The Sea Cadets guide to photography

From finding your focus to planning ahead, improve your photos with these simple tips from Sea Cadets photographer Nathaniel Rosa

Know what you want to achieve

What do you want to achieve? Start there and think backwards. Look at the live picture on your phone as if it’s the final image. Often, we only focus on the subject and get tunnel vision, ignoring what’s in the background.

A young cadet saints into the sun from the deck of a boat

Capture a moment

If you want to capture action, you can always ask people to do something again if you missed it. Or, if you saw something cool and wished you had taken a picture, don’t be afraid to ask.

a cadet mid-air as she jumps into the sea from the dock

Frame your image

Make use of the foreground to give a point of context – or to hide something. If you’re taking a picture of a fellow cadet sailing, can you get a picture of them sailing in between two boats which are closer, to add some visual interest and depth?

Have a focus

What do you want include? Or take out? Make those changes: this often means moving backwards or forwards to get more or less in the picture, moving something that is distracting out of the way, or asking someone to move in front of something you don’t want to include. Then take your shot.

Plan ahead

If you know something is going to happen, get yourself ready long before it happens. Decide where in your frame you want the action to take place. If it’s somebody jumping past, do you want them to be in a specific place? Get ready for it, wait for the exact moment you envisaged, and snap!

Think outside the box

Try different things: interesting angles (aiming down or up, and higher or lower than the subject), using a reflection, or shooting into the sun to create a silhouette. Ask your subject to look into the distance, not at the camera. 

Submit your photos for the Peregrine Trophy!

The Peregrine Trophy 2022 is now open for submissions. Whether you’re a cadet or a volunteer, you can submit your photos for the Royal Navy’s prestigious photographic competition.

Photos: Nathaniel Rosa

More Advice

JUNIOR SUMMER CAMP 2022 (NAT06982) (1)

Volunteer spotlight: Safeguarding

Head of Safeguarding & Young People Support, Jane Sales, explains how our policies help to keep everyone safe at Sea Cadets

grob in flight 2 - LC Akash

Course spotlight: Aviation

The Cadet Naval Aviation Team has the unique task of delivering courses to train the next generation of naval aviators


Careers: How to become an astronaut

As a Petty Officer Cadet at Brighton Unit, Rosemary Coogan fostered the confidence and sense of adventure that is now sending her career into the stratosphere