Plan Your Shoot

The best King Tide photos are taken during the highest tide, with a familiar landmark in the background and with a photo of low tide for comparison.

When to go?

The best time to take photos is at the peak of the tide when the water level is at its highest. This season, we have a few distinct opportunities, depending on your location.  Washington Sea Grant lists many times for specific Puget Sound, Strait of Juan de Fuca and Pacific Coast locations. If you want to find the King Tides in a more specific location, please visit NOAA’s Tide Charts or send an email to bemmett@uw.edu.

What shots to take?

Capture photos of local coastal areas that are subject to flooding or erosion. Take images where the impact of the tide can be gauged against familiar landmarks like buildings, jetties, bridges, roads, sea walls, shorelines, beach infrastructure or estuary shorelines.

The most useful pictures come in sets, with contrasting shots of peak high and peak low tide.  This helps show the tidal variability.  Time-lapse photography can also be quite striking.

What information to collect?

Remember to take note of the time, date, locationand orientation of your photos so that you can include this information when you share them. If your phone or camera has geolocation service, turn it on so that you can record the exact longitude and latitude of your shot as well.

Be safe

Use good judgement when you are taking your photos. Stay away from dangerous situations particularly in stormy conditions and avoid taking unnecessary risks.