Dec 25, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

It's Christmas morning in Utah (not Autumn!).  All I want is for Christmas is some Snow!  I've been good this year.  I promise.

This is my sweet little girl letting "daddy" take a couple of quick pictures just before heading to church in her new Sunday clothes.  Family is amazing and that's all I really want for Christmas; to spend time with them.  I hope you enjoy yours during this holiday season!


Kevin Winzeler Photography | Commercial Photographer

Dec 20, 2011

Self portrait

A self portrait from back in the day...
Peeling an orange, thinking hard :)

Kevin Winzeler | Sports + Lifestyle photographer

Dec 8, 2011

Published in Print: Editorial + Commercial Photography

Here are a few photographs that I'm finally either able to post or just getting some time to post.  Either way, it's always a pleasure to see both the editorial and commercial photography go to print.  A sincere thank you to athletes, models, crew and clients for making these shots happen!  Hit me below with any questions you have about behind the scenes or anything else that comes to mind!

Fuse Archery |  Catalog Cover 2011
Hoyt Archery | Opening Catalog Spread 2011
Hoyt Archery | Catalog Cover 2011
Location: Wasatch Mountains, Utah
Alpinist Magazine | Contents Page Opener
Athlete: Kara Bankhead
Location: Indian Creek, Utah
University of Phoenix | Cover / Inside story
About: Christoph Malzl
Client: Real Salt Lake

Client: Skiing Magazine
Location: Snowbird, Utah
Client: University of Utah | Salt Lake International Airport
Skiing Location: Solitude, Utah
Athlete: Jason West

Thanks for checking in...
Kevin Winzeler | Commercial Photographer

Nov 29, 2011

2012 Sports Photography Calendar - Trail Running Cover Shot Explained

Every year I receive numerous request about my photography calendars and despite the tremendous work that is involved, it's rewarding to see the finished product.  A huge thanks goes to the athletes included within and my wife for getting it to print!

So for those asking, go here to purchase: 2012 SPORT/ADVENTURE CALENDARS ON SALE NOW (just $10)

About "The Cover Shot": This years cover shot comes from a shoot for Mountain Hardwear/Montrail this past year in Lake Tahoe, CA featuring ultra trail runner extraordanare, Max King.  Max has way too many titles and accompanying list of victories to include here, but suffice it to say that he's wicked fast (sub 4:40 miles on pavement), ridiculously smooth (off-road) and one of the best athletes I've had the pleasure to work with on a photo shoot. 

We had a back-to-back days that were just plain brutal including working our way over several snow covered areas on the flume trail that were normally dry this time of year.  In all we ended up traversing about 6,000+ vertical feet on two consecutive days (First scouting and back to shoot the next day with gear, crew and athletes) to get to this location and meet our shoot objectives of environment long-range photography -- 'rave run' type stuff.

Initially, I had another shot picked out to shoot near this location (see below), which we had discussed in our pre-production days that would  provide an awesome environmental sport image.  But like any other location shoot, once I'd nailed what needed to happen according the the brief, I began exploring for additional compositions.  This was a  moment for me to push the creative direction and shot list just a bit further and capture something unexpected and engaging.  We explored the trail and found just up from our first location a piece of overhanging piece granite rock that was intriguing both compositionally and aestically.  I decided to rally the troops (who were well spent) and shoot this local also.    The set-up took about a half an hour as I employed a favorite rig I like to call the 'mini heli'; essentially a camera mounted boom pole that allows me to get an 'mini' aerial perspective of a location very quickly and with minimal gear.  This was the perfect location for the mini heli!

We rigged up the 5D Mark II (no grip) with a 15mm fisheye, and a 4x6 sunbounce reflector and started exploring the trail from this new perspective.  The late afternoon sun worked well to backlight the runner and we bounced a little fill into the front.   Thirty minutes later we had a few takes that were solid and we called the flume trail shot a wrap!

Check out more trail running photos from this shoot in a recent case study here: photography case study with Mountain Hardwear

(Another Trail Running Shot from the Flume Trail)

Nov 7, 2011

Hawaii Photography and Timelapse

I'm on vacation this week in Oahu, Hawaii and in theory "away from the camera" for a few days, but that's nearly impossible to do in practice.  While I am away from the commercial photography routine, I can't help but get out and shoot some beautiful scenic and landscape imagery while here.  Look for updates to this post with new photos and possibly some film or at least time lapse shots during the stay.  Points of interest to include The north shore beaches and surfing, Pali Lookout, Makapu'u beach and point, Waikiki, Diamond head, Honolulu, Pearl Harbor and more.  I'll also add that although Oahu is spectacular, I must say Maui, Kauai and the big Island are even more amazing.  If you are planning a trip, particularly a photography trip and choosing one island, go for Kauai!

