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Tidepool Photo Tips

  • Give yourself plenty of time. Get there at least 1 hour before low tide, check the tides (and weather) and time of sunrise/sunset when planning your trip.
  • Follow good tidepool etiquette when exploring.
  • Get up close as you safely can and stay in one place long enough to notice the small details.
  • Look up frequently to keep track of your surroundings and the incoming tide.
  • Bring a buddy to help you keep an eye on the ocean. Have the friend stand with you to block the sun and glare from the sky, giving you a clearer shot to see beneath the water's surface.
  • If you are taking landscape shots, keep the horizon level when your photo includes a glimpse of the ocean. 
  • Use macro for close-up shots. If you are using a "point and shoot," explore using your "macro" feature (a flower symbol on many models). It's a great idea to test your macro functions out before going out to the tidepools, so you're familiar with your camera functions and can enjoy yourself.  Otherwise, macro lenses are a great option for DSLR users.
  • Avoid using flash.
  • Use a polarizer or your camera’s neutral density filter (if you have them) as a way of reducing reflections from the water surface.
  • If you have one, bring and use a tripod  The low tides are often early in the day and will require longer exposures to capture the scene in sharp detail. Please carefully consider placement of your equipment for both your equipment's sake and the well-being of the rocky shore inhabitants.
  • For the safety of your camera and yourself, consider wearing it around your neck to keep your hands free.
  • Clean your camera and accessories after your trip. Saltwater and sand can damage your equipment.
  • Think about what you are going to do with the photos.  How are you going to use them? Some ideas include:
    • Post your favorites on the Oregon Tidepools Flickr group to share your finds with others!
    • Use them as a computer desktop image or screensaver.
    • Tell a story? (To use in a school report or for show-and-tell for example.)
    • Let us know how you are using your tidepool photos on the Oregon Tidepools Flickr group!