Seascape Photography: Pro Tips

Seascape photography is capturing the art of a never-ending battle between land and sea. It is an exciting part of Landscape Photography that we can do any time of the year.

By using these two natural elements we can create a dramatic image. For that, we need to take the advantage of shutter speed and show the differences with effects.

In the different aspects of time, the sea becomes a subject of a great image. Like when it’s the time for sunset or it’s the time of a storm, etc.

Here, we are going to talk about some seascape photography tips and techniques that are going to make you a pro photographer.

take proper look of the sea and land by google earth before going to take seascape photo

Examine the place with Google Earth; Source: pixabay

1. Examine the place with Google Earth

In the era of technology, we don’t need to go to the place physically before shooting. Now, we can sit on our chair and examine each and everything via satellite. And, here Google Earth came to play.

By using Google Earth, you can easily inspect coves and rocks of particular interest. Also, beaches that would lend themselves to accommodating your wide-angle lenses.

So, you need to take advantage of 3D visualization. Because then you’ll be able to realize the actual orography of the landscape. Afterward, you can use it in your composition.

Knowing each and every details of the weather of the ocean before going to take seascape photo

Know about the weather forecast; image source: pixabay

2. Know about the weather forecast before doing seascape photography

In seascape photography, weather plays a very important role. So, you need to know every detail about it. Like, the sky condition, wind condition, and also the sea condition, etc.

By knowing all of these you will be able to make better choices about location and equipment. For example, a telephoto lens might be preferred in a stormy sea. As in that time, you will take shots of the waves breaking on a distant lighthouse or the rocks. So, you will not take any wide-angle lenses.

If you do, you will not be able to take your desired pictures.

3. Learn about the tides of the ocean

Tides are the most underestimated aspect of seascape photography.  In the Mediterranean sea, the sea level can vary with up to 7 or 8 meters by variation of places.

For safety issues, you need to know about the tides. Because without knowing the tide, you can reach a small peninsula. If the tide was low at that time, it would be very dangerous. As high tide will arrive soon and there will be no way back.

Now, if we talk in the sense of photography, tides can make a huge difference. It can easily change the scenery in front of you. Like, turning a wide bay into a stretch of dry rocks.

Through various services, it is possible to know in advance about the tide you will find. But, it’s difficult to decide what is the best tide for your picture.

According to the famous seascape photographers, high tide is from a raised position. For taking shots from a beach, low tide, or anyway a falling tide are perfect. Not only for safety reasons but also for revealing interesting rocks or leaves. And, that will give an advantage in composition.

standing man capturing photo of sea side.

know about Aperture and ISO; source: pixabay

4. Aperture and ISO is very important for seascape photography

A good seascape shot does not require a specific setting on the camera. Apart from shooting RAW, the only recommendations are ISO and aperture.

Always start by using the native ISO of your camera regarding ISO. By doing this, the sensor guarantees an optimal signal to the noise ratio. In this way, the information of light reaches the sensor without any attenuation or amplification.

According to the seascape photographers, stay around aperture f/11 to maximize the depth of field. In the meantime avoid getting affected by the phenomenon of diffraction. If the foreground is not too close, get to f/8 to benefit the sharpness.

5. Shutter Speed plays a vital role in seascape photography

Correct shutter speed is crucial to obtain a good shot. Depending on weather conditions and on the wanting effect, shutter speed varies. And, different shutter speed enables the possibility to get different effects.

For example, you are on a cliff. And you want to render the sea particularly silky. Then, you need to take shots with shutter speeds at least equal to 2 minutes.

But, in this case, you also need to take into account the speed of the clouds. Because the clouds are moving fast. And, two-minute exposure, it risks making the sky too flat and losing definition in the clouds.

For this issue, reducing the shutter speed to one minute will be more appropriate.

Now, you are at a beach. You want to catch the movement and obtain the streaks of the waves. Then, you need to take shots with shutter speeds around half a second.

Furthermore, to maximize the streak effect, start shooting when the wave begins to draw back, not drawing in.

black and white image of ocean.

know about filters to enhance picture; source: pixabay

6. Use different filters to enhance pictures of the ocean

Using filters is the most important part of seascape photography. Besides, it helps the photographer to both create shots and naturally enhance value.

Finally, there are a lot of filters available in the market. But for seascape photography, experts suggest 3 filters.

  • GND (Graduated Natural Density) Filters:

GND filters allow compensating for the dynamic range of the sensor. The camera thus enables to capture images even when the light conditions are difficult. For example, at sunset with frontal light.

  • ND (Neutral Density) Filters:

ND filters allow managing shutter speeds in the best possible way. So, it’s very important to have ND filters for a seascape photographer.

  • Polarizer Filter:

Polarizer allows controlling the reflections on the surface of the sea. So, every seascape photographer should have it.

Sometimes doing everything right, you won’t be able to get the desired image. In that case, you need to focus on editing. By doing color correction service, you’ll be able to get your perfect picture.

7. Composition of the sea and land

A good composition is really important to obtain an impressive image in seascape photography.

Getting in the field earlier before taking the shot is important. As it gives you time to study the composition.

First, choose the proportion between the sky and sea in your image. Then, finalize the composition by taking advantage of the natural elements that surround you.

The guidelines of landscape photography are in great use here. Like, the lines of the coast or the beach. Also do not underestimate the foreground especially in using a wide-angle lens. After capturing, you need to photo retouching services to get the perfect picture.

a people trying to take photos of waves

Do experiment all the time; source: pixabay

8. Experiment with different types of seascape photography

There is no same situation in seascape photography.  So, if you visit the same location dozens and dozens of times, you can still click photos.

Tides, wave motion, light, and weather will always dance differently in your eyes. This is why the only rule of seascape photography is there is no rule. Always try something new every time. And, try to obtain different results from every tip.

And, always keep in mind: The true conquest is the emotion that you live when capturing the photo, not the photo you take home.

Conclusion

These are some tips that will help you to become a pro seascape photographer. But, without proper practice and experiment, you won’t become a pro. So, try to practice and do new experiments regularly. Besides, you need to know photo editing. Because taking a good shot doesn’t make your picture-perfect. For becoming a pro photographer, you both need to know capturing and editing.

If you don’t know photo editing, keep an eye on Clipping World. Here, we give tutorials about photo editing regularly. And, also if you need any kind of photo editing service, try us. We will make sure your photos look exactly the way you want.

FAQ

Q: How do you take a picture of crashing waves in seascape photography?

Ans: Select Aperture Priority on the mode dial and scroll to the smallest number. By doing this, you’ll get a fast shutter speed. Thus, you take a picture of crashing waves.

Q: What is a good shutter speed for landscapes?

Ans: A shutter speed between 1/10th of a second and three seconds is good for landscape.

Q: What is the best ND filter for landscape photography?

Ans: In landscape photography 3-stop, 6-stop, and 10-stop ND filters are best. A 3-stop ND filter is best for creating a realistic sense of motion. And, the 6-stop and 10-stop filters are best for longer exposures.

Q: What are the standard sizes of a wide-angle lens?

Ans: Between 35mm and 24mm Focal length is considered as a standard wide-angle lens.