How to Shoot a Surf Lineup

by Owen James Burke

Good surf photography has almost as much intrigue as surfing itself, and it’s not always all about the waves.

“To me, a lineup should breathe like a landscape photo,” says Surfer Magazine photographer Chris Burkard. The foreground and background should be compelling, and give a sense of the location and the surroundings.

Lineups are all about balance, Burkard says. Framing can be a good way to bring life to a photograph when there’s no good foreground or background. Shoot the edge of a building or tree foliage, and never “bull’s-eye” the wave in the middle of the frame.

Depth of field is also important in surf photography. In normal lighting, shooting at an aperture of F8 should make for the best focus.

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