Picture Perfect: 6 Photo Tips

taking photos of beachcombing finds

Here at Beachcombing, we love seeing all the beautiful photos of your finds, but we can’t always use them in the magazine. Here are some tips for creating photos that are fit to print. 

photo on the beach

1. Bring your camera with you to the beach. “As found” photos tell a story of your day at the beach that your “paper towel” photo can’t. 

don't resize your images

2. Don’t resize your photo or video. When you enlarge a low-resolution photo, you don’t get more detail, just bigger pixels. Set your camera to take photos at the highest quality/largest size.

focus your photos

3. Check your focus. Make sure the subjects of your photos—not the background—are in focus by looking at them on a computer. Blurry photos of great finds make us sad!

shoot photos in the sunlight

4. Wait for a sunny day. Nothing brings out the colors like 100% pure sunshine!

pick the right background

5. Pick the right background. Think about the background in your photo as much as the subject. Move things around until you find a spot that shows off the piece, offers good lighting, and provides an interesting but not distracting backdrop to your find. 

experiment with light and backgrounds

6. Try different setups. Experiment with backgrounds, lighting, and focus by taking lots of photos and then selecting the one you like best.

magazine photo submissions

Want to share your story and photos in Beachcombing magazine?

We’d love to see your photos and videos and your stories and articles about:

  • Unique finds
  • Beach buddies (two– and four-legged)
  • Beachcombing destinations
  • Conservation and nature
  • Beach arts, crafts, and décor
  • Beachcombing meetups, friends, and getaways
  • Beach festivals, events, and museums
  • History and science from the beach
  • Resources and books for beachcombers

Unfortunately, we can’t use photos that:

  • Have been filtered
  • Have been retouched
  • Have watermarks
  • Have type on them
  • Have been resized
  • Are blurry
  • Are poorly lit
  • Are too small
  • Are on a distracting background

Bigger is better!

Your camera or phone settings should be set at the highest quality and size. Photos should be high-resolution .jpg files at least 1800×1200 pixels and around 2 MB file size. If your photos are going to be used in a slideshow or video, shoot them in horizontal format. Do not resize your photos as that ruins them.

Videos should be high-resolution horizontal format at least 1920×1080 pixels or approximately 100MB file size for 30 seconds. 

Email your file at "Actual Size" or "Largest Size" to submissions@beachcombingmagazine.com or upload it to your preferred file sharing site, such as Google Drive or DropBox. Please upload multiple files, videos, and files larger than 10MB to a single web folder instead of emailing them, or we may not get them.

Learn more about submitting photos, videos, and stories to Beachcombing.

This article appeared in the Beachcombing Magazine May/June 2020 issue.

2 comments

Hi, Gary! Most of the people who submit their photos filter and retouch their photos to change the photo from the original, to put watermarks on, and to create an effect (vignette, desaturated, etc.) that makes it hard for use to use them. And, we edit many of the photos ourselves to make sure they print at optimal quality on a web-fed four-color press. The original file works best, but if you have a special effect you want to add, you could always send the original and the manipulated photo. Thanks! Kirsti

Kirsti August 03, 2020

So why can’t you use photos that…
- Have been filtered
- Have been retouched

Magazines and newspapers do it often. A simple dehaze in Adobe Lightroom can do good things, and Vintage filter on my old Samsung S5 phone makes the subject isolate out, or ‘pop’.

Gary August 03, 2020

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