Getting too close to the action – seascape photography

Sometimes you get too close

When I’m out shooting sunrise seascapes, I often find myself right in the thick of the action.  Sometimes too close..

splashed up close

I typically shoot with a very wide angle lens , Nikon 16-35, which is great for landscapes and an ultra wide point of view. There is a bit of distortion with that lens, but It is very manageable  (that’s another story) . I like to have some interesting foreground detail, some nice texture, or detail that engages the viewers eye to begin the journey through the composition of my image.

running water over the rocks

This often involves getting down low to the ground and close. It might be some rocks, some seaweed, a star fish, shells or particularly interesting section of sand. Sometimes it’s moving water that becomes the foreground element. Moving water can create lines and texture and can also add drama to a scene. This is where the problems sometimes occur.

tripod in water feet wet

Friend captured this iphone shot of me in the wet zone.

I know some people like to shoot/compose using live view, but when I shoot I like to use the viewfinder. This can pose a problem given that the perspective at such wide angle can be deceptive. That 4ft wave that’s about to nail you can appear to be like a 1 footer, that still 6ft away !

splashed unexpected waveHopefully you can enjoy some of these failed attempts, where the water caught me off guard  I’m not trying to take it lightly, I know it can be very dangerous and if the threat is that bad I simply will not put myself in harms way. Having said that there has been quite a few of those “Whoa, that was a bit more water than I was expecting !” or those times when you have to grab your tripod in fear of it getting washed over.. Or when you shield over your camera to protect it from the splash..  🙂

wet feet flowing water


Would love to hear of anyone else who has had similar experiences, as I know I’m not the only one.

4 thoughts on “Getting too close to the action – seascape photography

    1. That’s a good point.. The 16-35 does have a moving barrel but it ‘s internal. The one wave that got me a nice one, I did have a graduated ND filter on it, so the barrel portion was protected by the filter. As long as the gear get a decent clean down when it gets home it should be fine (hopefully I don’t eat those words)

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