The Best Photography Projects to Try While Sailing
The Best Photography Projects to Try While Sailing

Capture stunning memories of your sailing adventure with these essential photography tips and project ideas, allowing you to document your journey and share it with others.

The Best Photography Projects to Try While Sailing

Sailing the open seas with your family is an adventure like no other. The freedom, the excitement, and the quality time spent together create memories that will last a lifetime. One of the best ways to capture these moments and share your experiences with others is through photography. In this article, we will explore some of the best photography projects you can try while sailing, ensuring that you make the most of your time at sea and create a stunning visual record of your journey.

Table of Contents

Introduction to Photography at Sea

Photography at sea presents unique challenges and opportunities. The constantly changing light, the movement of the boat, and the unpredictability of the weather can make capturing the perfect shot a thrilling experience. However, with a little practice and the right equipment, you can create stunning images that showcase the beauty of your surroundings and the spirit of your adventure.

Essential Photography Gear for Sailing

Before we dive into the photography projects, let’s discuss the essential gear you’ll need to bring along on your sailing adventure. While you don’t need to invest in the most expensive equipment, having the right tools will make a significant difference in the quality of your photos.

  1. Camera: A DSLR or mirrorless camera with interchangeable lenses is ideal for capturing high-quality images at sea. Look for a camera with good low-light performance, as you’ll often be shooting in challenging lighting conditions.

  2. Lenses: A variety of lenses will allow you to capture different types of shots. A wide-angle lens is perfect for capturing sweeping landscapes and dramatic skies, while a telephoto lens will help you get up close and personal with wildlife.

  3. Tripod: A sturdy tripod is essential for capturing sharp images, especially in low-light conditions or when using a telephoto lens. Look for a tripod that is lightweight and easy to set up, as you’ll need to move quickly to capture the perfect shot.

  4. Waterproof Camera Bag: Protect your gear from the elements with a waterproof camera bag. Look for a bag with padded compartments to keep your equipment safe and organized.

  5. Extra Batteries and Memory Cards: Always have spare batteries and memory cards on hand, as you never know when you’ll come across the perfect photo opportunity.

Photography Project Ideas

Now that you have your gear sorted, it’s time to explore some photography project ideas that you can try while sailing. These projects will not only help you improve your photography skills but also provide you with a unique and personal record of your journey.

1. Documenting Your Journey

One of the most rewarding photography projects you can undertake while sailing is to document your journey. This can include capturing the daily routines of life on board, the changing weather conditions, and the various ports and destinations you visit along the way.

To make this project more interesting, try to capture a mix of wide-angle shots that show the context of your surroundings and close-up details that reveal the textures and patterns of life at sea. You can also experiment with different perspectives, such as shooting from the deck, the mast, or even underwater.

2. Capturing the Beauty of the Ocean

The ocean is a vast and ever-changing canvas, offering endless opportunities for stunning landscape photography. From the dramatic colors of sunrise and sunset to the moody atmosphere of a stormy sea, there is always something new and exciting to capture.

To make the most of these opportunities, practice shooting in different lighting conditions and learn how to use your camera’s settings to control exposure and depth of field. You can also experiment with long exposure photography to create dreamy, ethereal images of the ocean’s movement.

3. Wildlife Photography

The ocean is teeming with life, and sailing provides a unique opportunity to observe and photograph a wide variety of marine wildlife. From playful dolphins and majestic whales to graceful seabirds and colorful fish, there is no shortage of subjects to capture.

To improve your chances of capturing great wildlife shots, invest in a telephoto lens and practice your tracking and focusing skills. You’ll also need to be patient and observant, as wildlife can be unpredictable and elusive.

4. Portraits of Your Crew

Your sailing adventure is as much about the people you share it with as it is about the places you visit. Capturing portraits of your crew is a great way to document the personalities and relationships that make your journey unique.

To create compelling portraits, focus on capturing genuine expressions and emotions. This can be achieved by engaging with your subjects and making them feel comfortable in front of the camera. You can also experiment with different lighting conditions and backgrounds to create a variety of moods and styles.

5. Night Sky Photography

One of the most awe-inspiring aspects of sailing is the opportunity to witness the beauty of the night sky, far away from the light pollution of cities and towns. Capturing the stars, the Milky Way, and even the occasional meteor shower can be a challenging but rewarding photography project.

To capture the night sky, you’ll need a sturdy tripod, a wide-angle lens, and a camera with good low-light performance. You’ll also need to learn how to use your camera’s manual settings to control exposure, focus, and white balance. Experiment with different shutter speeds, apertures, and ISO settings to find the perfect balance between capturing the stars and minimizing noise.

6. Underwater Photography

If you’re keen to explore the world beneath the waves, underwater photography is a fantastic project to try while sailing. From colorful coral reefs to mysterious shipwrecks, there is a whole new world waiting to be discovered and documented.

To get started with underwater photography, you’ll need a waterproof camera or a waterproof housing for your existing camera. You’ll also need to learn how to control your buoyancy and position yourself for the best shots. Practice shooting in different lighting conditions and experiment with different angles and compositions to create striking underwater images.

7. Time-Lapse Photography

Time-lapse photography is a technique that involves taking a series of images at regular intervals and then combining them into a video to show the passage of time. This can be a fascinating way to document your sailing journey, as it allows you to capture the subtle changes in light, weather, and scenery that occur over hours, days, or even weeks.

To create a time-lapse, you’ll need a tripod, an intervalometer (either built into your camera or as an external accessory), and a large memory card. You’ll also need to plan your shots carefully, taking into account the movement of the boat and the changing conditions. Experiment with different intervals and durations to create a variety of time-lapse effects.

Tips for Improving Your Photography Skills

To make the most of your photography projects while sailing, it’s essential to continually work on improving your skills. Here are some tips to help you take your photography to the next level:

  1. Learn Your Camera: Spend time getting to know your camera’s settings and features, so you can quickly and confidently adjust them to suit different shooting conditions.

  2. Practice, Practice, Practice: The more you shoot, the better you’ll become. Take every opportunity to practice your photography skills, both on and off the boat.

  3. Study the Work of Others: Look at the work of other photographers, both in the sailing community and beyond, to gain inspiration and learn new techniques.

  4. Seek Feedback: Share your work with others and ask for constructive feedback to help you identify areas for improvement.

  5. Experiment: Don’t be afraid to try new techniques, styles, and subjects. The more you push yourself creatively, the more you’ll grow as a photographer.


Photography is a fantastic way to document your sailing adventures and share your experiences with others. By trying out different photography projects and continually working on improving your skills, you’ll not only create a stunning visual record of your journey but also develop a deeper appreciation for the beauty and wonder of the world around you. So grab your camera, set sail, and start capturing the magic of life at sea.