STE P BY STE P
Catch some waves
1 Scout your location
Look for rock formations in the ground, sand patterns or pools where waves will collect and swirl around. Piers or jetties are good choices for urban beaches. Keep an eye on the background, too. Look out for hills and mountains or to add interest to your seascape shot.
2 Take it all in
We used the Zeiss Milvus 15mm f/2.8 manual focus lens to take our shot, and for good reason; a wide-angle lens let us fit all that stunning scenery onto our sensor. However, you’ll be able to get good results at the wide end of a standard zoom, such as an 18-55mm kit lens.
3 Get some support
Your tripod is your best friend for seascapes. It needs to be sturdy enough to hold still when water pools around the legs. Carbon fibre models are ideal, as the legs won’t rust when wet with salty seawater (though it’s still advisable to rinse them with fresh water after a shoot).
4 Slow things down
Use Manual or Shutter Priority mode and set ISO100 to keep noise low. You’ll need a slow shutter speed to capture movement in the water (start at around 1 sec) and a narrow aperture, such as f/11, to maximize depth of field for an image that’s sharp from front to back.
5 Attach a polarizer
Polarizing filters have a front element that can be rotated to limit the angle at which light can enter the lens, reducing glare on shiny and watery objects, and so are particularly useful for seascapes. Plus a polarizer is one filter that you can’t emulate in Photoshop later!
6 Catch some waves
Wait for the wave to reach its peak before firing the shutter; capturing the receding water is what will give the shot form and movement. Review the results on the LCD: if it looks too static, set a slower shutter speed; if it’s too wispy, increase the shutter speed.