Michael Breitung Photography


Seascape Photography Workflow

Seascape Photography can be very dynamic. With waves crashing around me the scene is constantly changing. To make the most of it and also to ensure my camera equipment stays dry I follow a certain workflow, which I want to share with you.

Over the years I’ve implemented a routine, which I follow when I want to take seascape photos. In parts it is similar to my normal landscape photography workflow. But photographing close to the water requires some special preparation.

A secluded cove at Anse Patates during Sunset

In the video below I explain the five key elements of my seascape photography workflow. Which are:

  • Scouting – It’s always important, if I want to get the most out of a location. But when photographing at the coast it’s also important because it helps me to stay safe when I’m out there in the dark before sunrise.
  • Tides – Both for safety and photographic reasons knowing the tides is essential. I usually use Tides4Fishing to get my tide tables.
  • Composition – Scouting does not only mean looking around for interesting subjects. One additional step that comes before every photo shoot is scouting with the camera, while leaving the tripod behind to stay flexible.
  • Setup – I take my time to setup my equipment well away from the water. I make sure everything is in place and I leave the backpack and all I don’t need behind.
  • Photo Shoot – Many seascape scenes are very dynamic and often require multiple exposures to capture all the details. So first of all I have to stabilize the tripod so it does not sink into the sand while I take the photos. I want to get photos, which will later exactly overlap to make the blending easier. For this reason I firmly push the tripod into the sand with the lower legs extended. After 10 – 20cm it usually stops moving.

And even if your photographic routine in the field looks different than mine, it’s good to have one. Especially the setup should follow a standard because then you can be sure not to forget anything. Just imagine standing in the waves, taking photos of an awesome sunset and then having a wave splash your filters. To then recognize that you left your filter cloth behind can be very annoying.