Tips for Capturing Great Surf Photography

The summer is coming up quick and, if you’re a photographer, catching the waves can take on a whole new meaning.

A photo of a surfer in action will look terrific, but it’s not easy to achieve. You will be dealing with the water, light, motion, and more. It may seem impossible to get the perfect shot, but with a bit of luck, you’ll come up with the ideal solution.

Here are a few tips for getting surf photos that will astound anyone who looks at them.

Experiment with Composition

It’s not just about the surfer, it’s about the way you take your shot. Think of the other elements in your photo such as the trees and mountains in the background. Use elements that will enhance your image and not detract from it. Angling the camera in a specific way will also be helpful.

Capture a Sense of Direction

If you get the surfer in the left or right of the frame, it will provide a feeling of them coming from somewhere and going to something. This tells a story and adds a sense of movement to your images.

Use Light

Light is important in any photo and a surf photo is no exception. It’s best to shoot surfing shots with the light behind your subject. Low sun angles that appear later in the day will also be helpful as they will allow you to capture emotion, depth, and meaning.

Use the Foreground

When taking surfing shots, you need to think about what’s behind your subject as well as what’s in front of them. Having interesting objects in the foreground is important. A great way to do this is to shoot from a beach or rocks and that frame the front of your shot.

Stay Stable

It’s advisable to shoot surf photography with a tripod. It will minimize camera shake so you get sharp, well-composed images. It will also make it easy to track the surfer and the direction of the waves.

Keep the Horizon Line Steady

The horizon line should be steady and kept in the middle to the upper part of your shots. If it is skewed, the photo will look strange making viewers think there is something off about the image.

Use a Variety of Shots

While a surfer riding the waves is a great money shot, there are other shots to capture. For example, you may want to take a few photos of the surfer paddling into the water or leaving the ocean with their surfboard.

Use a Waterproof Camera

Getting close to the surfer will get you a great shot. Therefore, you must be prepared to get wet. While wearing a swimsuit will help, you will really want to think about protecting your camera. Be sure to use a reliable camera water housing.

A surf photo makes a terrific shot. Now that you know the tips for getting a great one, you can take your work out to the beach. Oh, and don’t forget the most important thing — sunscreen!

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