Getting Started With Surf Photography

Getting started with surf photography may seem like a tough endeavor. If you're used to sitting on a board, searching for the next wave to catch, you're obviously looking at a new routine that involves more swimming and less board. But the results can be worth the effort.

It all begins with choosing the right equipment. To get schooled on what new surf photographers should look for, we spoke with Australia-based photographer Sebastian Diaz (@Surfographer).


Your first purchase will most likely be a camera, but since it can be costly, make sure you choose one that fits your style and your shooting needs.

@surfographer: My first camera was a Nikon D90, but the frame rate was too slow so I was looking to upgrade.

@surfographer: Now I shoot with a Nikon D7100 with an AquaTech housing. My go to lens is a 10.5mm fish eye or a 17-55 2.8 lens.


Protecting yourself and staying warm is also important, as you're bound to spend plenty of time in the water. If you don't already have a wetsuit, be sure and try on few before purchasing, so you find the perfect fit.

@surfographer: I usually wear a 4/3 wetsuit.


A leash is important as it will keep your camera and housing attached to you at all times.

@surfographer: Some photographers like a short leash, but I use a body boarding leash so if I need to swim towards or away from a wave I can drag the camera behind me.


Fins help photographers stay on top of the water, get closer to the action, and swim towards (or away from) approaching waves.

@surfographer: I have a variety of fins but the best I've used are DMC fins.


WETSOX: Finally, do you have Any advice for people who are interested in becoming a surf photographer?

@surfographer: The best advice is always make sure you use a leash my very first housing is laying somewhere on the bottom of the ocean lost at sea. I arrived early one morning to my local break and had forgotten my leash at home . I had a look at the surf and it was tiny maybe 1-2 ft so I decided just to shoot the Shorey's as it was safer. I got blind sided by a wave that knocked my housing from my hand and I never saw it again. I learned a valuable lesson that day. 

Second most valuable lesson is when using a fish eye lens you need to continually spit or lick the dome to prevent water droplets from ruining your pictures.

You can follow @surfographer via Instagram


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