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21 Best Beach Seascape Photography Tips- [Surprising], Effective Strategies

Beach seascape photography can be one of the more difficult types of photography to master. The lighting is difficult to deal with, as is finding the right angle to shoot from. Additionally, if you’re shooting a beach seascape photo, it’s important to remember that you’re not just capturing one image. You’re capturing many images within that one image, as each wave that hits the shore uniquely shapes the sand. It makes me curious, what are the best seascape beach photography tips to make a great photo?

So, what are the 15 best beach seascape photography tips? They are grouped into five sections – Pre-planning, Choosing a location, Getting into position and composing the shot, Equipment, and Weather and safety consideration tips.

I’ve traveled to and spent time at over 20 beaches and beach towns during my travels and experiences. Beaches like Bondi beach in Australia, Jumeira beach in Dubai, Lido de Jesolo in Italy, and Wailea in Maui, Hawaii, are just a few of my favorite beaches I visited. Most of the time I always took my camera equipment to get a snapshot of the seascapes that I saw.

21 Best Beach Seascape Photography Tips- Surprising, Effective Strategies

Beach seascape photography is the technique of taking a photograph at the beach of the scenery of the ocean and the beach. This style of photography is very broad and could include taking photographs of sunrises, sunsets, storms, or even the beaches themselves. This technique of photography has an amazing appeal to it, because of the simplistic beauty of nature that is shown through this type of photography.

There are some common ideas and approaches for taking this kind of beach shot: Here are a few:

-Shooting beach seascape photography takes a lot of knowledge and practice, but it’s well worth the effort.

-Using a tripod allows for sharper photos while standing up and shooting.

-Shooting during sunrise and sunset creates beautiful photographs.

-Know when the tide will be high or low to make your photos look more dramatic.

-Shooting during a storm can be amazing, but you must be prepared for it and stay safe.

I’ll cover these topics and a whole lot more. Stay tuned and keep on reading, you won’t want to miss it!

Let’s get started!

What Are the 21 Best Tips for Seascape Photography?

Here are the 21 best tips for seascape photography in five groupings:

–Pre-planning Tips – 

1. Shoot Early Morning or Late Afternoon

Early morning and late afternoon lights are softer and warmer than the midday sun. This means that you’ll get beautiful colors and contrast in your photos. Also, shooting during these hours gives you less competition from other photographers.

best photography seascape with water movement and photo seascape

Another reason to shoot early morning or late afternoon is that you’ll likely see fewer tourists. People flock to the beach to enjoy the warm sunshine when the weather is nice. They don’t usually come out until after 10 am, so you won’t have to worry about getting in front of crowds.

2. Tide and Swell Knowledge Is Important

Tides and swell can have a big impact on seascape photography. It’s important to check the tide schedule in advance and also to consider the swell height and size. The time of day can also affect the mood of the scene. Waves, swell, and direction can all affect a photo’s composition. High tide is often the best time to photograph the seascape. Knowing the area well in advance is key to choosing the best spot and getting great photos.

–Choosing a Location Tips – 

3. Choose a Location with Interesting Foreground Elements

When choosing a location for your shot, think about the background. What objects are nearby? How does the environment affect the composition of your picture?

For example, if you’re standing near a cliff, you can shoot toward the waterline to show the waves crashing against the below rocks.

4. You Need to Choose Your Spot Carefully and Match the Lighting.

When choosing a location for seascape photography, look at pictures of the location to decide if it’s a good spot. The time of day and weather forecast are also important factors to consider. You may also want to research local photographers and tour companies to get a sense for what types of photos are popular at that location.

The best lighting for seascape photography is the golden and blue hours. To get the perfect composition, plan to be in position an hour or so before the light is right. Invest in a headlamp if you plan to shoot at night so you have some extra illumination. 

5. Make Better Compositions by Using the Waves

If you want to take great seascape photos, you must watch the ocean and wait for a wave with a good leading line to come into your frame. You can position yourself on the beach or in the water, but ensure you have the right equipment before getting too close to the waves. A telephoto lens will help you freeze the action, and a faster shutter speed will create more dramatic shots. Just remember to zoom in cautiously so that you don’t reduce the depth of field too much.

6. Shutter Speed Is Key

For capturing the perfect beach photo, use a shutter time which depends on the type of photography. Long exposures and seascapes go together, so be sure to read up on Long Exposures for more info.

