Despite the presence of so much breathtaking scenery, shooting great photos at the beach can be difficult. And when it’s the middle of the day with the sun directly overhead it can be a particularly big challenge. Harsh shadows get in the way and the sunrays bleach all of the color out of your photos!
There’s a reason professional photographers book your family portrait session during the golden hour. The sunlight at the beginning and end of the day provides the preferred soft light that brings out everyone’s best. That’s all well and good for staged photography. Photos of your kids enjoying the beach, however, will most likely be in the middle of the day when the light is harder. You don’t have to settle for subpar pictures just because the sun isn’t cooperating.
While there are quite a few tools and resources to battle the harsh light of midday, this post will focus on post-production; showing the before, untouched photos and then using some different editing styles by Pretty Presets for Lightroom will give you ideas on how to edit those tricky beach photos so that you can enjoy those memories for years to come!
Pretty Presets for [Adobe] Lightroom has several collections to choose from, including brushes, sun flare, and bokeh. Their website also offers helpful Pretty Actions for Adobe Photoshop. You can use their tutorials on how to install/use the presets, subscribe to their YouTube Channel for amazing learning videos, or join their Facebook group and connect with others using these collections as well.
Meet L & R, two little men who enjoy their Topsail Island beach home in all kinds of weather. There’s no reason for them to keep out of the Atlantic Ocean on A Friday in February! The photos were taken around 1pm in the harsh, low winter sunlight.
The Pretty Presets
There are three collections I pulled presets from to edit these images:
- The PRETTY FILM: Pastels Collection
- The Luminous: Bokeh, Sun Flare and Haze Preset Collection
- The Enchanted Garden Preset Collection