A brief introduction to Surf Photography

from Pro Photographer
Tim Borrow

We see surf photos everywhere, on the internet, in magazines and on advertisements. Some shots make us look twice with amazement, other shots might get you hyped to go surfing and some shots you might just glance straight over.

So what makes a good surf photo, a photo that captures the eye? We caught up with professional surf photographer Tim Borrow and got his top five tips for taking a good surf photo.

It's all in the....

1. Timing

Possibly the most important ingredient to taking a good surf photo, timing is crucial. Always try and take the photo at the most crucial point of a wave or surfers manoeuver. It helps to have a camera that has a high FPS (frames per second) ability around 6fps or higher is good.


2. Lighting

How you utilise light in your photo can be the difference between having an exciting and dramatic photo compared to a dull, boring photo. Always try to look for ways that light can highlight the surfer or manoeuvre. Shooting at sunrise or sunset can always present interesting light setups.


3. Landscape

 A lot of people start off shooting as zoomed in as possible, however if you pull back a little and try and get some features of the landscape such as the foreground or a backdrop in your shots it can help to create a more interesting and dynamic photo.


4. Angle

Always look for an angle that will show the full potential of a manoeuvre or wave. For example a barrel shot taken straight on will look flat, where as if you shoot at a 45 degree angle to the wave you will be able to see the rider in the barrel.


5. Focus

If your image or the surfer in your photo is out of focus, then its not a good image no matter how good the lighting is, or how creative you have been. Use the Al Servo mode or focus-tracking mode on your camera to follow the surfer making sure you get them in focus throughout the entirety of the wave.


Follow this and you should be able to get some epic pictures on your surf holiday to Fuerteventura this winter or with your friends in our Moliets Surf Camp next Summer!

Find your next surf adventure here