Surfing Pictures: The Ultimate Guide To Get A Perfect One

surfing pictures

Taking Surfing pictures is like surfing, we talk about one of the most exciting experiences you can have in life.

You see, each wave is unique and you enjoy it in a different and unrepeatable way, in the same way, the opportunity to obtain incredible shots are unrepeatable and unique.

Surfing pictures - a surfing picture with a full image
A perfect surfing picture by the sunset.

Then, do you want to know how to take perfect surfing pictures? Below I offer you 5 basic tips so you can achieve the best photos with little effort.

Surfing Pictures Are All About “Place And Moment”

To take brutal surf photographs, you have to be in the right place at the right time.

This way, on any beach, you can find waves of one kind or another, but those that surfers like to chase are only found on coasts open to the great waves of the ocean, and only when the direction of the wind and the tide come together.

Where to look for the best surfing pictures

That said, if you want to hunt the most aesthetic waves for your photos consider these locations:

  • The Mundaka (Basque Country)
  • Pipeline (Hawaii)
  • Teahupoo (Tahiti)
  • Cloudbreak (Fiji)

On the other hand, if you dedicate enough time, you can even find websites with programs and itineraries of each area and surf reports so you know when and where you can go to wait for the perfect wave for your photos.

Now, let’s get into the action and talk about how you’re going to take the perfect surfing picture:

1. Seize the moment for a perfect surfing picture

The best way to ensure the best photos is knowing what is going to happen in each moment.

In the case of surfing pictures, I recommend that:

  • Become familiar with the movement of the waves.
  • You know how surfers prepare when they’re really going to get on the wave.
  • You have prepared the most appropriate settings for the photo.
  • You position yourself according to the sun -To avoid ruining the photos due to excessive lighting.

2. The distance for the surfing picture

Use a telephoto lens, so you can take better photos without being too close to the action.

Surfing pictures - what a special lense looks like
What a professional lense looks like. Get one on Amazon!

On this, a model of 70mm to 200mm will allow you to capture the action from a distance, reducing your work to find a good angle and establish a good picture frame from the ground.

To avoid being inside the wave –which is, in fact, dangerous- you can also use a drone, or opt for an action camera or surfing cam if you want to film or photograph yourself.

3. The shutter and your Surfing Pictures

The best surf photographs are those that allow you to appreciate the majestic waves, the small drops of water that dot the air and the exact moment in which the action takes place.

Therefore, in order to achieve this, we will have to shoot with priority to the shutter speed.

The power of the burst for surfing pictures

Furthermore, another quite viable option is that you use the burst mode of your camera, this will allow you to obtain several frames of each movement and is probably the simplest way to get the best picture of each moment.

4. For the greatest surfing picture, get wet!

Some of the photos that best express the magic of surfing for its dramatic power are those that are made from within the water. –Especially those in which the picture of the image captures the halves inside and outside the water at the same time.

However, in order to embark on this adventure, you will need some additional elements.

You will need:

  • A telephoto lens 85mm to 100mm
  • An underwater housing
  • A diver’s suit
  • An oxygen tank (Optional, but preferable)
  • A pair of fins

Besides, it is imperative that you have excellent communication with the surfer so that you do not crash on the road and he knows exactly what to do and what you want to achieve with the surfing picture.

Surfing pictures - From outside the water
Taking the pictures from the shallow waters.


This practice can be dangerous, you can collide with rocks or coral in the background, be dragged by the wave or get hit with the surfboard.

5. Take advantage of the moment

When the conditions are favorable you have to take advantage of taking the picture! The sea comes and goes but it is never the same, so enjoy the good waves because you never know if the next day you will have an opportunity to take good pictures.

For this, it is again super useful to use the burst mode of your camera.

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