Seascape photography

Today I’ll talka bit about seascape photography tips and tricks. Even though shooting sea scenery may seem pretty straight forward, there are few things to consider before you go ahead with this.

Equipment

Firstly, make sure that you have decent waterproof protection for your equipment. Sure, you are not going to dive into the sea, however, hanging around large water bodies involves some risk to get yourself and your equipment wet. It may even simply start raining while you’re on a remote cliff catching a big splash hitting it. So, a camera cover and a raincoat are necessary pieces of gear. You also need lens wipes to get rid of accidental moisture.

You should also consider having lens filters with you for both – lens protection and long exposure shots.

Shutter speed

You have to decide what type of images you are after. In case if you wish to shoot waves splashing against the cliffs – handheld shooting will be perfectly fine. But if you are looking for some spectacular long exposures you need a tripod. You may or may not have a remote trigger. Two seconds’ timer will be enough to ensure that your camera doesn’t shake as you press the shutter button. But if you have such trigger – grab it with you.

Time your shoot

Seas and oceans are affected by tides (unlike lakes and rivers). You should know exactly where the water level is, before you move out of the house. This way you won’t find a dirty pile of seaweed instead of the expected waves, when you arrive. There are a few websites and mobile apps that can help you with tracking tides. Do yourself a favour – google and pick one (free ones are as good as paid versions).

Sun position is also critical for this type of photography. And it also can be planned upfront using a very handy free website suncalc.net (it also offers a free mobile app).

Perspective and composition planning

I do recommend planning your shots before you get to the location. You can write a short list of perspectives you’d like to shoot depending on location and shore type (sand, cliffs, pebbles, etc.) For example, “low position, waves running towards, close focus” or “middle height, cliff on the right, wave splash, sun on the left”. If you put such things on a list, you’ll be able to shoot faster, before the weather or tide changes.

If you have any tips of your own, feel free to share them in comments.

Happy shooting! Stay dry.

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