To create a seascape image with a silky water effect, use a shutter speed above 10 seconds. To capture flowing water, use a shutter speed between 1/4s and 1s. To capture the beauty of the breaking waves, use a shutter speed faster than 1/250 of a second.

Use different shutter speeds to capture different aspects of the motion of the sea. To freeze action, use a fast shutter speed. If you can’t slow the shutter speed down enough, attach an ND filter to reduce the amount of light entering the lens. You can also use a faster shutter speed to freeze the movement of waves crashing onto rocks and capture seagulls in flight.

7. You Can Enhance Your Shots with Reflections

1. Look for reflective surfaces when photographing seascapes. This could include wet rocks, puddles, or low-tide rock pools.

2. Adjust your camera angle to find the best shiny effect from the reflections.

3. Be mindful of the light and shadows created by the objects reflecting in the water. This can add drama and interest to your photograph.

8. Make Sure You Maximize Your Depth of Field

Use a wide aperture to get a deep depth of field in seascape photography. The best results will come from an aperture between f/8 and f/16. Narrower apertures will produce blurry images, while wider apertures will not capture enough depth of field. To create a sharp shot with deep field depth, focus your lens manually and approximate the hyperfocal distance. 

–Getting Into Position and Composing the Shot:

ocean seascape photography with seascapes showing sailboat and waves crashing on rocks

9. Focus On Objects In Motion

When shooting waves crashing against rocks, trees, and buildings, focus on the moving object rather than the stationary background.

This technique works best when you’re shooting fast action scenes. For example, if you’re photographing a wave crashing against a rock, focus on the rock instead of the wave. Or a jetski going over the waves or surfers going tubular. The motion and splashing all make for a more interesting composition of a seascape photo.

Alternatively, a distant sailboat in motion (even if it is slow) can be a different viewpoint and give a different feeling.

10. Use Islands or Side Landscapes in Your Composition

Try using islands or side landscapes to create interesting compositions when composing a beach scene. This technique brings out different angles and influences in the landscape, making it easier for viewers to see the entire picture.

Another thing to remember is that the horizon line should always be visible. When you compose a photo of a beach scene, it’s easy to get distracted by the waves crashing against the shoreline. Instead, focus on the sky above the water.

11. Take Advantage of Palm Trees and Other Vegetation

Palm trees and other vegetation are often used as backdrops for beach scenes. They provide a nice contrast against the sand and water, and they add depth to the scene. When photographing palm trees, try to get close enough to capture the texture of the leaves and branches. This helps create a sense of realism and makes the image feel less staged.

Another thing to remember is that palm trees don’t always look the same. Some types of palms grow tall, while others grow short. Also, different species of palm trees have different leaf shapes and textures. For example, coconut palms have large, flat leaves, whereas royal palms have smaller, rounder leaves.

12. The Ocean’s Beauty Can Be Captured by Shutter Speed

Shutter speed is a key factor in creating different seascape effects. A slower shutter speed will blur the water, while a faster shutter speed will freeze the movement of the waves. Use a shutter speed of 1/30s or slower to create a seascape effect. Carry neutral density filters or blue-hour light to achieve the desired effect. 

13. Shoot During Low Light Conditions or At Night

Shooting under low lighting conditions gives you greater control over exposure settings. Shooting in low light allows you to adjust shutter speed and aperture settings to achieve the desired effect.

Also, shooting at night provides you with a different perspective. When you shoot at night, you’ll notice that objects appear brighter and colors seem more vibrant. For instance, a boat on the shore in the moonlight. This makes nighttime shots look very dramatic and beautiful.

When shooting at night, use flash only when necessary. Flash creates harsh shadows and reflections, which can ruin photos.

14. Black and White Can Be Fun

Converting to black and white can improve seascape photography by adding contrast and drama to the photo. Monochrome photography can be done in most photo editing software, and it is also possible to achieve this effect with long exposure times. Black and white photos often feature smooth, silky water that can be easier to see than in color photos. Using black and white can give your photography a more surreal look.

15. Take Multiple Shots and Bracket Shots for HDR

When you shoot multiple shots, you can combine them later to create one image. For example, if you’re photographing a sunset, you can take several shots of the same scene. Then, you can select the best shot and crop it to remove unwanted objects.

High Dynamic Range (HDR) enables you to merge two or more images together into one. You can then apply various adjustments to the final image. The result is an image with increased dynamic range.

