Simple tips for kayak photography

This egret was over 30m from shore, too far to easily capture without a boat

The first time I brought my camera on my kayak with me, I was a nervous wreck. I was worried about getting my camera wet, dropping it in the water, dumping myself in the water AND getting the shots I wanted.

Yes, taking pictures from a kayak can be a worrisome task, but there are a few steps a person can take to relieve some of that tension so that she is able to enjoy her trip to the fullest.

Decide how you want to keep your camera safe, when it is not in use- an underwater housing, a dry bag, a hard case with built in o-ring (like Pelican cases,) or a simple zippered plastic bag (like a ziploc. )They all have their pros and cons, which I will be addressing in future articles. (I myself generally use a dry bag, because it fits my style.)

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Why to kayak with your camera

Kayaking helps you get down low, closer to the eye level of your subjects, making the images more portrait-like

So many times I would be driving along various bodies of water- lakes, bays, estuaries, rivers- and I would see a beautiful scene. I’d rush to the nearest place where I could safely pull my car off the road, grab my camera gear, and find the parking bay full of others clicking away or realize I’d already taken hundreds of pictures from the same spot. Over weeks and months the frustration slowly built. I needed to be able to get away from the road and over the water. I’d day dream of my own personal dirigible where I could float above, composing new scenes, arriving at new angles that no one else could access. Alternately I’d imagine the expensive, fancy boat I would have for quickly motoring out there to capture fresh perspectives and angles. I’d be free of the roadside and of all the other photographers.

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