Monday, February 9, 2009


Photographing the Sea

Capturing a dramatic seascape shot can present some unique challenges but by following a few guidelines, you can come away with some magical images.

First you want to consider a good composition. This will be different for every scene as there will be different elements in every scene. The key is to include those elements in your shot and balance them in the composition.

A good starting point is composing for rule of thirds. Yes rules are meant to be broken, but in most cases for landscape and seascape photography, the rule of thirds really works well. I usually try to place my horizon line in the upper thirds level and the brightest part of the sky in the upper thirds on the left or right quadrant. I also like including all 3 major elements in my shots; sky, sea, and sand.

One huge mistake I often see people make is placing the sun dead center and the horizon in the middle. This might seem like a good idea when looking through the viewfinder but when looking at the photo, it creates a bulleyes effect. Almost like a dart board. The eyes will be drawn in the center and will not be compelled to move around the image.

Another common mistake often made is an unlevel horizon. I use a hotshoe level to make sure my camera is completely level and if for some reason my shot comes out unlevel, I make sure I rotate the image to ensure it feels and looks balanced.

Try to find an interesting foreground object to anchor the composition. More than likely, you will have a dramatic sky. This will draw the viewer’s eye to the sky. You’ll want to add something interesting to the foreground to make sure the viewer’s eye is pulled their as well. The goal is to have a well balanced composition that leads the viewer’s eye flowing from one element to the other.

To add more drama to your shot, try to get some of the action that the sea is displaying. Wait until a wave sweeps in or splashes up when taking the shot.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

After finding Marc Adamus' work, and then revisiting this photograph, there are a lot of similarities in your work.

Now, I just need to learn how to do manual blending and start utilizing PS.