Seascape Photography: A Guide to Capturing Sky and Sea

One thing we love about seascape photography is how much your subject changes. One day you’ll get calm, serene scenes, and the next it will be full of drama and chaos. Anyone familiar with capturing the skies and planets will already be used to these conditions, as the constellations change throughout the year and the weather affects your chance of getting that perfect shot. 

There’s still plenty you can do to maximize your chances of getting a good picture with seascape photography, whether you’re hoping to line up an image of the ocean and the milky way, or timing a golden hour shoot. Our comprehensive beginners guide covers everything from equipment to technique, so you’ll be perfectly prepared to get out there and start shooting. And if you need more advice, we also have a beginner’s guide to astrophotography to help you snap the night sky. 


When you’re starting any type of photography it can be so difficult to know what equipment you need. Every camera, lens, tripod, and camera bag all have different names and numbers and it’s enough to make your head spin. Here you’ll find information about all the necessary equipment to get you started with seascape photography. We assume you’re already starting with either a DSLR or mirrorless camera body. 

(Image credit: Andy Hartup)


The lens you need usually depends on the size and type of scene you’re trying to capture. We use the Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 frequently, as it’s great for capturing wide open seascapes and long coastlines, thanks to its wide focal length (up to 18mm on cropped sensors). We have also used a 70-300mm telephoto, which is useful when you’re at a location with a long stretch of coastline and want to capture cliffs and scenes further out. A telephoto is also an advantage if you want to photograph sea-life, as you can zoom right in on it without being too close, physically. It’s all down to personal preference, but you may like to go for something like a 28-70mm to start with for a good middle-ground focal length. Most standard kit lenses, often sold with camera bodies, are around 24-70mm in range, so you likely already have one. 

The Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 lens

(Image credit: Nikon)


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