What are the best settings for water sports photos?

If you are interested in sports photography and are looking for accessible subjects to make great pictures, water sports are perfect for you.

Whether you live on the coast or inland, there’s bound to be a water sports center nearby where you can put your skills and equipment to the test. Don’t forget to ask permission to take pictures and find out about upcoming events where you can practice. Consider donating some photos to the club if you can. It’s a small gesture that always makes you happy.

Windsurfing, wakeboarding, water-skiing, kitesurfing, jet-skiing, white-water kayaking, surfing, sailing, motorboating… Whatever your preference, all water sports have one thing in common: Water. A good staging of the water is often decisive for a successful water sports photo. The best water sports photos are usually taken at high shutter speeds, to freeze the water drops and make them look like ice sculptures. Maintain a shutter speed of at least 1/1000 s to freeze the water.

Shots taken over water are often very bright, with the light being reflected off the surface. This allows you to maintain a high shutter speed while using a low ISO value.

Look for areas of the course that competitors prefer to turn or jump. These two actions project water droplets onto the surface and give the viewer indications of the direction, speed and nature of the movement – a way of bringing the image to life.