Learn the basics of taking amazing photos in water

Spending time floating among the waves in the water, like photography, can be incredibly soothing, particularly when you’re free of deadlines and other job duties. When you combine photography with surfing, you have a fantastic day! This post will go over 8 surf photography recommendations, ranging from keeping your gear secure to real surf photography skills.

But, before you plunge into the salty depths, check out these surf photography suggestions compiled with the assistance of Lonely Hunter. These pointers will guarantee that you have a great time in the water and return home with some photographs you can be proud of.

(And double-check the fine print) Get Photography Insurance!

Make sure all of your equipment is insured so you may shoot in the water with confidence. Accidents happen, and you don’t want to be the victim of one. For more information on picture insurance, see this article from Insurance Navy.

Determine the Kind of Shots You Want to Take
If you want to fire within the barrel, you will most likely need a fisheye lens (8-15mm) and a dome port.

Do you intend to fire from just outside the barrel? In such instance, you should definitely choose a wide angle lens, something in the 16-70mm range. For this style of lens, you might go with a dome or a flat port. If you intend to fire mostly over the water, the flat port is your best bet. If you want those split shots or anything beneath the water, a dome port is your best bet.

If you prefer the safety of the canal, I’d recommend a telephoto lens (70 – 200mm) with a flat port, since you won’t be using this lens underwater.

Make Camera Preferences
If necessary, they may be fine-tuned while in the water using your housing’s controls.

If you want to take a crisp shot and freeze the action while keeping everything in focus, use the following settings. Your camera should be set to manual and the shutter speed should be between 1/100th and 1/1250th of a second. Depending on the quantity of available light, your aperture should be adjusted between f7 and f11. To conserve any highlights in the whitewash, set your ISO to auto and your exposure compensations to minus 1/3rd to 2/3rd of a stop.

If you want to generate motion blur with your subject by panning, set your shutter speed to 1/20th to 1/30th of a second. Your aperture should be adjusted at f5.6 or higher. Your ISO and exposure compensation should remain unchanged.

Set Your Goals
If you’re using a fisheye lens, make sure your focus is set to manual. Focus your camera on a subject 3-4 meters away while on land, then tape the focus ring down before placing the camera in the housing. This is an excellent idea since while shooting with a fisheye, your subject will usually be an identical distance away from you. It also saves the camera from having to find focus when the subject is near and moving quickly.

Autofocus with the central point and four surrounding assist points will be used for all other lenses. Check that the focusing mode on your camera is set to AI Servo for Canon or AF-C for Nikon.

Place Your Camera in the Housing Planning is essential. Don’t be in a hurry! It is critical to prepare your equipment before entering the water. Make certain that all locks and seals are double and triple checked, and that any ports on your housing are firmly screwed shut. If any dry ports need to be waxed to prevent water droplets from accumulating, do so before entering the water. Great solutions may be found on picture specialty sites like Adorama or by searching on Amazon here.

Check for Leaks
When you’re ready to go in the water, check your housing for leaks. It is preferable to perform this on the beach rather than out in the surf. Hold your housing beneath the water for 30 seconds before raising it up to check whether there is any water inside. If not, you should be OK.

Prevent the appearance of water droplets on the port.
If you’re using a wet port, spit on the front element and massage the saliva all over it with your tongue. This practice must be repeated every five minutes while in the water. Keep the port submerged at all times to avoid the saliva from washing away too rapidly. This will keep a clean coating of water on the port at all times, preventing droplets from forming.

Your method will be different if you’re shooting with a dry port. While on the beach, dab some unscented candle wax into the front element with a microfibre cloth until the wax is no longer visible. When you’re in the water, attempt to maintain the element with the wax as high as possible above the water. This will keep the wax from fading too rapidly. Simply blow or shake the housing before each shot to dislodge any drips from the port.

Keep Your Equipment in Good Condition
After you’ve finished surfing, carefully wash all of your equipment in a tub of clean water. While holding them under fresh water, turn all dials and press all buttons.

A more in-depth guide on surf photography may be found on Lonely Hunter’s (Richard Johnston’s) personal website here.

Alternatively, if you want to see more of Richard’s work, you may find him on Lonely Hunter Weddings.

Conclusion
When shooting surfers, be well prepared for difficult conditions, both physically and aesthetically. You may, of course, utilize drone photography or remain on the pier or land, but the greatest shots are frequently only accessible in the action and on the water. You’ll need specialized equipment and a daring mentality for this!