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Photographing Ships on the Ocean

Updated on February 20, 2015
Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0
Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0 | Source

There are many photographic projects that are s subject specific or interest specific. If you shoot weddings for a living, do only images of fashion models, food photography or just shoot images of mainly one single subject then you are involved in a subject specific interest specific photographic genre. Why is this important or necessary to even label a style?

Because people who concentrate openly on mainly one subject tend to do good with sales when their topic is needed and not so good when it is not. Mainly a subject specific or interest specific subject shoot is geared towards attracting a specific segment of the public which in turn are the ones who end up buying products featuring this interest.

A ship upon the ocean is one such genre. Your goal is to capture images of ships in the ocean; small ships, large ships, cruise ships, fishing ships, tankers, war ships and so on. You should not just randomly capture images of ships but should instead aim to capture images which are telling of what it is to sail or live on one of these ships; what life is like on the sea as it were.

If this is not possible, then at least aim to capture an image that clearly shows the viewer the purpose of such vessel;fishing,cargo and so on. Make sure to include the surrounding environment if it adds to the image and can help substantiate the ship's purpose.

"Since the end of the age of sail a ship has been any large buoyant marine vessel. Ships are generally distinguished from boats based on size and cargo or passenger capacity. Ships are used on lakes, seas, and rivers for a variety of activities, such as the transport of people or goods, fishing,entertainment, public safety, and warfare. Historically, a "ship" was a vessel with sails rigged in a specific manner." Wikipedia

You should of course be where your subjects are and this means being on the sea capturing these images. Many of your images may be made while ships are in port and leaving the port.

Many of your images will reflect on the changes that the sea and the elements bring upon these majestic sea borne giants and these images should also document how these changes affect the way they look.

You will need a good zoom lens capable of bringing these ships close as well of allowing you to also show them in their entirety. You should also be prepared to capture images n less than ideal conditions during rough seas as they ride the seas and how they are able to keep afloat and traverse the deep and treacherousness of the oceans.

Aim to portray ships of many sizes and of many uses. A good technique would be to capture images of the ship while is moored at port and then while it starts on its journey.

One of the best way to capture sea traveling ships would be to follow them on a smaller ship and capture images while they are still close to shore but take your shots with a sea facing angle.

Another good method is to hire the services of a helicopter and approach them at sea. This can be expensive with a normal hour long photographic trip costing around $245.00 more or less depending where your subjects are located.

Keep in mind that a lot of sea traveling vehicles tend to look the same and many are painted in similar colors. Look for subjects that distinguish themselves because they are different in design and in coloration.

Of special interest are any of the many ships used for fishing duties. Since these are mostly smaller than their more larger counterparts and are usually single owner specimens they tend to be more vividly decorated and carry distinct names. Do make an effort to also include some of the manes, especially those that are unusual.

CC BY 2.0
CC BY 2.0 | Source

© 2012 Luis E Gonzalez


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    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 5 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Richard Murray: Thanks. The first one is mine.

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      Richard-Murray 5 years ago

      the last is my favorite

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 5 years ago from Miami, Florida

      teaches12345: Thank you

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      We see some really big boats living so near the ocean. I may have to try taking some photos. Your advice gives me a little confidence to try it. Thanks.

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 5 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Lynn: Thanks. I love ships too...they make me

    • profile image

      Lynn S. Murphy 5 years ago

      oooooo very cool. I love shrimp boats. They make me swoon. And tugs.