The west beach at Berneray on the north of the Isle of Uist in Scotland is a vast area with sand and sand dunes – one can spend days photographing. I always suggest people to look down on the sand for foreground interest such as small details on the sand or washed out pebbles that create strange patterns which can inspire lovely compositions. I also suggest to keep things simple, as well as keeping an eye on what is happening in the distance.
I was on location quite early, walked around, found potential compositions and played around by capturing some intimate landscape and close ups. Later on, and after having captured a picture by pointing to the right of this one with the light of the setting sun on the sand (gorgeous side light), it was time to move closer to the rolling waves and start studying their behaviour. The tide was coming in, knee height boots were employed and the backpack was kept on my back at all times. I noticed that one wave would roll out and then there was a pause of 4-5 seconds. I loved this pattern as it allowed for a much more simplified image than multiple rolling waves would.
As there was no strong subject, I decided to opt for a 6x17 format. This allowed me to include two horizontal lines in the frame, the line of the distant land and the line of the rolling wave. All I had to do was to wait for the next wave to be positioned exactly where I wanted it in the frame.
Keep it simple, don’t complicate things and confuse the viewer, unless you do it intentionally.