–Equipment Tips:

16. Make Sure You Use a Tripod!

A tripod is important for seascape photography because it helps keep your camera still, which results in sharper images. A tripod also allows you to shoot at a lower ISO, which reduces image noise. A tripod is also helpful when taking photos at a slower shutter speed, making capturing movement in your photos easier.

17. Invest in A Variety of Lenses

Different lenses can be used to capture different aspects of seascape photography. A wide-angle lens is a good starting point for landscapes because it covers a large area. Zoom lenses are more versatile but sacrifice millimeters of space. No one lens will work for all seascape photos. By composing shots carefully, photographers can create beautiful images with minimal effort. 

beach seascapes photo with ocean island and palm trees

18. Experiment With Different Filters

Filters allow you to change the color of the scene. Using polarizing and graduated neutral density filters will add depth and dimension to your photo.

Polarizing filters let light pass through only half of the filter, while graduated neutral-density filters let light pass through the entire filter. Graduated neutral-density filters are useful for taking photos under low lighting conditions. They’ll darken the background without affecting the foreground.

There are two types of filters: Polarizers and Graduated Neutral Density (GND). Polarizers filter light rays from the lens, while GND filters reduce the amount of light entering the camera sensor. Both filters have different strengths, allowing you to adjust the intensity of the effect. For example, a 10% polarizer reduces the amount of light entering your camera by 90%, while a 50% polarizer reduces the light by half.

–Weather & Safety Consideration Tips:

19. It Is Important to Be Safe Near and In the Sea

It is very important to play it safe with the sea when taking seascape photos because rogue waves and riptides can easily kill you. Always be aware of the waves and stay away from danger. Take photos that show the full range of waves so that you can anticipate their arrival. Always be aware of the ocean and stay safe when taking pictures. Stay away from the edge of the waves, and algae can be very slippery. Check swell and tide before shooting to avoid getting stuck on rocks in the middle of the waves. Take photos of the ocean safely by looking at where the waves can reach and staying away from dry rocks.

 20. Keep an Eye on The Weather

Following the weather is important for seascape photography because the weather can impact the final look of your photographs. Cloud cover, cloud altitude, temperature, water temperature, and dew point are all important factors to watch for when shooting in the ocean. Windy provides a fast and intuitive weather map that uses local forecast models to provide you with the most up-to-date information. Checking the weather before shooting can help you plan shots more accurately. Weather conditions can affect both the soft and dramatic elements of a photograph. Always carry a towel and be prepared for rough conditions when shooting seascape photography. Wind can make it difficult to take sharp photos.

21. Getting Wet Is Not a Problem

It’s important to keep your lens clean when taking seascape photos, as water droplets and smudges can result in blurry images. Wiping the lens with a microfiber cloth can help to prevent this. Additionally, getting wet can help you get better seascape photos, allowing you to get closer to the water without fear of damaging your equipment.

What Is Seascape Photography?

Let’s back up a little and outline some of the key thinking and differences between seascape photography and other types of photography.

Key Ideas About What Is Seascape Photography?

Different types of seascapes can be captured, including coastal and ocean photography. Seascape photography usually takes pictures of landforms such as rocks, cliffs, mountains, etc. This genre of photography can be considered a sub-genre of landscape photography.

What Is Meant by Seascape

Seascape photography can involve photographing pieces of land like rocks, cliffs, mountains, and more. There are different types of seascapes that you can photograph, such as coastal photography or ocean photography.

Seascape photography typically features the ocean as a more substantial part of the photo rather than just the beach. Seascape photography is all about capturing split-second moments and can be tricky to take well. Cathedral rocks in Australia are a great example of seascape photography.

A seascape photograph captures the movement of the water and the impact this has on the landscape. To create a good seascape, take a long exposure to capture both the cloud movement and the water. Sunrise and sunset photography are great examples of capturing a beautiful seascape.

To capture a seascape, you need to be in the right location at the right time. You can capture a seascape with a digital camera or with a film camera. You can use filters and other effects to create more interesting photos.

What is Beach Seascape Photography? Seascapes and Landscapes

Beach Seascape Photography is the art of capturing images of the natural beauty of beaches. The goal of this type of photography is to capture the beauty of nature and the environment through the use of light and color. It is a form of landscape photography where the photographer captures the beauty of the sea, sky, sand, rocks, plants, and animals. The most common subjects include sunsets, sunrise, clouds, waves, waterfalls, birds, fish, shells, flowers, trees, mountains, deserts, etc.

