ocean photography tips for beginners

The best place to make your mind calm is none other than ocean. But not everyone can see ocean everyday right? But you can see an ocean photo anytime from anywhere. It can also relax your mind to some extent. Research says that staying near to nature or even looking at ocean photos can decrease your stress levels to about 73%. This is why the demand of ocean photography has increased and photographers are constantly taking photos of ocean and selling them. If you also want to be one of them and need some awesome ocean photography tips then this is the place you should be. So without wasting time see below.

What makes Ocean Photography different?

Ocean photo is different from other types of nature photography. The reason behind is that it concentrates on calming color of the ocean and has less amount of greenery in it. It is also different from seascape photography as the ocean is restless and has continuous bigger waves compared to sea. And long exposure photography brings a great impact on ocean photography as well.

Ocean Photography Gear –


Before I start giving tips for ocean photography you should know what photography gears you will need first. Below is the list of gears you may need.

Tripod for Your Ocean Photography

Tripod for Your Ocean Photography

A tripod will be necessary for you to keep your camera stable at a position while taking ocean photos. Your image will not be shaky if you use a good tripod.

Camera for Ocean photography


There are different types of camera for ocean photography. I won’t suggest which one you should buy because it depends on your comfortability. Take a camera which you are comfortable with.

Lens for ocean photography


In case of lens I would say you to use a wide-angle lens. It will help you capture more area of the scenery of the ocean.

Polarizing Filters

ocean photography tips

If you want to reduce reflections, decrease atmospheric haze and increase the color saturation in your ocean images then this is something you should definitely take with you.

UV Filters


A UV filter blocks UV light as it come in the lens. It is just as a sunscreen for your camera. Keeping it will help you keep your camera lens protected from harsh UV rays.

Neutral density filters


This is a filter you will definitely need if you want to take long exposure photos of the ocean. It will help you decrease the amount of light entering your lens while you take photos on slower shutter speed.

10 Amazing Ocean Photography Tips –

Click at various times of the day

ocean photography tips

An ocean is very scenic. There are a lot of beauties you will see surrounded by an ocean. The beauty of an ocean actually keeps on changing time-to-time. If you are near the ocean and want some great shots, click ocean photography at various times of the day. Do to the ocean with your gear in different times so that you can click various photos of ocean.

Different time you will see the ocean is looking different. The colors, the shores, the scenes etc. everything will be different. So you will get a lot of different kinds of photos if you click ocean photography at various times of the day.

Include a living element

include living element

A living element in a photography makes the photos look alive. That element is a living element. It can be anything. It can be human or animal or birds. Any kind of living element will put a life in your ocean photography. Suppose there are people enjoying in the ocean, you can click lots of candid photos of them without letting them know.

This will give you a natural photograph in the ocean. You can also select your own people to pose in the ocean so that you can get some amazing shots. Not only human, you can also shoot photos of different types of fishes, birds and horses that are present in the ocean or near the ocean that time.

Play with Compositions


During ocean photography, you can play with various compositions as an ocean offers you a big space to capture. There are lots of composition you can play with when you are doing ocean photography. There are different types of composition such as rule of thirds, symmetry composition, depth of field, leading lines, patterns and textures, rule of odds etc.

These are some of the best compositions you can try while doing ocean photography. Trying different compositions will give you different types of amazing ocean photographs. Hence, you can create some masterpieces over composition techniques.

Ocean Photography Camera Setting

ocean photo camera settings

Right camera setting is very important for a photographer in order to click good photographs. If you do not set your camera correctly, you might not get photographs as you want. You can also play with the camera settings in different ways using different camera setting techniques. Ocean covers a wide area.

Turn the mode dial to AV (Aperture Priority) mode and select a huge space (f/2.8-f/4) for a delicate and obscured background. Turning on the metering mode also gives you benefits. If there’s a human on your photo, select the spot metering mode and focus on the face of the person.

Use the Right Shutter Speed


There is another major camera setting you have to do while ocean photography is using the right shutter speed. As I have already said that ocean is surrounded by a wide area, wide angle shutter speed at first would be the best to choose.

A long shutter speed (>10 seconds) will give you the level quiet oceans. In any case, with longer shutter speeds you are going a higher ND channel (around 10 stops). A medium shutter speed (2-9 seconds) gives you the movement of the water. Using the right shutter speed will give you some great photographs.