For starters, here's a time lapse photography sequence from the Pali highway.

Nov 2, 2011

Longboarding Photography in Park City, Utah

A friend recently pulled out a prototype carbon fiber longboard he's been working on and I had to get it on the hill for some photography and video splendor.  There's much more to come on this emerging little company, but the board is unbelievably lightweight, ultra stiff and fast.  Check out some photos from our Park City, Utah adventure.  Some cinematography still to come!

Hit "Like" on the Facebook page for exclusive behind the scenes updates and giveaways.

-Kevin Winzeler
Utah based Sports and fitness photographer

Oct 17, 2011

Top 5 ways to stay in shape during Winter (Photography made the list!)

What is your favorite way to get that much needed exercise outdoors during the winter months? 

All too often I hear people grumbling about how much they "hate Winter, nothing to do, can't wait til Spring, are sick of shoveling, getting fat and lazy, have to put off the exercise routine and wish they lived somewhere else...."  Since Winter is right around the corner, let's chat.  First off, this blows my mind.  How can someone strongly dislike one of the greatest seasons of the year??  I'm bias of course, so after taking a step back and before shipping them out of my home State of Utah, I usually reply that "they just need to find something that is FUN, something they can enjoy".  I reassure them that it (fun) is out there to be had for everyone and will usually result in great way to stay fit!

So, let's hear it!  For those of you who stay active outside all winter, what do you do?  Ski? Snowshoe? Nordic ski? Snowboard? Ice hockey? Run?  Ice Fish?
(Fact: 100% of all ice fisherman consume more calories than they burn, so scratch that off the list)

My top 5 ways to stay active during Winter (outside):

From photographing winter sports and lifestyle imagery in the Wasatch mountains to the breathtaking scenics and landscapes of Bryce, Zion and Arches down south;  I don't have to stray far from home during the winter months in Utah to take pictures.  So how exactly does photography keep me in shape? Find something you love to do creatively and you'll be amazed at how motivated you are to climb, bike, hike and haul yourself to the best place to do it. The pure addiction of capturing beautiful imagery constantly keeps me exploring even when the days are short and temperatures cold.  My sports photography usually requires a combination of keeping up with elite athletes and hiking into pristine locations all while porting way too much gear on my back.  It's a full body workout to say the least!  But even when I head out for a relaxing landscape shoot, my mind is looking for subjects and colors, shapes and textures, light and compositions.  I'll be pushing a 160 heart rate for an hour and not even realize it because I'm sidetracked with my adventure to find the perfect image.  So find a creative outlet and you'll stay active and in shape as result.

At least once a week, I like to head to the hills on shoes and explore nature at a slightly slower pace.  This is your ultimate stair stepping machine for you gym folks; a great way to burn a huge number of calories and get a full body workout.

Kids love snow! Their enthusiasm for the white stuff will quickly spread as you bundle them up and roll around with them.  The heart gets pumping quickly when trying to keep up with my two kiddos romping around in the snow.  Sledding, Snow angels, Building igloos and Snowman; it's endless fun and activity.

Nothing else out there will keep the thighs toned during the Winter months all while keeping a grin on your face quite like a chest deep powder turn.  Get out to your local ski resort or into the backcountry for a truly refreshing and rewarding workout.  One of our local resorts here in Utah, Alta, has a 'Ski Free after 3' program every day on Sunnyside lift.  So don't let cost get in your way here.)

There's something purely magical about taking a walk while gigantic snow flakes gently fall all around you.  Just pull on your down puffy, hat, gloves and boots step out the front door and into a blanket of whiteness for a few miles.  Make sure to have the hot chocolate boiling and fireplace stoked for your return home.

Errr not. Shoveling my driveway did not make the top five list, but it is a solid full body workout, for those curious.  And my wife's favorite!

If you still can't find anything good to say about winter, then yes, pick up and move! :).  Okay, I guess you are free to jet to your second home in the tropics and work on your tan.  But rest assured, you. will. be. missing. out.

So, what is your favorite way to stay in shape during the Winter?  Comment below!

