An art so precise and sensitive, surf photography, mostly known as underwater photography takes great mastery of your surrounding both in and out of the water, it not only demands physical endurance but also professional technical skill and timing to capture that precise moment with a surfer or the spectacular curling waves. It requires a high level of concentration to stop time, feel the movement of water and get the perfect angle and moment to take the shot. Fascinating right? Surf photography, however, is not entirely difficult with the right gadgets for your expedition.
“Surf Photography is an art form in itself”
Mostly, newbies find it hard to get the perfect settings for their cameras or even carry the perfect camera for the wrong purpose. Locking yourself into a barrel with a surfer is the perfect experience and there is no harm in starting off small and learn the art slowly. Buckle up and let me take you through your perfect photography ensemble but first I’ll give you some exceptionally important rules to consider before you embark on this remarkable journey of surf photography.
It may not seem important but complete knowledge of your environment is an important asset if you want to become a surf photographer unicorn. It is not a wonder that newbies have lost their lives or were maimed for life hitting the waves simply because they were too impatient and curious to explore the ocean.
A freak wave is no job for a beginner, it requires years of training and skill. A successful photographer has limits, avoiding serious currents, powerful undertows and sandbars, just to mention a few. This will keep you alive. Most importantly, being an avid swimmer is a perfect plan if you aspire to work with great surfers and join successful photographers in the big word of surf photography.
Only an experienced surf photographer can position himself into that perfect position in a barreling wave to get that perfect shot. However, the only real deal is knowing when to say NO. Keep in mind that not even the world best swimmer can survive an aggressive wave swipe.
Acquitting yourself ready to capture the beauty of the world depends on your choice and level of expertise in surf photography. Here are some of the essential gear you may require, a perfect selection of latest cameras, lenses and all photography accessories. This in mind we’ve compiled a list of Essential Gear Guide for a Budding Surf Photographer.
A BACKPACK BAG
Photography accessories are quite delicate and require a good and secure bag. In order to keep this roundup of the best camera backpack concise, I follow certain criteria. A good backpack must be well built to last whether you are a beginner or a professional photographer. Its design must serve its purpose.
A camera insert pocket and spacious to handle all your equipment. Since everyone budget is different, I would recommend a peak Lowepro backpack. Fast to pack or unpack and very durable. It expands in size and very enjoyable to use. The Lowepro X450AW 11 ROLLING CAMERA backpack has a quick access mount with a modern look. It has internal zipped pockets that are waterproof. Keeps your accessories secure and ready to explore the ocean. It is the best of its kind.
A standard lens has a focal length approximately equal to the film format and matches the similar angle of the human eye. It gives your pictures that natural touch with excellent image quality. The normal lenses are generally used for all photography purposes starting from landscapes to close-up portraits.
They are quite fast and perfect for minimum light photography. A sigma30mm f2.8 lens and Sigma30mm f1.4 is excellent for your photography expedition. They have the great focal range for all your purposes.
This is the primary part of your camera and contains all the components needed for photographing. It is important to purchase a camera body without a lens since it will most likely be cheaper. A sony a6000 is marked as the best camera for surf photography since it saves on cost and gives you a chance to invest on lenses and housings.
The world of light is yours to explore. A camera flash is an indispensable accessory in surf photography since it brings out the quality. Skilled photography comes handy with varying lighting conditions and in surf photography, you will need the knowledge and experience of creative control of your external flash.
A Fuji Nano flash is very powerful and comes with a free waterproof housing. It gives amazing results.
Surf photography requires dedication if you want to take it to the next professional level. Although housing may seem to be an extra cost in your budget, electronics and water do not exactly work together. While diving or shooting underwater, a perfect camera housing is essential.
It is very important to protect your camera. Ranging from simple ones to more complex and expensive camera housings, you have to consider the size of your camera as well. The liquid eye c6000 housing satisfies my surf photography needs perfectly.
Especially when working on high-resolution images, a good powerful laptop computer is important for dedicated graphics and also it should be very portable. Having a micro Sd port, USB ports, and built-in wifi features, I shoot in raw jpeg mode for easy transfer and editing. I transfer all my surf photography work for editing and the results are excellent.
You need to see your images as you edit them and your laptop must give accurate image display.
BATTERY AND CHARGER
Partly charged batteries or empty batteries are disappointing. Frequently, your camera will go off due to flat batteries. I prefer getting the highest performing batteries for my surf photography tasks. A poor charger could cause swelling or overheating of the batteries.
Powerex battery chargers not only speed charge your batteries but also allow maximizing the lifetime. My a6000 camera battery life is not great so I opt to carry my back up battery set to ensure that I keep shooting. Alternatively, a Newmonanp-fw50 battery and dual charger are perfect and quite affordable.
FITTING SWIM FINS
Getting the right size of fins for your surf photography session is key. Fins will help you move around comfortably in water. My Da Fin Kicks fins are the best. They are comfortable, light and very powerful when I swim around. Surf photography gives an experience of a lifetime. There is still more to learn about how to become a great surf photographer.