How To Shoot Dramatic Wide Angle Seascape Photography

In this new video, I share how to shoot seascape photography in my hometown San Diego California.

This was one of my favorite shoots I have ever had capturing San Diego seascape photography. It is not often we get conditions this good! Make sure to check out the video above and I also share some helpful tips and techniques with my images below.

Here are two of my favorite images from my seascape photography collection. Both were captured at about 16mm. You can see that I am standing quite close to the water to get that flow leading out of the frame towards the bottom right/left. For me this makes the water flow a lot more dynamic. For these two photos, I am doing about 0.6-second exposure.

california seascape photography
california seascape photography

Another huge tip I can give for California seascape photography, or for coastal photography anywhere is to check on the tides. In the image above I am shooting a nice 4-5 foot high tide in San Diego. This gave me some beautiful waves flowing right over the rocks. On a low tide at this beach, you can not get this kind of water movement and you have to start working with reflection pools.

That can be quite fun too, but it will completely change your shooting experience and should be checked beforehand. There are some beaches that might not even be possible to access on a high tide and safety becomes a concern. Walking waist-deep through water on the way back from a beach at night can be a miserable and potentially dangerous situation.

california seascape photography
california seascape photography

Here’s another variation of the last image above. This beautiful band of light started shining as I packed up my gear. I rushed to get my stuff out and shoot this frame. Another tip I can give for capturing these shots is to bracket your exposures. Here on the west coast, at sunset, you are generally facing into the sun. This can create some super dramatic seascape photography.

But it also causes some issues with dynamic range, especially when the sun is still in the sky. What I do is shift my shutter speed a bit to compensate for the blown-out highlights around the sun. I might not need these extra shots, but I find it really helpful to shoot them anyways.

Here are two more images that I really enjoy. You will notice for these photos I am capturing the water flowing around the rocks, rather than just shooting the water flow as a straight lead-in. Sometimes it’s nice to play around with different water/rock patterns and capturing swirly patterns can be a nice change of pace.

san diego photography, la jolla seascape
san diego photography, la jolla seascape

Here is another image from about 45 minutes after sunset. This time I did a 30 seconds exposure to completely smooth out the water out there, which looked a bit messy and choppy. I also really liked the effect it created on these stormy clouds. 

california seascape photography
wide angle seascape photography

I hope some of these tips were helpful for you and I really hope you enjoyed the photo/videos! If you enjoyed it, here is another article you might like.


If you use these links I get a small kickback from the sales. It really helps the channel and keeps me able to keep producing these videos, thanks so much!


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