Spotlight On: Mark Dobson – Seascape and Wave Photography

How did you get your start in photography?


My passion for photography was truly sparked while I was travelling across South East Asia. I felt like the experience needed to be documented visually, so I purchased a camera to capture all the special moments. I find immersing myself in the great outdoors tin all the elements very appealing and that’s something that continues to drive my photography right up to the present day.


What type of photography are you shooting and what motivated you to focus on that genre?


I find the ocean fascinating, and shooting coastal scenes is a personal preference of mine. The many different moods of the ocean, from the calm and serene, to the dramatic and powerful – the coast always delivers.


What has been your biggest achievement or obstacle along the way?


Without a doubt, the biggest challenge in my photography career is sea-spray. If you’re not careful sea-spray will ruin an image, – oh, and camera gear!



Who and/or what inspires you most?


Most of my inspiration comes from the ocean, especially when the Atlantic weather systems produce powerful storms. The thrill and excitement far outweigh the prospect of heading out and battling against the elements. No two waves are the same, so with each wave being totally unique, the possibilities are endless, and this is particularly attractive from a photographic point of view.


What is your approach? Is there anything, in particular, you try to achieve during a shoot (for example triggering certain feelings, etc.) or are there any specific techniques you use?


I often have an image in mind before heading out for a shoot, so it becomes a matter of incorporating my vision into reality. I can often achieve this by using creative camera techniques, like experimenting with the shutter speed. Capturing the perfect wave motion that works well within the image is always at the top of the list. Everything else is then based around that. Getting the correct perspective of the wave is also very important and can make or break the shot. The most useful advice for photographing waves is to spend more time watching them rather than actually taking pictures of them. Learn how waves interact, and the patterns they create. Then it will be more rewarding when you’re finally ready to click the shutter.


Why is accurate color important within your workflow?


The fundamentals of correct color balance are essential for photography, giving the image the impact and color necessary for the final print. Colors are so important, and having your system fully calibrated gives you the optimal reference point and peace of mind knowing the final output is going to be correct.



Any tips or advice for photographers just beginning their career?


The market is saturated with fantastic images, so distinguishing yourself can be challenging. But finding your own particular style is not something that can be forced – it will come naturally with practice and experience, and fall into place before you know it. If there’s a photographer’s work that inspires you, take the time to study their images to understand what resonates with you about their pictures. Finding your own particular style will give you the extra edge in a highly competitive industry.


Mark Dobson is calibrating his monitor with a SpyderX Elite


About the Author – Mark Dobson


Based in the far south-west of Cornwall (UK)


Photography is a full-time passion and career. My professional career started in February 2018 and so far my images of the ocean have been widely published in national photography magazines, exhibited in a London gallery, and awarded in a national competition (Coastal View Winner 2019 - Shipwrecked Mariners Ultimate Sea View Awards)


You'll always find me close to the sea and I organize and lead photography workshops around the coast of Cornwall here in the UK, and further afield in different parts of the world. At present, I'm currently working with other UK seascape photographers and expanding the photography workshops.


Photography Type: Seascape and Wave Photography


Articles from Mark Dobson