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  • Kevin Vandivier

Beach and Shore Fine Art Photography

Photography, particularly fine art photography, is all about transporting the viewer to the time and place depicted in the photograph.

For landscape fine art photographers, there is no lack of subject matter that one can use to create that kind of experience. And among landscapes, beaches and shorelines are perhaps the most capable of triggering an emotional experience in the viewer.

That’s because beaches and shores have so many different kinds of stimuli to play on the viewer’s emotions - the sun and the surf, the feeling of wet sand between one’s toes, the sound of waves crashing on the shore, the smell of the salt in the air...the list goes on and on.

The photo above by Kevin Vandivier, entitled ""three nights in the belly of a huge fish"-Matthew 12:40", exhibits the qualities discussed above.

As you view the image (which was taken on South Padre Island), you take in the beautiful texture of the seaweed that’s washed ashore. You gaze at the beautifully blurred waves and can imagine the sound the water makes as it laps the sandy beach. It reminds you of many quiet evenings spent at various beaches, the sun setting and lighting the sky on fire, the sound of seagulls crying out in the distance.

But beach and shore fine art photography is about more than just evoking feelings. It’s an opportunity to utilize photography techniques to make the image even more impactful.

In this case, Kevin used a long exposure to turn the image into something akin to an impressionist painting. The beautifully blurred water has an ethereal vibe to it that makes it that much more engaging to view.

As much as advanced photography techniques can elevate the quality of fine art photos, simply seeking out new and interesting vantage points can do the same.

Kevin’s shot "Now the Lord provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah" looks like it was taken from a drone, but it was taken from a cliffside overlooking this green sand beach in Hawaii, the only such beach in the world.

By exploring the area and finding a high perspective from which to look down onto the beach, Kevin was able to highlight the uniqueness of the area in a much more salient manner.

Aside from the unique green sand, the pattern created by the water coming ashore is quite beautiful as well. Again, this image wouldn’t have been possible had there not been an effort made to find that high perspective.

Fine art photography might require a lot of work, but as you can see in these examples, that hard work can certainly pay off!

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