Sea for your­self

NPhoto - - Nikon Skills Creative Techniques -

1 Feel­ing swell

On a shoot like this, weather isn’t as im­por­tant as tidal swell and wind speed/di­rec­tion. To find out the size of the surf in your lo­ca­tion use the web­site mag­ic­sea­ (or the MSW smart­phone app) – it’ll tell you the size of waves you can ex­pect over the next week or so.

2 Suits you

If the weather is good and you just want to have a play with your Nikon, pop some old shorts and a T-shirt on, but if the weather is bad, or you’re tak­ing things a bit more se­ri­ously, you’ll be much more com­fort­able in a wet­suit. Rent­ing one costs about £10/$20 a day.

3 Bag it up

Keep your cam­era dry by putting it in water­proof hous­ing. Ded­i­cated D-SLR water­proof hous­ing can cost thou­sands, whereas a water­proof D-SLR bag costs be­tween £50-£100/$75-$150. We rec­om­mend test­ing the bag with­out the cam­era be­fore start­ing out.

4 Sharp con­tin­u­ous fo­cus

Se­lect AF-C in the aut­o­fo­cus­ing menu (hold down the AF but­ton and turn the com­mand dial un­til AF-C is dis­played). If you find that it isn’t hit­ting the mark, put your lens into man­ual fo­cus and pre­set the fo­cus to around one to two me­tres to get the first part of the wave nice and sharp.

5 Freeze the sea

In aper­ture-pri­or­ity mode, set an aper­ture of f/13 to max­imise the depth of field and get as much of the scene in fo­cus as pos­si­ble. Set con­tin­u­ous burst drive on your Nikon. Choose an ISO be­tween 400-800 to en­sure the cam­era chooses a fast shut­ter speed to freeze the wave.

6 Check for clip­ping

In the Play­back menu, un­der Play­back dis­play op­tions make sure High­lights is ticked, then nav­i­gate to a photo and use your multi se­lec­tor to check for clipped high­lights – clipped ar­eas will flash. We di­alled in -0.67 stops of ex­po­sure com­pen­sa­tion for this rea­son.

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