Surf Photography: tips for shooting watersports like a seasoned professional

    | Photography Tips | 02/08/2013 00:01am

    In our latest Professional Photographer to the Rescue post our pro shows our apprentice how to photograph watersports to capture both dramatic action and stunning scenery.

    Surf Photography: tips for shooting watersports like a seasoned professional

    Meet our professional photographer

    Roger Sharp is a professional surfing photographer and editor of Carve, the UK’s biggest and best-selling surfing magazine. Originally from Somerset, he’s been into surfing since he was 15 years old, and a pro photographer for the past 13 years. Roger is now based in London, and regularly travels around the world to photograph the big surf.

    Meet our apprentice

    Richard Owen is a magazine editor and keen amateur photographer and surfer. Born in North Wales, Richard did a photography foundation course in Wrexham back in the late ’80s, and he’s more recently rediscovered his love for photography after investing in a new DSLR. His love of surfing has inspired him to ask for our help to capture more dynamic surf photography with his camera.

    Technique Assessment

    After fitting Richard’s EOS 7D inside his spare underwater housing, Roger explained how to lock his exposure and focus so he didn’t have to worry about camera setting when swimming and shooting in the big waves…

    Surf Photography Tips: manual exposure

    Manual exposure
    “Once I’ve taken a meter reading off my hand (as it’s the same tone as the surfer), I’ll lock my exposure in Manual mode,” says Roger, “In sunny conditions, I want a fast exposure to keep up with the action, as well as good depth of field for sharpness across the frame, so around 1/1600 sec at f/8. For this I got Richard to up his ISO to 400; on 7D cameras, this will result in minimal noise issues.”


    Surf Photography Tips: manual focus

    Manual focus
    “Using an ultra-wide-angle lens means you’ll obtain lots of depth of field anyway, and even when shooting with a middle aperture of f/8, shots will be sharp from foreground waves to background waves behind the surfer,” says Roger. “To make sure, I got Richard to lock his focus just inside infinity to make sure his surf shots would be sharp, from the front to the back of the scene.”

    PAGE 1: Meet our professional photographer and apprentice
    PAGE 2: Surf photography tips for during the shoot
    PAGE 3: Final surf photography advice from our professional photographer
    PAGE 4: Our professional photographer’s recommended gear
    PAGE 5: Shot of the Day


    Free action photography cheat sheet
    The best lenses for sports photography (and ideal focal lengths to use)
    Sports photography: tips for setting up your camera to shoot anything
    Famous Photographers: 100 things we wish we knew starting out

    Posted on Friday, August 2nd, 2013 at 12:01 am under Photography Tips.

    Tags: , ,

    Share This Page