• Daniel Wretham

How to Improve Your Seascape Pictures

Updated: Jan 29, 2020

Amazing Sunset, Kimmeridge Bay, Dorset, Sunset, Sunrise, Seascape, Amazing Seascape
Localised colour at Kimmeridge Bay

Hello again and thanks for checking out my blog. If you're here you've probably found it by chance or your one of the loyal readers who come back every week and who can't be thanked enough for supporting me :)

So this week its all about that photographers favourite, the seascape.

So what is a seascape ? Why are they so loved by photographers ? What can you do to improve yours ?

All questions I hope to be able to give you some help with.

So what is a seascape then ? Well, it's essentially just a landscape shot with the sea as the dominant focus right ? Well, yes and no.

Seascapes come in many different styles and just cause you shoot a shot with sea in it, it doesn't necessarily mean it's a seascape.

To me a seascape is something that focuses heavily on this area, It's a chance to get very creative with your photography because your not shooting a static item. The movement the sea provides is priceless and can make pictures come to life because the sea structure is telling the story, be it a dramatic wave hitting the cliffs or a dreamy long exposure that flattens everything out and makes it look like another planet.

The possibilities are endless and the results are dramatic and different every time so the scene constantly has new life breathed into it.

Then of course theres the wonders that are revealed at low tide, then the drama of angry weather, in short the seascape offers constant new possibilities and many ways to shoot, couple that with the basics of light and sunsets and sunrises and the possibilities really are endless.

I have taken many pictures of the same scene before but keep them due to the sea condition at the time (as well as the light) giving new looks and feels to the overall scene.

So what can you do with a seascape then to make it different ? Well, lets take a look at three ways you can shoot the same scene but with very different results.

The three ways I'm going to talk about would be the fast shutter speed, sharp shots, the semi long exposure and of course the seascape favourite the long exposure.

The Freeze Frame Shots

So why take a freeze frame fast exposure ? Well, it can really show the drama of a situation and it will give you much more detail in a shot. These are great for bad weather when you have huge waves battering the coastline, These dramatic shots are of course the most dangerous and should be taken with caution. No picture no matter how good is worth your life. The sea is a dangerous mistress and she deserves to be treated with your utmost respect and never ever turn your back on her as she will take you out in a heart beat.

Believe me I speak from experience and I'm lucky to be here today.

When the sea is this rough most people tend not to shoot but they're missing a great moment, get rid of your trusted wide angle lens at this point and reach for some longer glass. Typically I like to use my Canon 70-200mm F4 lens here as it keeps me far enough out of harms way (also out of the dreaded seas spray which will ruin pictures no matter how many times you clean your lens) but also gives a lovely sharp and clean result.

portland dorset seascape sunset sunrise daniel wretham
Big waves & low light at Portland, Dorset

I shot this image a couple of years ago during the Valentines Day storms, As you can see it wasn't a day to stand down on the ledges trying to shoot.