Kayak photography has some inherent dangers, not only to sensitive photographic equipment, but also to life and limb. The rewards however can be great, and so this blog aims to educate both the novice and the experienced so that they will be able to capture captivating images with a minimum of risk.
The author of this blog, Galen Leeds, has worked as a kayak instructor and tour guide. He has also logged many thousands of hours on the water, perfecting his technique.
Galen has been photographing professionally for over half a decade, providing nature images and portraits to magazines, newspapers, natural history museums, and to National Parks.
Here are some of the articles on how to get the most out of your kayak photography experience, while keeping you and your camera safe-
Kayak photography: how to protect your digital SLR
Simple tips for kayaking with your camera
Kayak Wildlife photography tips
Kayak photography video (get an idea of why you should kayak with your camera, and see some of the tips in action)
Camera settings while kayaking
What to bring in your kayak for photographing
What to look for in a kayak for photography
Does the kayak choose the camera or does the camera choose the kayak?
What to do with your paddle when taking a photograph
Underwater housings and cameras for kayak photography
Six tips on hold yourself and your camera steady when kayaking
I am having a really hard time trying to decide between a sit in and a sit on Kayak for photographing. I have two desires. One is to photograph with tripod on calm rivers. The other is to be able to get on the shore and use my medium format camera & tripod for bw zone system photography. I am trying to capture some of the scenery and wildlife on a couple of rivers in Lake County IL. I was trying the wooded areas and developed a serious case of poison ivy. My delimena is picking and inexpensive kayak. I can get a 10′ pelican sit in for $329 or a used Pelican castaway sit on for $350. I am an experienced photographer, have a lot of motor boating, handle a canoe well (too heavy and noisy), but not experienced with a kayak. I would value your input because I really appreciated the advice on your web site. Just a short sentence will do.Thanks.
Kayaks are not (in my opinion) ideal platforms for tripods, since any little tilting movement is transferred up the tripod and multiplied. However, if you are willing to give it a try, I recommend the sit on top, as they are generally a little wider (and therefore a little more stable), but also because they are much easier to get in and out of with your equipment. If you will be getting on and off the kayak a lot to take pictures, the sit on top will greatly simplify things.