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Photography Assignments At The Beach

Hello again to the incredibly talented YS community, I am back! I have yet another challenging, conceptual assignment for you, one that will help you push the boundaries of the yellow rectangle with the big blue! This assignment is meant to help each storyteller out there capture what it feels like to meet the ocean.

The ocean is vast, blue, unrelenting, passionate, and formidable. It swathes 70% of our earth with its life-giving, nutrient-rich waters. Despite being called an unforgiving force of nature, the ocean is how we—how all life—came to be. We all owe one out of two breaths to her; yet so few of us have met her in person or honored her for being the creative source she is.

Regardless of whether you are landlocked or inhabit a coastal city, you know in your blood, sweat and tears, her salty presence. She is within you as much as she is beyond you, and she takes many forms, but in the end all water finds its way back to her. So how does it feel to meet her, to connect to her undulating expanse? What is encountering the ocean like for you? Maybe you work in a textile market and when you die your fabrics indigo you feel the ocean expressing itself, or maybe when you see your child splashing in the bathtub with a toy ship you feel the entire ocean come alive in your house! Your mind and eyes will connect to the ocean as only you can, and I cannot wait to see how.

For those who are divers, snorkelers or submarine pilots, who have deep and profound access to her depths, try to submit images that are unlikely, unexpected perspectives that still portray how you specifically connect to her. This assignment is not just about submitting a beautiful image of the ocean, many of you have already handed such images in for the Pristine Seas assignment, I am looking for something more intimate, emotional, conceptual, and unique. I want to feel what it feels like for you, personally, to meet the ocean. So don’t be afraid to think outside the box, it’s not just about what the lens sees, it is about what your lens sees because of you.

So whether it’s the crushing depths of the Pacific brought alive by a book you’re reading, or emoted in your cat’s eyes in the shallow bubble of a family fishbowl, tell me what it feels like for you to embrace the ocean. 

The ocean is such an incredible force—something that everyone should be able to experience and learn from up close. National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey uses cutting edge technology to bring people face-to-face with the wondrous, mighty creatures of the Pacific Ocean—allowing us to experience the power and beauty of the ocean like never before. Show us your ocean encounter and learn more about National Geographic’s powerful new experience here: Nat Geo Encounter.

SUBMISSION Deadline is July 31, 2017 at 12PM EST.

This assignment is partnering with the National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey team. In return for the support of this Assignment, National Geographic may provide images from the Assignment to the Ocean Odyssey project for use on it's website, social media platforms, and other outlets to promote and publicize the Assignment. When the final published story is run, some of the published images may end up being featured on the digital billboard outside of the Ocean Odyssey building with photographer's credit. 

Curated by:

Asher Jay

National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

Assignment Status

  • Open

    Everyone’s welcome to contribute their best shot to open assignments. Learn more.

  • Closed

    Completed assignments—with our favorite photos included—will be published online. Learn more.

  • Published

    Once the submission period is over, we'll review all contributions and select our favorite images to be included in the story. Learn more.

Published Aug 15, 2017.
Thank you for your contributions!


Shooting excellent landscape images is one of the most enjoyable disciplines of photography. It’s easy to start, and I have a few tips for you to take your landscape images to the next level!

 

Set Up Your Composition

When we start shooting landscape images, most people default to putting the horizon right in the middle of their composition, and that’s called a “Bullseye Shot.” This isn’t necessarily bad, but often times your composition can be improved if you put a little thought into what you want to show in your photograph.

You want to move around, look at different angles, think what you want to include in your shot, and when you consider all these things then you’ll end up with a much stronger image.

Best Times to Shoot Landscape Photography

When the sun is right below the horizon, we get what’s known as “Peak Color,” which is when the colors in the sky are the most brilliant. There are 2 ideal times to shoot landscapes, during sunrise and sunsets. When shooting landscapes, the biggest variable you should consider is what direction you want the sun to be facing, and that will determine if you should shoot at sunrise or sunset.

Shoot at Your Lowest Native ISO

When shooting landscapes, you want to shoot in your lowest native ISO to capture the most Dynamic Range, which is the range of details from the Shadows to the Highlights in an image. Lower ISOs preserve dynamic range, higher ISOs reduce dynamic range.

Photo by Matt Saville

Shoot in RAW

So you got got up super early in the morning to shoot a sunrise, you carefully framed your composition and chose your ideal settings, making sure you’re at your lowest native ISO to preserve maximum dynamic range, and then you get home and realize you shot all your photos in JPEG. Be sure to shoot in RAW so you have the most information recorded in your image so when you get home to edit your images, you have the best file format to work from.

Photo by Matt Saville

Be Patient

Landscape photography is an art that requires preparation, patience, and perfect conditions. Don’t be frustrated if you’re not getting perfect shots your first time. Just remember to be patient, use your weather reports, scout your locations, and wake up on time!

Top assignment entries for this chapter!

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