-Kevin Winzeler
Commercial Photographer in Sports, Active lifestyle and Outdoor work

-The right gear makes all the difference.  Most people avoid winter activities because they tried 'it' once and were too cold or uncomfortable.
-Be prepared.  Make sure you check the local snow and avalanche reports to avoid any areas of danger - Utah Avalanche Center and REI put on some excellent courses to help learn about the backcountry here locally.

About the pictures:
This photograph was taken in Park City, Utah during a commercial winter shoot for Columbia Sportswear.  For inquiries regarding licensing an image or hiring Kevin for an assignment, please send an email to "info (at) kevinwinzeler (dot) com" or call 801-319-8023.  You will be replied to immediately.  We look forward to working with you!

Oct 11, 2011

Autumn in Utah - Outdoor Photography and Video

Today, I took a much needed break from the commercial photography routine to enjoy some fresh Autumn air in my own backyard.  The fall foilage is in full swing along one my of favorite drives in Northern Utah and I was able to snag a couple of images during the morning outing.  My primary focus was on the details using a mix of 100mm macro with Kenko extension tubes (for > 1:1 magnification) and 70-200mm with 1.4TC for some tight 280mm frames.   During use of this set-up I was manually focusing toward the blue sky on a tight group of leaves and noticed that as I pulled focus back and forth the leaves took on an abstract shape almost like a group of birds taking flight!  Check it out - image #4 below (click on the image to enlarge). I love those subtle discoveries that come when we patiently work a location.

I'm excited to see a few of these printed large!  Speaking of...all images are indeed available as signed, fine art prints as well as available to license for commercial and stock purposes.  Get in on the goods!  You can also find more Autumn stock photography also in print.

I also shot motion and video clips of many of the still images, both slider and locked off shots (single 17 second clip to kick things off below).

-Kevin Winzeler

Tech details:
Motion Clips: Shot on 5DII supported by Sachtler Cine DSLR Tripod/Head and Kessler Slider.
Photography: Shot on 5DII supported by Gitzo sticks.


Oct 3, 2011

Photographing the Ocean and Water.

I love to photograph in and around water!  There's always a sense of movement, energy and activity that makes me feel alive and excited to pull out the camera and shoot.  Here's a few images that struck me as I was pulling some stuff together for a printed portfolio recently.  Most of these pictures were shot during two separate trips to the Hawaiian islands, both in Oahu, the Big island and Kauai.  Let's see some of your favorite water shots.

Sep 26, 2011

Another cover photo for Trail Runner Magazine!

The most recent issue of Trail Runner magazine is Live!  The cover photograph comes to you from our Mountain Hardwear/Montrail shoot this past Summer.  The picture was taken overlooking the majestic Lake Tahoe and surrounding area as we headed up toward the infamous Flume trail.  To get an elevated perspective we used a boomed Canon 5D Mark II camera (about 14' up) with a live feed to a monitor down below. Athlete and Olympic hopeful Max King was an endurance machine during our two day shoot.  Thanks for making it happen Max!

Aug 22, 2011

New Adobe Campus site in Black and White (Photography)

One of my current photography projects will span the next year or more as I document the construction of the new Adobe Systems site right here in my own backyard.  The plans are unreal and it should prove to be one of the most stunning buildings in Utah when finished.

Here is a series of black and white photographs from the early stages of the project including some 'aerial' perspectives atop their 200' crane:

-Kevin Winzeler
Commercial Photographer

Aug 15, 2011

Smugmug video with Kevin Winzeler

My website partner, Smugmug, recently dialed up this little promo video.  I jumped at the chance to participate as their Sports and Active Lifestyle Photographer of choice and to have featured a recent cycling shoot here in the Wasatch mountains of Utah. For nearly four years, I have been a customer of theirs and have recommended their Pro service to someone on almost a weekly basis.  Amazing work on this piece Anton lorimer and team!    (In full disclosure, there was no pay for this). 

Aug 10, 2011

Outdoor Photography Expo - Salt Lake City Wrapped!

Thank you to all who attended my seminar on Photography Story telling & Lighting at last weeks Outdoor Photography Expo in my hometown of Salt Lake City, Utah.  We had 95% of the audience stay after the session ended for an additional half hour.  It was awesome hanging out with such an enthusiastic group of photographers, so thank you for coming out!

A special thanks also to the folks at PDN for making this happen in Salt Lake City!  Great job.  Also, thank you to my assistants as well as our volunteer athlete, Chris for putting in a solid 45 minute work-out during our live demo!

For those that missed the event, but would be interested in hearing what was talked about, I may present again locally (Utah) if there's enough interest.  Hit "Like" on my facebook page and tell me if you're interested.

