How to Create Stunning Wave Photos

The beauty of waves is that no two are the same, and you can create dramatic and dynamic photos with just a little know-how. This fantastic video tutorial will show you everything you need to know. 

Coming to you from Michael Shainblum, this aewsome video embarks on a journey to capture the stunning and powerful waves along Ireland's picturesque coast. Armed with a 100-400mm lens, he delves into the intricate details of the waves crashing against the rocks, revealing the awe-inspiring beauty and force of nature.

Shainblum begins his adventure by finding a suitable location to shield from the wind. He sets his focus on a distant island with waves in the foreground, adjusting his zoom to encompass a broader landscape view. His approach is to prioritize shutter speed, essential for capturing the texture and dynamics of the waves. To compensate for the high shutter speed, he opts for a lower f-stop and increases the ISO to 500, enabling him to capture the waves' raw power and movement.

Throughout the shoot, Shainblum adopts a unique perspective, seeing the waves not just as water crashing against rocks but as living, dynamic entities. He visualizes them as little monsters or creatures, adding an imaginative and interpretative layer to his photographs. This creative theme is evident in the various scenes he captures, such as waves breaking against a particular rock formation, creating visually captivating patterns.

Shainblum advises using autofocus to track the waves' movement, especially as they approach the shore and pass through different focal points. For static subjects, he suggests focusing manually and then waiting for the right moment. He also highlights the importance of activating image stabilization, especially at slower shutter speeds.

If you live anywhere near a coast, try heading out there the next time the waves are crashing. Just be sure you're in a safe spot and pay attention to changing tides. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Shainblum.

And if you really want to dive into landscape photography, check out our latest tutorial, "Photographing the World: Japan With Elia Locardi!" 

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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