Our fascination with the sea reveals itself in many ways. We holiday near it, sail on it, swim in it and even place higher value on property near it. Something profound and instantly soothing has always beguiled us about the ocean, and the two thirds of our planet covered by water intrigue us perhaps far more than the third we call home. Is it any wonder, then, that so many of us attempt to tame it within the parameters of the photographic image?
As seemingly innocuous as the oceans often appear, there is a far greater discipline and need for care and safety than would apply to capturing a pure landscape. The most transient of elements, here respect and mindfulness are required in order to ensure both you and your equipment survive unscathed. Your camera will be subject to a higher level of risk than is normal if you intend to get up close and personal with the water’s edge, and the obvious risk of dropping your gear in salt water is very real. So too, are the harmful effects of airborne sea spray carrying wetness and salt deposits, wind-driven grit and the ever present swathes of sandy beach shimmying to provide a less than stable platform as waves lap all around.
If you have ever set up a tripod and aligned a perfectly straight horizon through your viewfinder, only to see it slant away as the tide approaches and you develop a new appreciation for the meaning ...