Father’s Day is around the corner. How about giving your Dad a gift card. Apply Discount Code: “ FATHER” to receive 10% off all my Photo Courses. https://www.alfonso.com.au/giftcards
Do you think your Dad will enjoy learning on a private seascape photography 3 hour session?
It goes without saying that you need to check the weather the day before and see if it’s worth waking up at the sparrow’s fart.
Clear Outside (Cloud Checker) allows you to see how much cloud cover you will have at sunrise or sunset. It shows you the percentage of cloud cover in low, mid and high range hourly.
Willy Weather (Tide & Swell Check)
Like most surfers, they like to see how much swell and wave height there might be at a particular time and place. Knowing when the tides are low or high can greatly affect the safety of your morning shoot. Choose the best location to suit your level of security. Many rock fishermen and seascape photographers often take high risks of being swept away.
Photo Pills (Angle of Sun)
Knowing the angle of the sun and the exact time we have blue and golden hours will help you set up in the perfect spot. It’s always a good idea to scout the area the day before if you have not been to a seascape location.
Aside from my camera gear which is listed below, here is a list of other essential extras needed to keep you and your camera dry.
Spiked Boots - Some rock surfaces can be very slippery with clear moss. It’s hard to notice in the dark of dawn where it is safe to step.
Small Towels - I always have a towel to dry off my camera and myself especially after the occasional unexpected splash.
Spiked Tripod - Some tripod feet can be replaced with a spike peg to lock yourself into the sand a bit firmer.
Wipes & lens cleaner - Before, after and during my shoot I often check my lens to make sure there are no drops. Always a good idea to also wipe down your lens, body and tripod after each seascape shoot. Salt condensation can build up over time and eventually damage your gear.
Hopefully you have done a little scouting the day before to have some idea on where you would like to do some nice compositions. Bare in mind the tide will be different the next day which will greatly affect the mood of the shots. If you can arrive at least 45 minutes before sunrise this will give you time to settle and relax on your first set of shots.
Look For 3 Spots - I usually move every ten minutes to try and get at least 3 different perspectives. Don’t be afraid to move around and challenge yourself to have a different interpretation of your environment.
Look For 3 Angles - Vary your tripod height, shoot in portrait or landscape format and lastly, choose a different focal length.
Look for 3 Methods - Every photographer has a different method of shooting a landscape. Below are 3 methods with and without filters.
3 Types of Filters - In my camera bag I usually carry a soft reverse grad 3 stop, CPL, and a 10 stop filter. All used for different situations.
Generally speaking the soft grad 3 stop for a sunrise or sunset to seperate the dark foreground from light horizon areas.
The CPL is usually used in combination with the soft grad 3 stopper. This helps me to increase my shutter speed time and add more contrast to the shot.
The 10 stopper is almost always used during the day with harsh light. This allows me to put sunglasses on my lens to get longer exposures for those silky smooth water shots.
Shooting without Filters - If you are an advanced user of photoshop or lightroom, then you should already know how to salvage and bring out details in dark shadows. More importantly always expose for the highlights. You can usually get away with one exposure.
Bracketing H.D.R. - A.K.A. High dynamic range is when you blend 3 different exposure values (i.e. +/- 3 stops) to have a composite of one shot when editing. Make sure not to move your camera between shots. It may be a little tricky to use this method as you will also need to know how to use photoshop for some advanced masking techniques.
Software used: Depending on your skills in editing, 1 or 2 of these will be needed to get the most out of your shots. Always shoot in RAW not JPEG format to suck out the best tonal range available in your shots.
Lightroom - For basic editing of your images a slider is available to bring out the best detail in your highlights or shadows panel. Blacks and whites can also be controlled to avoid blown out areas or areas that are too dark.
Photoshop /Luminosity Masking - If you have photoshop then a downloadable panel such as TK are worth having if you wish to seperate and have more tonal control of your images. You will also need some knowledge of how to use photoshop and blend composite layers to achieve the best results.
What’s in my bag?
Total Weight = 5 kg
Fujifilm XT-3, 14mm (F2.8), 35mm (F1.4), breakthrough 6 stop filter, NISI Filters CPL, SOFT GRAD # Stop, 10 Stop, Sirui Carbon Fibre Tripod 024X. Edited in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop on Mac Book Pro.
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