VIDEO: Making A Splash—How To Shoot At High Speed With Long Focal Lengths

Making A Splash: Working At High Speeds
Varina Patel discusses how to get the camera set up for some intense high-speed shooting above some dramatic wave action.

Making a Splash

By Varina and Jay Patel

In January, Jay and I traveled to Australia to spend 12 incredible days working in one of the most beautiful places on earth. We photographed scalloped beaches, turquoise waters, and rippling dunes … and we recorded more than 36 workshop-style video lessons for our recently released Ultimate Landscape Photography Course.

One of the topics we focus on in the course is what to do when the light isn’t “perfect.” We’ve all been taught that we should shoot when the light is “right”—during the golden hours when the sun is low in the sky. Sunrise and sunset, and the golden hours do provide wonderful conditions … but photographers who shoot only during those hours are missing out on some pretty cool opportunities. Jay and I share some of our favorite techniques for shooting in tough lighting conditions in our landscape photography course—from harsh sunlight to overcast skies.

This video is one that we shot on a heavily overcast day, when the sky wasn’t very pretty for wide-angle photography. Our film guys— Johny Spencer and Brent Mail—followed us out onto the cliffs, where we photographed the waves crashing against the rocks. Nature photography isn’t just wide-angle lenses, rainbows and sunbeams. Sometimes, you have to pull out a lens you don’t use very often and get creative with the light and the location you have to work with.

Take a moment to watch and listen as I explain my thought process and the settings I chose while working high on the rocks above Fisherman’s Bay.

Ultimate Landscape Photography Course
Ultimate Landscape Photography Course With Varina & Jay Patel

The Ultimate Landscape Photography Course:

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About Varina and Jay Patel:

Varina and Jay Patel are award-winning wilderness and nature photographers, prolific writers, and highly-regarded photography instructors. They have collaborated to produce a collection of eBooks and video courses on a wide range of topics, and their Visual Wilderness subscription site offers a dynamic online learning environment for photographers. Varina and Jay travel frequently - shooting, teaching, and speaking around the world. Their photos and articles have been published in National Geographic Calendars, National Parks Magazine, Popular Photography, Photoshop User, Lightroom Magazine, and more.


    Hi, – Thanks for your time and articles. – I am new to your site, and wanted to view the included video about ‘ Making A Splash???How To Shoot At High Speed With Long Focal Lengths’ but the video won’t stop ‘Circling’ and is un-viewable at the moment.

    I will return in a while to see if anything has changed.

    Thanks again, Patrick Shane

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