Tips to Improve your Surfing Photography

Surfing is gaining a lot of popularity and momentum in India, what with the number of festivals and events dedicated to the sport. India is home to some really exquisite surfing destinations and is slowly gaining recognition from surfers the world over. Naturally, this makes it a good subject for photographers to cover. If you are just starting out as a surfing photographer and are looking for an opportunity to refine your skills, head on over to the Indian Open of Surfing, 2017 held between 26th – 28th May at Sasihithlu Beach, Mangalore. Following the success of its debut edition, it is back with more interesting and exciting activities. The event is recognized by the Surfing Federation in India, presented by Karnataka Tourism, Government of Karnataka to promote Karnataka beaches as suitable for surfing and other water activities.

Below are a few tips that will help you get better at surfing photography and capture some amazing images of the Indian Open of Surfing, 2107.

1. Lens

Photo by: Noah Garrett

Most surfing photographers agree that a 70-200 mm lens with F/2.8 is versatile for shooting all the surfing action from a variety of angles. A fisheye lens can also be used to create a surreal effect from the water.

2. Waterproof Housing

Getting close to the surfer and shooting from the water, will undoubtedly produce some stellar surfing images. It’s essential that you protect your gear with a compact and lightweight waterproof housing.

3. Composition

It is extremely essential to think from the perspective of a surfer to anticipate their picture-worthy maneuvers. Experiment with different compositions, all the while ensuring that you show the whole scene. For instance, if a surfer is paddling big waves, back up and fit in as much as you possibly can within the frame. Making a surfer look like a tiny speck, battling the enormous waves of the sea will definitely make for an awe-inspiring image. On the other hand, you can take close-up shots if the waves aren’t too big, to isolate the surfers’ maneuvers.

4. Shutter Speed

Surfing is a very fast-paced sport, hence it is recommended that you shoot in manual mode. This allows you to control the shots. If you are trying to freeze a maneuver, bump your shutter speed to 1/640 or above. You can also keep it slower to achieve artistic results such as motion blur.

5. Time of Day

Surfing photographers recommend photographing during the golden hours (early morning and late afternoon) to get the best images. If you are shooting for prolonged periods, be aware of the sun’s position respective to yours while shooting. Try to keep your back to the sun to avoid back-lighting in your images.

Stay tuned to this space for live action from the Indian Open of Surfing 2017, starting May 26th to 28th at Sasihithlu Beach, Mangalore.

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