The best way to get started with Beach Seascape Photography is to take photos of your favorite places. You don’t necessarily have to go far from home to find beautiful locations. If you live near the ocean, there are many opportunities to photograph the beautiful scenery around you. Try photographing different types of weather conditions, such as fog, rain, snow, wind, storms, sunshine, etc.

How Do You Take Photos of The Ocean – Seascape Photos

When taking pictures of the sea, you want to know about the waves and how they move. Use them as a guide for framing your shots. You can also use the waves themselves or their traces left on the beach.

Always be aware of your surroundings, and don’t rely on just one shot to capture the perfect seascape photo. Burst several shots to get the best possible photo.

Do not carry your camera with you when taking photos in the ocean – it is easy to bump it and lose balance. Always put the lens cap back on and close the lens before taking a photo. Do not turn your camera off when not using it because battery life may be shorter in wet conditions. If you think there is water inside your camera, do not turn it on – take it to a repair shop immediately.

Check swell and tidal information before going out to ensure you know what to expect. Don’t risk your life – it’s not worth it!

How Do You Take Pictures of Waves – Ocean Waves and Exposure Settings

There’s no such thing as a perfect picture of the ocean. But there is a way to capture its beauty.

Look at the wave for a long enough time, and you will notice that it has a rhythm. The crest is higher than the trough.

This means there’s a pattern to the water movement on the sea’s surface. That’s why we call it a wave.

And if you look closely, you’ll see that the crest rises and falls faster than the trough. This creates a kind of visual tension between the two parts.

That’s where the magic happens. When you photograph the wave, you create a momentary pause in the flow of energy.

And because the wave is moving so fast, we tend to focus on the stillness created by the pause.

This is called a “moment frozen in time.”

If you want to take great seascape photos of waves, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, you’ll need a telephoto lens to really capture the waves in all their glory. Second, use a fast shutter speed to freeze the wave action. For shots from a standing position, aim for 1/800-1/1000. Finally, remember that it takes more than just pointing and clicking to get an effective photo of waves – try using long exposures and wide apertures for added drama and interest.

Work for that “frozen moment” and capture the wave’s energy.

What Are the Best Beaches for Seascape Photography? 8 Steps to Find a Good One


colours that work well together..

More About Seascape Photography

What Is Seascape Photography?

A seascape is a type of landscape photography focusing on the ocean or sea. Seascape photographs can include the beach, coastal features, cliffs, rock pools, and marine creatures. To be successful with seascape photography, you need to be quick on your feet and understand how exposure affects clouds and the water. There are many different ways to capture stunning seascapes, so read further to learn more!

What Are the Best Seascape Photography Locations?

To take great seascape photos, look for interesting foregrounds and backgrounds. Compelling compositions are generally a result of a beautiful backdrop and eye-catching foreground element. To create great seascape photography, find interesting foregrounds and backgrounds which work together.

Start by scoping the location out before taking photos. Use your imagination to create beautiful backgrounds and borders everywhere! Pay attention to the background (like the ocean) and the foreshadowing (such as rock formation). Research the weather patterns to find the best time for seascape photography. Scouting trips are essential to discovering the ideal time for seascape shots.

When planning a beach vacation, make sure to check the tides before heading out. You should also consider the weather forecast, so you know what kind of waves to expect. A high-tidal day means big waves, but watch out for sandbars and shallow areas. Low tides offer calmer waters but beware of strong currents. Chances are good that you’ll find a spot that works for both low and high tides.

Talk to local photographers and fishermen to get tips for your shoot. Locals often possess more knowledge about seascape photography locations than tide charts. Tide charts can be helpful for beginners, but locals are often better sources of information

What Are the Best Seascape Photography Tips for Framing the Seascape Shot?

Tips for Framing the Seascape Shot

Let’s dive deeper and expand on what you can do once you’ve scoped out a good beach spot and started to frame the seascape shot:

1. Make sure the weather, tide, and swell conditions are suitable for your seascapes before planning your session.

2. Scout the area for good compositions and be safe while doing so.

3. Mastering seascape photography requires trial and error – make sure to prepare in advance!

4. Pay attention to the sea before you start taking photographs.

5. Be aware of coastal hazards while shooting and wear appropriate footwear.

6. To clean off any stray water droplets or sprays from your lenses, use a lens cleaning towel or microfiber lens cleaning pad.

