Holiday Photography: 5 Tips for Sailing the Seas

stockxchng-barca-a-vela-stock-photo-by-val-jIn the summer, some lucky people get to sail the high seas.  If you have sea legs, then maybe you can have a go at some photography on your boat.  You need to be confident on your legs, and you need to be able to find something interesting in seemingly mundane situations.  Don’t forget that you will need to be extra careful with your equipment as you are near water and that a fast lens is always helpful.

1. Equipment

As you are near water don’t forget to protect your gear with waterproof housing – this is ideal and will protect it should you drop it into water, but you can also use plastic covers to prevent splash and always have the strap attached to the body and wear this round your neck or loop it a few times over your wrist.  As you may encounter sunny weather, remember your filters – Neutral density and polarizer.

2. Horizons

You will probably take quite a few pictures of the oceans or seas.  Remember that it is imperative you keep the horizon straight – nothing is worse than a wonky one as it skews the perspective. But also remember that images of the water on its own, even if it looks pleasing to the eye, doesn’t necessarily make a stunning photograph.  Every photograph needs a focal point, something which is of interest.  Remember this when you are staring out into the sunset.

3. Close ups

As well as the landscape, don’t forget the boat.  A macro lens is a great way to pick out the details of the boat – a 50mm lens can get some good shots as well as a true macro (90mm – 105mm usually).  A telephoto lens which you can zoom into is also a good one for picking out the details.  Remember that with close ups, unfocused images are more apparent so remember to use a faster shutter speed if necessary to avoid blurring.

4. Time of the day

You could be on the boat for an hour or for days.  Deal with different times of the day differently!  Both sunrise and sunset last only for a while.  Therefore you need to set everything up so you are ready for them, regardless of whether you are n a beach or on a boat.  Use a wide angle lens if you are taking a landscape shot, and put your camera on a tripod.  Sunsets normally last around half an hour, and various colors can appear in this time. You must work quickly as the light is fading at this point. Aperture priority mode is ideal if you aren’t used to shooting sunsets, as the camera will determine the correct amount of light. Don’t forget that sunsets in particular omit a strong orange tone – you may want to adjust your camera white balance accordingly.

5. Photographing boats
You need choose a speed of around 1/250 when photographic a sailing boat if you want to freeze movement. If you want to capture movement of the water then choose a speed of around 1/30 or less, but use a tripod or some kind of support so that only the water shows blurring.  Water and boats (which tend to be white) will cast all kinds of reflections so use a polarizing filter to keep these to a minimum.



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