Helpful photography tips for the kayaker

November 3, 2015

Kayakers get to see some unique views of the water and frequently have encounters with local wildlife. Capturing those moments on camera is both an opportunity and a challenge. To help you make the most of them, check out these tips for how to get some beautiful photos without losing your kit.

Helpful photography tips for the kayaker

Before you get into your kayak

Taking photographs whilst kayaking poses some risks both to you and to your camera.

If you're a beginner or lack confidence in the water, then build on your skills on the water before taking your camera on board.

Your camera will also need to stay dry, so plan ahead and invest in some waterproof housing or use a dry bag.

Make sure you also have a strap so that you don't risk dropping a camera over the side of the kayak.

And consider putting  a larger memory card in your camera before you hit the water. It can be very difficult to change your camera's memory card in a kayak, and this also lessens the risk of you dropping your camera into the water.

Keep it simple

On your first trip with a camera, keep the kayaking simple. Go somewhere where the water is calm and you can get used to handling a paddle and a camera.

However, don't forget that a splash of water can alter the auto focus, so do keep your camera's lens covered. Also, until you're confident in the water, take a cheaper camera and not a top-of-the-range model.

If you plan to film regularly, then consider a make of camera built for use in water so that any damage is minimized.

Digital cameras are generally very vulnerable to water exposure, so one specially made for aquatic environments is ideal.

How to stay safe

One of the biggest skills you'll have to learn as a kayaker who wants to do some photography on the water is keeping your camera and your body in position without losing paddles or capsizing.

Work out how to secure your paddle with straps or between your legs before you start filming.

And avoid storing the camera in the lower end of the kayak, as water tends to collect in this area.

Always wear a life jacket in case you fall into the water. Bring some binoculars with you, too. These can be very useful when it comes to pre-planning your route and spotting potential shots along a stretch of water.

Once you've mastered the art of filming from the water, you're sure to have some wonderful photographic opportunities. Keep these tips in mind to help you toward that mastery.

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