Small Wave Photography

A few weeks ago there were a couple of days of small swell around so I decided to try and shoot some small waves with my 28 and 50mm lenses in my Aquatech housing with the LP-5 port.

I hadn’t used the flat port properly for shooting surf yet so it was good to get in the water and try out something a little different to the usual fisheye shots.


This is probably my favourite, shot with the 50mm f1.8, crouched in the shorey trying to capture the lip pitching, originally I didn’t like the spray in the bottom left but now I kind of like it, the lip is nice and crisp and the depth of field is very shallow, not ideal for action shots of people but for this kind of thing it works I think.

The weather got a bit crap so I ended up converting many of them to black and white:


Here’s a shot using the 28mm f2.8 lens, the depth of field is not as shallow but I like the way it came out, it bodes well for when I get a chance to take photo’s of proper sized waves.

What I learned:

Firstly, the process for making sure there’s no water drops on a flat port is different to a dome port, I’ll go into more detail in a future post on this but essentially you want to keep a flat port dry and keep a dome port wet, keeping it dry involves rubbing something that repels the water onto it (grease from behind your ears works pretty well) and letting the water bead off after dipping it.

Low angles are best, looking down onto the small waves doesn’t do them justice.

Glassy conditions are your friend, ideally with no rain, it’s a bugger when you’re shooting with a flat port.

It’s great fun when the waves aren’t big enough to surf.


See a few more photo’s from these sessions in this facebook gallery on the learningsurfphotography facebook page:

There’s a gallery on of small waves if you’re after some more inspiration: although some of the waves look pretty medium sized to me, I’d be happy to get stuck into a few of them on the bodyboard.

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