To find the best place to photograph the ocean, you must first decide what type of picture you want to take. Photographs tell the story of a place; the position, content and lighting of a photo affect the story you want to tell.
First, decide whether you want any objects in your picture. If you choose to include people enjoying a swim in the ocean, you may want to visit a beach on a busy summer day. Children playing in the water can convey feelings of joy, innocence or nostalgia. A photo of boats resting on a calm sea tells a very different story than a picture of a boat tossing in a wild ocean storm.
Wildlife such as gulls, sea turtles or whales add interest to an ocean picture. It may be easier to capture images of these creatures from the deck of a boat rather than from shore. Rocks and trees influence the mood of a photo; stand behind an object at sunset to capture interesting silhouettes in an ocean view. Photos that include perspectives of the shoreline convey depth and elegance.
Some famous sites around the world for ocean photography include Motif Number One in Rockport, Massachusetts, the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia, the Great Blue Hole off the coast of Beliz and the sea cliffs off Kalaupapa in Hawaii. Norway and Iceland boast memorable views from their fjords, which provide a dramatic foreground to the ocean. Photographers who enjoy oceans and deserts find both in the remote Western Sahara, where the Coast Road winds between land and sea.