You want the shot, but you’re concerned about the possibility of a flipped kayak, spilled gear, and your thousand dollar DSLR knocking against rocks as it sends its first (and last) class V rapid. Water photography can be intimidating, but it’s possible to bring the right gear in order to capture the right shot.
Kayak Photography Tips
Depending on your skill level, investing in a mirrorless DSLR camera may not be the smartest move for your maiden voyage to Iceland. In today’s day and age it’s easier than ever to drop a few hundred bucks on a GoPro, or better yet, the newest 360-degree camera, Rylo. With miniature cameras like these, it’s easy to mount on your kayak, SUP, or raft.
Canon, Nikon, and Olympus also make waterproof point-and-shoot cameras. Generally less expensive than a GoPro ($399) or Rylo ($499), these cameras clock in between $150 and $300. Many are shatterproof as well, so if you lose your grip traversing slippery rocks near shore, your camera should make it out alive.
If your camera isn’t waterproof, there are a few options for waterproofing cases like the DiCAPac Waterproof case, which allows operation of all necessary functions while in the casing. Another important accessory to think about is additional flotation in case your camera accidentally gets knocked into the water. These generally attach by a small loop of cord to an eyelet on your camera, and can be a lifesaver.
If you’re thinking about lugging your expensive gear onto the water, make sure you’ve picked a noteworthy destination! Like a three day excursion through the remote jungles of Thailand, or a three week expedition through the San Juan Islands.
Traveling through water with a DSLR and multiple lenses probably means you aren’t using all your gear at all times. Hauling gear in a drybag is essential while kayaking, and it’s no different whether you’re packing clothes or cameras. The only issue could be space, but if it’s worth it, take a few less t-shirts and make room for your wide angle and macro lenses.