6 Steps to Better Seascape Photos
January 11th, 2012
Here at Sea to Summit we’re pretty well respected for our seascape images, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that our coastal photography workshops, like Santa Cruz and Big Sur, are among our most popular. The ocean can be a surprisingly tricky place to shoot and budding photographers want to know what steps they can take to bring their images to the next level. Here are 6 simple things you can do to start producing some killer seascapes.
1) Get Proper Support
A good seascape starts with some essential gear, and a solid tripod comes in right at the top of the list. If you are getting serious about nature photography then you’re probably familiar with the upsides of using a tripod, the benefits of which go doubly for coastal photography. Not only does a tripod give you a stable base to photograph from to achieve tack-sharp details, it also allows you to use longer shutter speeds. Some of the best seascape images are taken with shutter speeds of 1/2 second to 30 seconds or longer, and if you’re trying to pull off hand held shots at those long exposures, your photos are going to be blurry disappointments. So slap your camera on a tripod and you’ll see an instant improvement in your images.Top tip for tripods: push your tripod legs deep into the wet sand at the ocean’s edge, and if a wave wraps around the legs, push them deeper still. The wet sand will “cement” around the tripod legs and give you an awesomely stable base to shoot from, even if waves are rushing around you. And always always always make sure your tripod is level. The last thing you want is for your camera to take a dip in the ocean because your tripod was off-balance and fell over.
A tripod gets you 90% of the way to having sharper photos, but to bring out the best in your shots use a remote shutter release as well. The remote release lets you pop off shots without actually touching your camera, so you can eliminate the camera shake that comes from physically pressing the shutter button. Remote releases come in many different styles from wired to wireless, and basic push-button types to fancy intervalometers. In the beginning the kind you buy is less important than the fact that these little gizmos help add extra crispness and detail to your photos.