Knowledge Of The Ocean
Always consider your safety first. Know the surf break your shooting at and never shoot alone. Learning and understanding surf reports and swell conditions are essential before you even step foot in the water. Additionally, currents, rips, swell periods and wave types will make your life in the ocean much more pleasant.
I am located in Western Australia so I usually send the drone up to check the area for rips that I can’t see from the shore and also do a quick sweep for sharks.
Basic Camera Options
A GoPro is an excellent start when it comes to surf and ocean photography, and there are so many talented ocean photographers who kill it with this affordable little camera.
There are also accessories available like the Polar Pro Dome port which will get you those over/under images. Also Knekt Australia do a bunch or accessories for plenty of ocean photography fun.
At 12 Megapixels, this compact little device also has ultra smooth video. It gives you the opportunity to focus on positioning yourself first without the extra weight of a full frame camera and a much more affordable set-up.
See some GoPro Ocean Photographers HERE
Your next option is the Olympus Tough TG6 this is also a 12 MP 4k Camera/Video. Which is perfect for snorkelling and diving as it has a depth rating of 12 meters. In addition it works well in low light conditions.
Another user friendly and cost effective option for those of you who have an Apple iPhone. Can opt for the Axisgo Waterproof Housing. These are fantastic to travel with they are compact and so simple to use. The come with lots of different options. Like the trigger grip and dome extension.
Stepping up from here most people use their current full-frame camera and lenses then purchase the housing and lens ports of choice.
Surf Water Housings
You must consider you ocean photography needs when selecting a housing. They are rated to different depths but the decision often comes down to personal preference.
I personally own an Aquatech Waterhousing and I have never had an issue with it’s performance in the ocean.
There are many other surf/ocean photographers who use other housing options. These include SPL, Liquid Eye, Ikelite and Salty Housings which are all lighter and more compact.
When I first started, I hated using fins, but as you get more confident and need to get into a line up your fins will save your life in larger waves.
I prefer the DMC for more extended periods in the water as these are so much lighter and less fatiguing. I would pick the DaFin’s if the swell was significant as I find they propel you through the water with a bit more power.
This is definitely a personal preference. These are the two most popular options identified after speaking with multiple surf photographers these were the two standouts.
If you are keen to learn more about Surf Photography or simply connect with other Ocean Photographers. Please join the Facebook group we created HERE
In addition, I have interviews with Professional Surf Photographers and Ocean Photography enthusiasts. Who describe there journey and equipment HERE.
I always find it inspiring to learn about the journey other Photographers have taken.
I generally wear a wetsuit even in warmer water it gives you some added buoyancy while protecting against reef grazes. If you are on a reef break. I tend to get cold after an hour in the Ocean, so a wetsuit helps keep me in the water for longer.