Varying your Ocean Portfolio

On average most first time photographs of the ocean are sky, sea, and sand, agree? After you figure this out you will begin to want more variety because, like counting sheep, a hundred photos of sand will put you to sleep. Adding rocks and a sunset sky can really make things more interesting but will that give a portfolio the variety it needs to stand out among others? As photographers we all lose a viewers interest eventually but it is necessary to keep interest as long as possible.

Revolving Ocean
Images like this can anchor portfolios but can become repititve.

Most portfolios don’t go beyond a sunset set sky, rocks and moving surf. You will need to show something more to hold a viewers interest while they look through your work. Once you’ve mastered capturing the light you might begin to crave other things that are the complete opposite of what you ordinarily see while visiting the sea. Just a quick walk around with an open mind before you pull out the camera will bring so many different opportunistic subjects to your attention. This goes beyond sea stacks, cliffs, and tide pools, those are the obivous. Here is very useful list that may help you in your search to diversify your seascape portfolio.

Beer Gut Star Fish
The main colors orange and green here are not often associated with beach scenery.

Sea Caves – Dramatic Surf
Seasonal Waterfalls – Wild Life
Rivers – Stars/trails
Land – Flowers
Lagoons – Large Dunes
Recreation – Trees

Exploding waves in a small sea cave, Big Sur, California

There are plenty more right?

Many of the subjects are only found in certain areas so you might have to do little bit of traveling but not much.
If you really don’t have any of these elements around there are many coastal ecosystems such as flood plains, coastal hills and forests you can include in your collection. Do not forget your portfolio should reflect your best work so creating a uniqueness to your portfolio is not something that can be achieved overnight. I see it as a life long work in progress for photographers.

Southern California
Big Sur and Central California Coast
California’s Rugged North Coast
Baja California

Steve SierenThe Point Buchon Trail is not accessable during sunset or sunrise hours but it has some fasinating cliffs and seastacks. Finding less often photographed beaches can help come up with new ideas.

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9 Responses to “Varying your Ocean Portfolio”

  1. Michael Bandy Says:

    Fine points Steve. Excellent bit of info. Hope to shoot with you someday soon.

  2. David Richter Says:

    Excellent piece of advice Steve! Looking forward to exploring some beaches of California next summer.

  3. Steve Sieren Says:

    Michael and David, Thanks for stopping by.

    Hope it helps you out when you get stuck like I do sometimes.

  4. Richard Wong Says:

    This is great advice Steve. Even worse than eventually losing a viewer’s interest is that is a photographer keeps churning the same thing day in and day out losing interest themselves by not pushing beyond their comfort zone.

  5. Steve Sieren Says:

    Richard, I agree. More importantly we have to keep our own interests turning.

    There is a never ending new avenue of photography waiting around the corner.

  6. Geoff Bell Says:

    Certainly good advise. Variety is the spice of life, as they say.

  7. Eric Leslie Says:

    I follow a handful of togs that live in coastal areas and I have to agree with you. Seeing the same haystacks and rocks with a sunset gets repetitive. Those are some great tips. I’ll have to pack them away for another day because I don’t get to the ocean very often. Too bad I wasn’t into photography as a kid when I grew up in Ventura.

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