Capture the Reflections


There are many things you can actually cover and make your ocean photography looks innovative using different things. Capturing reflections is one of those. Suppose you are clicking photos and you see some reflection in the sand or in the water, do not miss the chance but click the photo.

But of course, set your camera properly so that you can capture the shadows or reflections properly. The best reflection you will get to see in the night in the ocean. You will feel like the sky is in the ocean. Clicking the mirror reflection in the night of the ocean will make it look dreamy.

Capture long exposures


Long exposure photography in ocean is very exciting part of life. It gives a charming vibe. By using a shutter speed of 30 seconds or more, you can capture all the waves of the ocean and create a smooth surface. As compared to the energetic action try to capture in a 1/2 second exposure. The ultra-long exposure will give you a peaceful feel to the image.

Go for Manual Mode

Though manual mode in photography gives a hard vibe in work but it provide a fresh images. In ocean photography, manual mode will give you very eye-catchy images. It will help to capture the waves of the ocean. If you want to capture the ocean with the sky keeping the differences about them, then you can have a fabulous image in manual mode of ocean.

It will also help to work you a professional photographer. Professionalism will give you a better result of every pictures. There no fixed manual mode for ocean photography. But you can follow a basic mode for it. You can also follow the aperture mode too.

Look for Details


Detail photography means have various kind of meaning. Someone can capture a place with full of detail about everything. Or you can have an image about a single subject detail. In ocean photography there is many types of situation and scenario. You can focus in various types of subjects.

If there a scene of ocean and sea then you can focus them both at a time by detailing. Or you can also detail a single subject like only ocean. If you want you focus only ocean rather than sky, you can capture a picture by detailing about the subject. If there is also hill to focus, then you can detail it.

Check weather conditions


Weather condition is a very big challenge for any photographer. Photography also depends on whether too. Especially in ocean, weather is needed to know before starting photography. There are many types of weather: cloudy weather, sunny weather, rainy weather. You just have to select your weather depend on your photography topic.

But there is also a golden hour in ocean for photography. Golden hour helps to get the situation favorable. It also helps to capture the pictures very attractively. It gives a great result for most of the results. If you choose cloudy weather then you will have another type of images. Cloudy weather will also help to capture all types of pictures by setting your mode setting favorable.

Take series of shots

ocean photography tips

Try to take series of shots of a same situation. Sometimes instant pictures look like perfect but when it goes for post-production, then it shows real quality. So if some pictures get dull for any reason, when you will have a vast pictures of a single situation it will give option to select the pictures and work on it. You would not get the same scenario for the next day. So try to play safe.

Use the Golden Hour: Shoot At Sunrise or Sunset

use golden hour

The ocean looks completely different many times. You can capture so many eye catchy pictures at those times. Tides, lights, waves, etc changes with time. One of the best times is called “Golden Hour”. Golden hour is the time before sunrise or right after sunset. It is the perfect moment to capture the best photo you want. It’s also called the magical golden hue. You’ve to keep patience for the right time.

Safety first

ocean photography tips

While doing ocean photography, maintaining safety is a must. The ocean is unpredictable; it can be calm and also very dangerous. Always look for the rocks in the ocean, it can make you fall and break your camera as well as cause injuries too. Even winds can make problems while photographing oceans. Winds blow heavily in the ocean, so you can’t keep stand properly. Heavy wind causes heavy waves, so be careful of that too.

Timing is important

ocean photography tips

It’s sometimes become critical to choose the right time for photographing in the ocean. It can be in the day while it’s sunny or at any other time depending on the weather. But most of the photographers want to go in the early morning or evening. Sunrise and sunset play a vital role in this matter as it’s been considered as the golden hour. Always check the weather forecast before stepping out for photographing. This is one of the major ocean photography tips.

Use Photoshop

Ocean photography editing

After capturing the beautiful pictures, it must do some post photoshoot. To give some beautiful and real vibes to pictures, do Photoshop works. You can use Adobe Photoshop CS5, CS6, etc for doing the best post works.


Ocean gives you one of the best scenarios while you’re working as a professional photographer. You can create different types of concepts by following our ocean photography tips. Make sure that you choose the right time to capture the best moments. Here are some tips to do the perfect ocean photography as a beginner and then with more experience you’ll be a professional. If you need any kind of photo editing service, you can have it from clipping path experts

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