Photography skills of seascape
- Dec 12, 2019
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One of my favorite shooting locations is the seaside, because it can present very rich and different scenes, and the transportation is convenient and easy to reach. I am very lucky to live in the island country of New Zealand. Even in a big city like Auckland, there are many beaches. In this article, I'm going to introduce you to some of the techniques for taking beautiful seascape photos.
As with other scenery themes, it is an effective way to arrange some interesting elements in the foreground. When shooting on the beach, you can use a stone or rock layer with interesting shape as the foreground. But it should be noted that it's not just for the stones to appear in the picture. You need to find an arrangement or style from it to guide the audience's vision into the picture. You can try all kinds of angles, higher or lower, to see which is the best.
In the following photo, the camera is located at the height of the chest and the lens is down. In the composition, the "lines" made by stones are used. If the camera is lower, the stone formation will be peaceful; if the camera is higher, the view of the sky will be limited.
In this picture, I found some interesting old roots. I lowered the camera and approached one of them. The wide-angle lens is used for close shooting to enhance the visual impact of the root of the foreground tree.
Some beaches have high cliffs, which can also be used to take great photos. It is also a good way to use rock strata or cliffs as prospects. The following picture was taken of a gannet perching. I found that the gannet's nest on the stone can provide a good depth for the photo.
Sometimes, it's better to keep things simple. Wet sand can provide a good reflection, and it's best to shoot when the tide is low, because there are fewer footprints on the sand.
Of course, it's impossible to list all the possibilities here. One of the reasons why I love to shoot seascape is that there are endless changes here. You can find different experiences on every different coast.
By the way, don't be afraid to wet your feet. Sometimes the best composition requires you to stand in the water.
The shutter speed is also one of the aspects that need to be seriously considered when taking seascape photos. For any picture with flowing water, different shutter speeds can create different effects.
Fast shutter speed can freeze the instantaneous dynamic, capture splashing water droplets. Depending on the flow of water, a typical shutter speed can be 1 / 20s or higher. This is a common shooting method among non photographers, but it is not the whole of photography.
The picture below is taken in 1 / 50s, and you can see that the flow of water is blocked.
A slower shutter speed can blur the water flow to varying degrees. The same value also depends on the flow rate of water, generally about 1 / 2S has effect. At this speed, there are still some details on the water surface, but the visualization effect of flow formation can be seen. The following picture was taken in 1 / 3S.
When the shutter speed exceeds 1s, the water surface begins to appear like fog or milk. Although some people don't like the effect, I love using it. The following picture was taken with a 4S shutter.
How much shutter speed you choose is a matter of personal preference. Sometimes the light will affect your choice of shutter, but it depends on what effect you want to present.
My two most common filters for shooting sea scenes are gradient gray and neutral gray.
The gradient gray mirror is used when the dynamic range of the scene is too large. This often happens at sunrise or sunset, when the sky is much brighter than in the foreground. Half of the gradient gray mirror is transparent, the other half is neutral gray mirror, with smooth transition in the middle. The two exposure values can be balanced by "covering" half of the neutral gray mirror on a brighter sky and covering the foreground with the transparent half. If you don't have a gradient gray mirror, you can also expose the sky and foreground separately, and then synthesize them later.
Neutral gray mirror is used to reduce the brightness of the whole picture. When you want to use a slower shutter, but the field light is brighter, you need to use a neutral gray mirror. The common neutral gray mirror can reduce the exposure by up to 3 levels, but there are also 10 levels of neutral gray mirror.
The following image was taken with a 10 degree neutral gray lens. At this time, the sun has just risen, and the neutral gray mirror allows me to take 60 seconds to expose.