How to Improve Your Surf Photography

Spend time at the beach? See lots of surfers? If you have been on the beach and saw some great surfing and would like to have something to remember it by, try these suggestions to improve your photographs.

Steps

  1. Image titled Improve Your Surf Photography Step 1
    1
    Invest in a fast camera with fairly high drive speed. You want one that has a fairly high speed burst capability of at least 3.3. However, higher is better. This ability will probably not be present in lower end cameras. There are things that you may be able to do to increase its speed.[1] They are:
    • Locking up your mirror
      Image titled Improve Your Surf Photography Step 1Bullet1
    • Eliminating any post processing that you might have set up, in camera
      Image titled Improve Your Surf Photography Step 1Bullet2
  2. Image titled Improve Your Surf Photography Step 2
    2
    Get a good long lens. This will allow you the flexibility of taking images fairly close up as well as at a distance.
    • Get as fast a lens as you can afford.
      Image titled Improve Your Surf Photography Step 2Bullet1
  3. Image titled Improve Your Surf Photography Step 3
    3
    Spend the money and get faster memory cards. You will want extra sturdy ones because you will be out in the field and faster so that it can potentially improve your frames per second.
  4. Image titled Improve Your Surf Photography Step 4
    4
    Have whatever support systems that you can carry. Ideally, having both the monopod and tripod, as well as handholding will work the best.
  5. Image titled Improve Your Surf Photography Step 5
    5
    Go with the best light. As with the rest of photography, the 'golden hour' at the beginning and end of the day is the best time. Be ready to get up early and stay out late to get the best shots.
  6. Image titled Improve Your Surf Photography Step 6
    6
    Have an idea of what you are trying for. Are you looking for some great falls or maybe you want to get some shots of surfers angling.[2] Maybe you want to get a shot of someone riding in the big wave. Knowing this will get you more likely in the right place at the right time.
  7. Image titled Improve Your Surf Photography Step 7
    7
    Change up your angles. Don't have all of your photos come from the same place. That can get really boring, really quickly.
  8. Image titled Improve Your Surf Photography Step 8
    8
    If you aren't shooting for yourself, but for a customer or friend, find out what they are expecting to see out of it. If the two clash, the time to know it is before you take the pictures. There are no 'mulligans' (second chances) in surfing. Maybe they want you to document the day as well as the surfing. Know ahead of time.
  9. Image titled Improve Your Surf Photography Step 9
    9
    Stick to raw images. If you need images fast, you can shoot both raw and JPEG, but being out on the water is going to pretty much insure you will get blowouts. If you are using raw images, you will be able to extract at least some of the detail out of that.
  10. Image titled Improve Your Surf Photography Step 10
    10
    Get creative. See what others are doing and add to it. Put your own spin on things.
  11. Image titled Improve Your Surf Photography Step 11
    11
    Don't get too creative. As stated before, there are no mulligans. While you may want to get 'artsy', don't get carried away.
  12. Image titled Improve Your Surf Photography Step 12
    12
    Above all, have fun. If you don't love it, why do it!?

Tips

  • If you aren't already a surfer, it is a very good idea to take up the sport yourself. At least know how things are basically done. This will give you a better understanding of when you need to be where and what to expect.

Article Info

Categories: Nature and Outdoor Photography | Surfing