Surfing, rafting, wakeboarding, and the likes are some of the most exhilarating, adrenaline-pumping sports. The splash and the rush of the water make water sports a good subject of photography. But shooting water sports can be a challenge. Here are some tips that might help you when shooting water sports:
Planning is key
What separates a great photo from a mediocre snapshot is the careful planning that goes into taking photos. Before shooting, professional photographers always make some plans, including creating a mental image of the photos they want to take.
When taking photos of extreme water sports, you will encounter many situations that will need careful planning for the strategy for shooting and the equipment you carry. For many of these photo pursuits, you must determine environmental hazards to yourself, the subjects, as well as your equipment. Safety must be your highest priority.
Protect your camera
Protecting your camera is critical when shooting water sports. Salt water, and even fresh water, is very corrosive. Thus you need a waterproof case or bag when shooting rafting, surfing, and other paddle sports. You also have to clean and dry your camera carefully every day.
Expect the unexpected
On a paddle or rafting trip, you will be on the water four to five hours daily. If you are careful and have a waterproof camera case, you can shoot while sitting on the boat. Ask the raft guide if the approaching rapids are splashy or if a complete dousing should be expected. Expecting the unexpected will help you prepare for the best shots.
Make use of creative tools
Use a wide-angle zoom lens (for example, the 17-35 zoom). Set your camera to slower shutter speeds in order to see what you like the most. Another creative tool that you might want to use is reflection. Observe carefully the water reflections on water during sunrise and sunset. They become even more pronounced when the water lies between you and the sky’s brightest part.