Much of my photography is taken around the same area of Llanelli, Machynys Bay. It has some great sunsets and can be wonderfully dramatic, but it can get a bit samey and that means inspiration tends to wane at time. I’m pretty sure many photographers feel the same way about their own local areas. Whilst I do love the beach I live just a few minutes from, it does lack a main foreground interest – for example like the huge rocks at Broad Haven.

This means you do need to get a touch creative. For me that means introducing different objects into the photograph.

Pirates Of Machynys

So far I’ve taken shots of dogs, bottles, toy boats, lego and even a trike during my walks but for this latest shot I decided to use a Pirate’s head. I picked up the head in a local gift shop and knew that it would make a great subject. The result is above and apparently the image was used by Llanelli Star as their image of the week.

Usually when I do these kind of images I look towards the sunset, but for this one I was more keen on getting the reflection right plus making sure the background was still interesting. As you can see it wasn’t a particularly great sunset that evening, but the puddles from the outgoing tide were good and the light perfect for reflections of the sky and of course the pirate head.

For those interested it was taken using a Sony A77ii with a 16-50mm lens at f16 with the focus all on the pirate’s head. I tend not to use flash for these shots but in this case it could have helped bring the light up on the face. Overall though I’m happy with it and it makes a pleasing image.

If you’re keen to do similar shots at the beach then give it a go – just grab an interesting object from the house or off the beach and position it so that it gives a reflection. You don’t need to be in the water to do it – the above was taken at the shoreline with the tide on it’s way out.

For the kind of shot above you need to get down low – almost so that the camera is just above the water (but being careful not to actually be in it). Look out for sand worm mounds, shells and any other bits of debris as they can ruin a really good shot as basically they look really untidy!

Once you’re happy with your set up get shooting and see what results you get.