by Sophie Corriveau

Taking Pictures While Paddleboarding

I started paddleboarding because I was hooked from the very beginning after the first time I stepped on a board. Being able to enjoy my summers in a different perspective was appealing to me so I made my first TAIGA BOARD purchase in the summer of 2015, and it definitely wasn’t my last. :)

I quickly realized that this sport is capable of taking me to many amazing, beautiful places that can only be accessed by board. Paddleboarding has led me to go out early mornings to catch sunrise or evenings to catch sunset when the water is perfectly calm and its surroundings are reflected on its surface. I can see turtles, loons, the morning mist and even the sun on the horizon. Each amazing moments to capture on my camera. I practice primarily on land, but I can take equally as great pictures while on my board too. 

Photo : Sophie Corriveau  

Initially, I carried my phone in a waterproof bag in case I needed it, but I eventually started to use my phone to take pictures of what was in front of me. At the time, I wasn’t the most skilled on my board, not to mention I was very clumsy, so naturally I had to purchase a waterproof case in case I were to drop my phone in the water. This allowed me to take pictures near or on the water, without fear of dropping my phone and having water damage. But you know, my phone didn’t allow me to be as creative as with my camera.  

Photo : Sophie Corriveau 

The following summer, as I became more comfortable on my board, I started to bring my camera along with me. Of course, I stored it in a waterproof bag because I couldn’t bare the thought of losing my camera in the water, somewhere in the depths of a lake. SEE YA! I would stress when I’d take my camera out of the bag, but I couldn’t help myself  because there were too many beautiful things for me to take pictures of! 

Photo : Sophie Corriveau 

Essentials when taking pictures while paddle boarding

If you’re an enthusiast like myself, a good camera and some basic equipment can make all the difference when wanting to take great pictures on your SUP. Without going into too much detail, here are the essentials: 

1. A camera or a cellphone with a good camera

You don’t need to have the latest camera, but one you can where you can switch out the lenses and work manually will offer greater flexibility in creativity. Otherwise, recent cellphones have great cameras that offer great quality too. 

 2. Lenses

Your choice of lense will vary greatly depending on the style you want to create. Personally, I always carry two lenses; my 18-35mm for shooting landscapes and my 70-200mm which allows me to reach far-off subjects.

If you use a cellphone, you can play around with your standard view, or switch to wide angle and zoom, depending on the phone you have. 

3. A waterproof bag and waterproof housing

A waterproof bag is a must-have! Especially when you’re on the water, it will help keep it dry when you’re not using it. As for a waterproof case, it will allow you to keep it dry while using it. Not to mention you’ll be able to use it under water for a different and often beautiful perspective! 

Photo : Sophie Corriveau 

TIPS

Unfortunately, there are risks that come with bringing your camera or cellphone on board with you, but here are some practical tips:

Your dry bag: your best friend while paddleboarding

Like I said, if you don’t have waterproof housing for your camera or your cellphone, it's best to at least have a dry bag while you’re not using them. You never know! Accidents happen so quickly and I guarantee that you don’t want to part ways with your gear like Rose did with Jack in the Titanic... I also suggest putting a towel or sweater in your dry bag as cushioning for your camera to protect the body and especially your lenses.

Minimize the risks 

Again, if you don’t have waterproof housing while handling your equipment, I advise that you sit on your board with your legs hanging on other side of the board with your legs in the water to help keep you stable. In any case, you can always remain on or close to the shore to take pictures too!

Photo : Sophie Corriveau 

Your camera’s enemies 

Mom’s advice: never put food, sunscreen, or drinks in the same waterproof bag as your camera and equipment. I’d also pay close attention to water droplets that could land on your sensor while changing out your lenses.

The best time to take your SUP pictures 

Early mornings or late afternoons are ideal for taking great SUP photography. The water is calm and the light is at it’s best! You’ll be able to see the reflection of the colours from either the sunrise or sunset, but also the reflection of the surrounding scenery. It’s beautiful!

Photo : Sophie Corriveau 

Have fun and be creative! 

Consider taking photos from different angles and get creative with it! Taking pictures from them shore vs on your board won’t give you the same result; test it out yourself! Get out there and have fun with it. 

Photo : Sophie Corriveau