7. Composition is the key to creating beautiful seascapes, so take the time to find the best composition. Use the waves, the clouds, the reflection off the water, the sun, the moon and vegetation in the background or on the side.

8. Use a suitable camera bag and backpack to keep all your photography equipment together. A backpack is especially useful if you need to climb up or down to find the best spot to take the beach seascape photo.

9. Shoot in RAW format for better image quality in case of accidental damage or mistreatment by seawater or sand during post-processing

10. Check the histogram to get the final photo you want

11. Use advanced techniques such as bracketing or focus stacking if necessary

12. Shoot in a variety of locations and try new perspectives and techniques to get the perfect shot

13. Be grateful for the chance to photograph the sea, and enjoy the experience!

What Is the Best Time of Day for Seascape Photography?

Sunrise and sunset are often cited as the best times of day to photograph seascapes, as the light is softer and more flattering at these times. However, many different types of coastal photography can be done at any time it just depends on what you’re looking to capture. If you want to photograph the sea itself, the best time of day is when the sun is rising or setting, as this will create a beautiful glow on the water. If you’re more interested in photographing the coastline itself, then shooting during the day can be just as effective although it may be more challenging as you’ll have to deal with less lighting.

Another option is to shoot seascapes during overcast days, which can create a dreamy atmosphere in your images. Surprisingly, some of the best sunset photographs I’ve shot were on days when it was overcast all day and then the clouds started breaking up at sunset to give a beautiful composition.

Finally, night seascape photography can be a daunting experience, but it can be worth it if you get the shots you want. Shooting seascapes at night can add an otherworldly atmosphere to your images, and photographing the beach at night can result in some truly stunning shots.

What Is the Best Camera for Seascape Photography?

There is no definitive answer for the best camera for seascape photography. It depends on the specific subject matter and composition that you are hoping to capture. And of course, your budget and what you are willing to invest into equipment. A wide-angle lens is good for general shots of the seascape, while a telephoto lens is better for capturing details and objects in the distance. These days a digital camera is a solid choice.

In Terms of Seascape Photography, What Is the Best Lens?

There is no one answer to the question of what is the best lens for seascape photography. Different lenses can be better or worse depending on the specific shot you are trying to capture. A wide-angle lens is good for capturing the movement of water and incorporating more elements into your compositions, while a telephoto lens is best for sea waves and distant objects. It can be tricky to cover all the bases when it comes to lenses, so it’s important to have a few versatile options at your disposal.

What Is the Best Tripod for Seascape Photography?

A tripod is an essential piece of equipment for anyone wanting to shoot seascapes. Carbon fiber tripods are a good choice as they are both sturdy and lightweight, making them easy to carry around. However, tripods can be cumbersome to set up, so it is important to take the time to do it right. Remember to check your photos afterward to make sure they are in focus.

What Are the Best Seascape Photography Filters?

1. Lens filters are essential for taking long-exposure seascape photos as they help to avoid unwanted glare on the water.

2. Using Neutral Density (ND) filters can help you take better oceanic photos by allowing you to take long exposure seascapes without darkening undesired areas of your photo in post-processing.

3. The best lens for seascape photography depends on the subject you want to shoot a wide-angle lenses are good for capturing the movement of the water. In contrast, mid-range and telephoto lenses are ideal for filling up the frame and highlighting subjects within your scene.

What Are the Best Seascape Photography Software Programs?

There are several software programs available that are designed specifically for seascape photography. These programs can help you to plan your shots, set the correct exposure, and choose the right location. Gear can also make a big difference in your shots, and there are many tips and tricks to get the most out of your equipment.

What Are the Best Seascape Photography Books?

Seascape photography books provide photographers with insight into how to take great seascape photos. The books often explore different foregrounds and backgrounds that can be used to create stunning combinations. In addition, seascape photography books typically contain tips and tricks on how to master this type of photography. As such, they are essential reading for anyone wanting to learn more about taking beautiful coastal photos.


So there you have it, some tips about beach seascape photography. I’ve covered several ideas and approaches to get the best seascape photos, tips for choosing the best beach, and deeper ideas about getting into the right position. All of these ideas will help you capture some fantastic beach seascape photos.

On your next trip to the beach, why not take these ideas along with your photography equipment and shoot some great beach seascape shots?