Learn the techniques and tips on how to capture a beautiful sunset in the water and the tricks used to capture this shot by Luke Mackenzie, @lukemackenzie on viewbug.

Coolangatta Sunset by lukemackenzie

Location

This photo was taken in Coolangatta on the Gold Coast in Australia.

Time

I went down to the water about an hour before sunset. Waiting for the sun to hit the sweet spot, this photo was taken just after 5pm as the sun was hitting the horizon.

Lighting

As I was shooting from the water there is not much I can really do about the lighting, Natural lighting is the only thing to go by. On this day the sunset was providing some amazing colors and lighting.

Equipment

This was shot on a Canon 600D with a Canon EF 24mm f/2.8, using SPLWaterhousing to keep my equipment dry.

Feedback

Start out with a GoPro to get the feel for it, find out the timing of the waves. Once you start nailing some shots upgrade to a DSLR Housing and learn to swim with 1 arm. Make sure you're a strong swimmer, know the tides and the swell, don't go in if you don't feel confident. You will drown! Go in on any day even if the conditions aren't favorable, this shot was taken on a stormy day the swell was horrible but I went out anyway and managed to capture this. So even on the bad days, you can still capture great images. You're not going to get a good photo sitting at home on the couch.

Sunrise by lukemackenzie

Inspiration

I love taking photos of the ocean as no photo you take will ever be the same, the way waves move and change shape will differ with every shot. Also shooting at sunrise and sunset adds to the shots a uniqueness as the color of the sun and sky will often reflect into the water.

Editing

I just used Lightroom 4 to lighten up some of the shadows.

Drips by lukemackenzie

In my camera bag

I now use a Canon 7D MK II with the following lenses: 10-20mm, 24mm, 50mm, 18-55mm, 70-300mm. I tend to favor the 24mm for my wave shots but sometimes use the 50mm as well. If I'm shooting from shore I'll pull out the 70-300mm. I've also started using my 10-20mm for landscapes. Also, have a trusty GoPro 4 in my camera bag they're great for most things. Along with a tripod some ND Filters and Gradual ND filters.