Kayaking Photography

Ellie Kayaking © Christine Edwards

Ellie Kayaking © Christine Edwards

by Chris Edwards

As our Four Rivers name implies, we are totally entranced with all the wonderful waterways in our region. What better way to capture their beauty than with a camera from a kayak! Because the kayak puts you low in the water, your unique point of view can result in some stunning shots. #PhotosFromKayak

Taking your gear out on the water IS risky, but you can take steps to minimize your chances of losing or damaging your equipment and maximize your odds of getting some great pictures: 

  • Make sure you're a proficient paddler BEFORE you go out with your gear.  You don't want to be learning how to control the kayak while you're also handling camera gear.
  • Choose a stable craft. A wide, sit-in kayak keeps your center of gravity low and reduces your chances of tipping over.
  • Pick a placid area with little to no boat traffic. Creeks are ideal.  Early mornings, too, are a great time, as the water is often glassy, with just fellow kayakers, paddle boarders and slow-moving commercial crabbers out and about.
  • Similarly, choose a calm day. Strong winds make it hard to paddle and cause you to drift, which will make it challenging to set up a good shot. Check your weather forecast and local radar before you launch for potential squalls and thunderstorms. 
  • Ensure you have a covered hatch or a plastic bag in which to secure your equipment, if the weather turns ugly.
  • Use a paddle leash. 
  • If you have more than one camera, take your older gear. There's no need to tempt fate! 
  • Protect your camera from water droplets when you're paddling.  
  • Because movement is inevitable, even when you've stopped paddling, keep your shutter speed up.  The shadier side of a creek may make it tough to get a fast enough shutter speed, so check the sunnier side for potential subjects first. A bird on a rock or log illuminated by the sun with a darker background behind can make for a dramatic shot. 
  • When you shoot, steady yourself, keeping your elbows braced in. 
  • And, of course, personal safety items are a must: life jacket, paddle float, cell phone, hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. 

With careful preparation and good technique you can achieve some terrific shots of some of our Chesapeake scenic beauty.

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See you out there shooting!
Chris and Laurie

#LearnPhotography #photoworkshop #Annapolis


Lauren Brice

Laurie grew up in the Annapolis area enjoying all that its rivers, woods, historic setting and strong community provide. After earning undergraduate and graduate degrees in Biology, she returned home to the banks of the Severn River. An early career as a biologist for The Johns Hopkins University soon transitioned to positions in the emerging field of Information Technology. Laurie designed and taught countless computer application courses and developed strong programming, data analysis and management skills. Through it all, Laurie captured her love of nature, landscape and animal portraiture - especially birds in photography. Her photographs are featured in Field Guide on Insects of the Cloud Forest, author Paul Beck, Illustrator Ryan Hobson; the Museum of Nature & Science in Dallas, TX; the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's website All About Birds; and the travel website Schmap.com. Her awards include Best in Show and several category prizes in the 2011 Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Friends of the 500th Annual Annual Competition; Honorable Mention in the Nature Conservancy's 5th Annual Photography contest and several exhibition awards from the Digital Photography Club of Annapolis.