season – the summer months when birds on the list of endangered or threatened species can be harmed by human traffic.



  • Gabby Salazar is founder and editor of the online magazine Nature's Best Photography Students, where young people may submit photos for contests and online publication, blog with each other about nature photography and view student photo galleries.


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