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Seascape photography at McWay Falls

1. Be aware of your shutter speed

When shooting seascape photography, it can often be a difficult decision to choose between a long exposure of the scene that smooths the motion of the ocean into ghostly swirls, and a normal exposure that freezes the churning water action and texture of the waves. There’s no “right way” to shoot seascapes — beautiful photos of the ocean can be taken using either approach, and I often like to shoot a mixture of both long exposureand regular images.

When photographing long exposure seascapes, there are a few things you’ll definitely want to bring along.

 A. A sturdy tripod. You don’t need to spend lots of money on a tripod, but you do want one that’s built well. For a few great affordable options, check out the MeFOTO Roadtrip and Oben AC-1441.

B. A shutter release cable. Just pressing the shutter button is often enough to produce blurry long exposure photos, since even a light touch can shake the camera. Using a shutter release cable will let you trigger a photo without even needing to touch your camera!

C. A Neutral Density filter. Neutral density filters, often abbreviated as ND filters reduce the incoming light, making it easier to use longer exposure times. The stronger the ND filter, the more light is blocked, and the longer the exposure time can be.

2. Find out the tides

Preparedness is half the battle when it comes to getting amazing photos, and finding out when high tide and low tide are will help you plan for great seascape photos. Depending upon the terrain of the shore you’re photographing, you might find that it’s much easier to shoot great compositions when the tide is at a certain point. For instance, you might find that a rocky shoreline is more picturesque at low tide when more of the rocks are exposed.

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