Picture Perfect Paddling

Paddle-powered vessels can be a great platform for photography.

Paddle-powered vessels can be a great platform for photography.

Paddling can take you to places that are impossible to reach by land, and it offers a unique perspective from the water. Taking photos from a kayak or paddleboard might seem tricky at first, but keep these tips in mind and you will be off to a great start.

Every photographer’s worst nightmare is dropping an expensive camera in the water. To prevent this from happening, secure your gear around your neck with a strap, or attach it to your life jacket or vessel. Make sure the strap is long enough for camera movement, but not so long that it will become tangled. Even if your equipment doesn’t take the plunge, there is still a risk of damage (and blurry photos) from sea spray. Carry a microfiber cloth in a dry place and periodically check your lens for any water or moisture. If you're paddling in salt water, rinse the lens with a bit of fresh water before wiping, as salt can scratch your lens.

One more useful tip is to tie your paddle to your vessel with a cord – you do not want your paddle wandering away from you while you are focused on your photography! And remember to slow down once in a while. When you take breaks to just float and observe the natural surroundings, you are sure to notice beautiful, photo-worthy details that you might otherwise miss.

Ocean Tribe Outfitters is a branch of Sanibel Sea School that helps the local paddling community better explore, enjoy, and understand the ocean. Visit oceantribeoutfitters.org or follow us on Facebook to learn more.