Sand at the beach is one of my favorite artistic mediums for photography.  Sand is also one of the most challenging.  Sand reflects light and is very bright during parts of the day, which makes photographing the subtle details very difficult.  I find early morning and early evening are the best times to get the patterns in light, shadow, color, tones and sculpting.  I especially enjoy the results of the overnight winds by the dunes and the protective fencing.

Weather Sculpted Sand

Sand continually changing and eroding footprints in the wind and weather

Smooth in texture and smooth in tones.  More importantly the canvas constantly changes.  Each image is almost unique because the sand moves and the sculpture is replaced by a new creation.

Weather Sculpted Sand

Folly beach sand sculpted by the weather and wind.

Adding to the photography challenge, these images were all taken with a Leica MD Type 262.  With no LCD to review what was captured, the task of ensuring proper exposure is left to the photographer.  This Leica M digital camera brings the same challenges I face with the 1960 Leica M3 film cameras I also use.  I enjoy the feel and the unique shutter sound.  I enjoy the ease of changing ISO and the lack of multiple features requiring a book to understand using.  I enjoy the satisfaction of the image appearing on my computer for the first viewing since I pushed the shutter.

Protecting Beach Sand

Various old dock or stair foundations help hold sand long after the structure is gone.

About The Author

David taught film photography and development for 3 years at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1989-1991). He began using Leica cameras in 2000 and still shoots 70-100 rolls of film through a Leica M3 and Leica MA while enjoying the challenges of the Leica Monochrom and the new Leica MD 262. David has written about photography and is working on several volumes documenting changes and artistic merit throughout Old Town in Rock Hill, South Carolina, USA. His full-time job is as a CPA, but spends free time with a camera at the ready.

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