Want better seascape photos? Don’t forget to bring a bucket

A plastic bucket is one of the most useful things you can have with you at the beach. It’s a sand castle construction tool, a seashell collection chamber, and can even be used to help you take better seascape pictures, as photographer Karl Taylor demonstrates in the above video.

While Taylor offers up several tips and tricks for getting the best oceanside landscape shots, the bucket is both the simplest and the most novel. As Hollywood has known for decades, the ground simply looks better when it is wet. Water helps bounce light around, punches up the contrast, and overall just makes things look more special. With this in mind, Taylor uses the bucket to transport water from the ocean and spread it around the rock formation where he set up his shot.

Of course, you’ll need more than a bucket to pull off a photo like Taylor’s. He also used a tripod with a removable center column that allowed him to place the camera very low to the ground. But when shooting from such a low angle, reflections in the water become very pronounced. To alleviate this and bring out detail in the rock below the puddle, Taylor used a polarizing filter. By blocking out polarized light, the filter allows the camera to “see through” the reflections.

Taylor’s most important tip isn’t about gear at all, however. It’s simply arriving early enough to scout out the location. It also helps to know the time and angle of the sunset. The full process of scouting, setting up, and shooting often takes him several hours. It’s proof that what goes into making a photograph is often more about what you do without the camera than what you do with it.

Oddly, as Taylor spent much of his time crouched by his tripod in what couldn’t be a comfortable position, he seems to have neglected a rather obvious use for the bucket: as a stool. He keeps on shooting while the bucket is a few feet away, just sitting there. So consider this a bonus tip from Digital Trends: a bucket makes a great place to sit.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Grow veggies indoors and shower more efficiently

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Home Theater

Make the most out of your new Apple TV with these must-have apps

If you're looking to turn your fourth-generation Apple TV or Apple TV 4K into an all-in-one entertainment powerhouse, we can help you get started with this list of the best Apple TV apps you can download.

Need help getting the Sleeper Simulant in Destiny 2? We’ve got you covered

The Sleeper Simulant is one of the coolest new Exotic weapons you can unlock in the Warmind expansion of Destiny 2, but it's an involved process that will take awhile. Here's everything you need to know.
Product Review

Want to see how powerful the Snapdragon 855 chip is? Just rev up the Xiaomi Mi 9

How fast do you want to go? If the answer to this is “as fast as possible,” then take a long look at the Xiaomi Mi 9. It’s one of the highest performance smartphones you can buy. It’s a real monster, and we’ve been using it.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (February 2019)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.

Photography news: Wacom’s slimmer pen, Leica’s cinema special edition

In this week's photography news, Wacom launches a new slimmer pen for pro users. Leica's upcoming M10-P is designed for cinema, inside and out, with built-in cinema modes in the updated software.

Mirrorless cameras were built to be compact, so why have they gotten so heavy?

Mirrorless cameras launched as portable alternatives to bulky and complex DSLRs -- so why are they getting bigger and heavier? Cameras are trending towards heavier models, but that change comes with more advanced features.

Be careful who you bokeh, jokes Apple’s latest iPhone ad

With iPhone sales under pressure, you'd think there wouldn't be much to laugh about at Apple HQ. But the company has seen fit to inject some humor into its latest handset ad, which highlights the camera's Depth Control feature.

What’s the difference between Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic?

Lightroom CC has evolved into a capable photo editor, but is it enough to supplant Lightroom Classic? We took each program for a test drive to compare the two versions and see which is faster, more powerful, and better organized.

Luminar’s libraries gain speed, drop need for you to manually import images

Luminar 3 just got a performance boost. Skylum Luminar 3.0.2 has improved speed over December's update, which added the long-promised libraries feature giving editors a Lightroom alternative.

When you're ready to shoot seriously, these are the best DSLRs you can buy

For many photographers the DSLR is the go-to camera. With large selection of lenses, great low-light performance, and battery endurance, these DSLRs deliver terrific image quality for stills and videos.

The best place to print photos online in 2019

Have you been looking around for the best place to print out your favorite photos online or in store? Don't fret, we've pored through dozens of options and narrowed it down to the seven best.

The Panasonic FZ1000 gets a much-needed update alongside the smaller ZS80 zoom

Panasonic's 2014 superzoom camera with a larger sensor has finally seen an update. The new Panasonic FZ1000 II has a sensor that's better for low light, more physical controls, and new 4K Photo Mode features.

Watch the construction of a 270-degree fisheye lens, the widest ever

Think you've seen wide fisheye lenses? Think again. A team from Lensrentals recently shared a behind-the-scenes look at a custom prototype 4.5mm fisheye lens, which captures a whopping 270-degree view.