Sand, Salt, Heat, and Water...
It's a fatal combination for sensitive electronics.
So what's an image-maker to do?
1. Whenever you're not actively using your camera keep it covered.
Like really covered. We recommend a ziplock bag or something similar. A waterproof picnic blanket wrap can work in a pinch. The key is, you do not want sand or water (especially salt water!) blowing onto your camera and getting into it's cracks and crevices.
2. Never remove your lens outside at the beach!
There's always a breeze on the coast, and where wind meets sand you do NOT want to expose the internal workings of your electronics! Duck into the car, or a cafe if you have to. DO NOT REMOVE YOUR LENS OUTSIDE.
3. Invest in a waterproof case for your camera.
A waterproof case will liberate you. It will allow you to explore imagery that is in the splash zone, or even under water. Does buying a waterproof case sound too expensive? No excuses - you can borrow a GoPro from your friendly neighborhood media center! We've got five in rotation at all times and they're never happier than when they're being tested in the elements.
4. Keep your devices out of the heat.
Overheated electronics can literally fry your data. And your device. If your camera, phone, flash, etc, feels hot to the touch, it's time for a break in the shade. Or even in a cooler, just not too close to the ice!
Ice cream break, anyone?