Pickens Technical College Photography Pathway: Traveling to and Capturing the Sea

Pickens Technical College’s Photography pathway starts you on an artistic journey that has the power to take you around the world and support you in a rewarding career. Learning how to compose a shot and properly use your equipment are lessons you’ll be able to take with you wherever you go—wherever your eye takes you. Chances are, especially if you plan on becoming a freelance photographer after you graduate from PTC’s Photography program, you’ll be traveling frequently to make a living. It’s not a given that you’ll suddenly become an intrepid world explorer with a camera around your neck, but it’s a good idea to think about travel being a part of your experience as a photographer.

I could never teach you anything more about photographing any natural area, let alone vistas containing elements and things alien to our existence here in the middle of the continent like the sea, than your instructor Erik Schubert. But, a few tips for making your seascape photos and the prerequisite trip to capture seascapes worth the effort couldn’t hurt.

The Right Stuff

As you know by now, you don’t need to buy the most expensive equipment in the world to get the perfect shot. What’s more important than all the bells and whistles is having the right equipment. Learning which exact instruments to use when shooting the sea crashing over the beach takes practice and trial-and-error, but one piece of equipment you should start with when photographing the water is a circular polarizing filter. These filters have advantageous effects several effects. First, they make blues, especially the sky, bluer. This enhances an almost inevitable element in any seascape.

Since the light will be reflecting all over the place and changing before your eyes as you’re aiming your camera at the sea, a variable neutral density filter is also helpful because they give you several adjustment options to control light in your composition.

Another device that many sea photographers swear by is a remote trigger. Even a wired trigger will help you capture those waves crashing close-up at around 1/8th shutter speeds. With a remote trigger and a tripod that can withstand water and not get knocked over by waves, you have a good set-up for seascapes.

Don’t be Afraid to Get Wet

Probably the one tip that most seascape photographers all agree on is to get in the water. Jumping into the crashing waves isn’t always necessary to capture the perfect shot, but you can’t let a fear of putting your feet in the water deter you from getting the best angle. Prepare both your body and your equipment for standing knee-deep in the water. Another crucial item you’ll need if you plan on getting into the water is a travel size spray bottle of distilled water to clean the salt water off your lens.

Be prepared for when your photography career takes off and sends you to new and interesting places and seascapes.

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