Mastering the Waves: George Eleter's Insights on Surfing Photography

George Eleter, renowned for his exceptional captures of extreme sports, holds a special place in his heart for surfing photography.

George Eleter

3/21/20242 min read

man holding surfboard walking near seashore
man holding surfboard walking near seashore

With his unique blend of passion and expertise, George has immortalized the raw beauty and intensity of surfing through his lens. Here, he shares invaluable insights into the world of surfing photography, discussing the challenges, rewards, equipment, and techniques that define this vibrant field.

Navigating the Challenges with George Eleter

Unpredictable Ocean Conditions: "The sea is unpredictable," George begins. "You're dealing with changing tides, waves, and lighting conditions. Adaptability and patience are your best allies."

Capturing the Perfect Moment: Timing is everything in surfing photography. "You have to anticipate the surfer's movements and the wave's behavior. It's about capturing that perfect harmony," George explains.

Water and Salt Damage: "Protecting your equipment from saltwater is crucial," George advises. "Corrosion from salt can wreak havoc on your gear."

The Rewards Through George's Lens

The Power of the Ocean: "There's nothing like capturing the power and beauty of the ocean," George reflects. "Each wave and ride is unique, offering endless opportunities for breathtaking shots."

Surfer's Spirit: "Surfing photography lets you capture the essence of the surfer's spirit — their courage, determination, and harmony with the sea."

Community Connection: "The surfing community is incredibly welcoming. Earning their trust and respect opens up a world of opportunities for authentic storytelling," says George.

George Eleter's Equipment Essentials

Camera: "A weather-sealed DSLR or mirrorless camera is essential for withstanding the harsh seaside environment."

Lenses: "I use a range of lenses, but a telephoto lens (like a 70-200mm) is indispensable for capturing surfers from the shore."

Water Housings: "Invest in a good quality water housing for your camera if you plan to shoot from the water. It's a game-changer."

Accessories: "Polarizing filters can help manage reflections and enhance the colors of the sea and sky."

Techniques from the Surf

Fast Shutter Speed: "To freeze the action, use a fast shutter speed. It helps capture the droplets and the dynamic movement of the surf," advises George.

Aperture and ISO: "A wide aperture is great for focusing on the surfer, while a higher ISO can compensate for early morning or late afternoon light."

Positioning: "Experiment with angles. Shooting from the water gives you a unique perspective, but don't underestimate the power of shots taken from the shore or a jetty."

Understanding Surfing: "Knowing surfing, the types of waves, and how surfers interact with them can significantly improve your photography. It's about predicting the moment before it happens," George highlights.

FAQs with George Eleter

How to Deal with Water Spots on the Lens? "Keep a microfiber cloth handy. Water spots can ruin an otherwise perfect shot, so wipe your lens frequently."

Best Time of Day to Shoot? "Early morning and late afternoon offer the best light for surfing photography. The low angle of the sun creates beautiful textures and contrasts," George suggests.

How to Keep Gear Safe in the Water? "Always use a strap for your camera, even when it's in a housing. And never underestimate the ocean's power; keep a safe distance from the waves when shooting from the shore."

Improving Surf Photography Skills? "Spend as much time as you can at the beach. Watch surfers, understand the waves, and practice. Like surfing itself, photography is an art that requires patience and dedication," George concludes.

Through George Eleter's guidance, surfing photography emerges as a deeply rewarding pursuit that combines technical skill with an intimate understanding of the ocean and those who dare to ride its waves. His insights not only shed light on the practical aspects of this challenging art form but also capture the profound connection between photographers, surfers, and the majestic sea.

Please find out more in our Extreme Photography Blog Articles by George Eleter