Kevin Winzeler
Sports and Active Lifestyle Photographer

Jul 27, 2011

Presenting @ 2011 PDN Outdoor Photo Expo! Topic: Story telling, Lighting and Adobe Lightroom

If you are even remotely interested in photography, adventure or the outdoors, then you best be in attendance at the first ever PDN Outdoor Photo Expo.  I received a call a few months back and was asked to present a 2 hour seminar on the topic of my choice.  I was game!  So, here are the details:

Lighting and Storytelling: Natural Light, Strobes & Adobe Lightroom [FA1]
Kevin Winzeler
Sponsored by Adobe
In this session, award-winning photographer Kevin Winzeler will take you behind the scenes and discuss lighting as a powerful story telling element. Light is the essence of photography and it will communicate radically different emotions and story lines based on it's use. By building your lighting knowledge and arsenal, you'll be better equipped to shoot the personal work that inspires you and deliver exceptional results to the clients that hire you. We'll discuss the nuances of lighting by utilizing both the natural light around you (reflecting, diffusing, shaping) as well as introducing artificial light (both small and large strobes) when necessary. Lastly, we'll discuss the use of Adobe Lightroom in your workflow to select and complete the perfect image. Bring your questions for a Q&A at the end. All levels.
Date: Friday, Aug. 5th from 8-10am.
Location: Hilton Salt Lake City Center
Register here:

Okay, here's what I need from you!   If you are coming or tuning in via the web or at all interested in storytelling, lighting or lightroom, then what do you want to learn about during my session??  Let's hear it!   Send me some questions here, on my FB page or tweet it.   I'll pull from here for my Q&A at the end as well.

I do promise you'll see some brand spankin' new work as well as a LIVE lighting demo (shhhh).  I'm stoked to share as much as possible within the two hour time limit.  Come enjoy!


Jul 14, 2011

Scouting near Interstate 15. Utah.

A few photographs from the evenings scouting trip.  The full-moon rise was unexpected and enjoyable; a wonderful evening to browse the local stomping ground.

Sports & Active Lifestyle Photographer

Jun 15, 2011

A Portfolio Review - Photographers

A couple of weeks back, I organized a portfolio review for a few photographers.  The goal was to get some critical feedback and improve our respective portfolios.  Work was done. Good times were had. Thanks for the feedback gents. Check out the 60 second time lapse footage below...along with some imagery at the end.

-Kevin Winzeler  

Jun 2, 2011

IS EXERCISE FUN? (Sports and Active lifestyle photography & Film)

Quick question for you today:  IS EXERCISE FUN?

I'm really curious what ya'll think, so please answer the following in the comments below:

Is Exercise fun?
1) Yes or No?
2) What you do for exercise and what have tried before?
3) Why is it or isn't it fun for you?

Let's hear it!

Kevin Winzeler
Sports, Active Lifestyle, Outdoor Photographer

May 24, 2011

Smile today. Celebrating active fitness and active lifestyles. Photography and Film

There's something contagious about smiles.  Even when your day is on the fritz and life's overwhelming, a smile can change the way we feel in an instant.  The beauty of the still photograph over any other medium, including film, is the ability to capture an authentic moment and lock it away in time.  Genuine smiles are fantastic moments in life.  We need more of them!  I mean, who can honestly look at someone full of smiles and not break out into a smile themselves? C'mon at least a smirk!?  Smiley people rock!

- Kevin Winzeler

May 11, 2011

Get OUTside of your comfort zone and try something new. Photographing in Zion National Park, Utah

When's the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone?  The feeling of fear that grips all of us the first time we step into unfamiliar territory is both terrifying and exhilarating, but the rewards are well worth it and it's amazing how much fun trying something new can be!

Last Fall, I photographed a group of business executives during an epic canyoneering trip in Zion National park, Utah.  In a short seven mile span, these corporate folks experienced (for the first time) the vacuum packed feeling of putting on a dry suit followed by a neck deep plunge into frigid 48 degree water.  Next came a series of seven rappels and slot canyon maneuvering (squeezing some not-so-slender bodies through some rather slender spaces).  

At the end of the day, these folks were all smiles and ready for more; having left the world and comfort of iphone checking and business transacting and into activity, the outdoors and the rush of a life changing experience.  Excellent stuff!

So, what are you going to do this week OUTside of your comfort zone? 

May 4, 2011

Tell good stories. Forget the gear.

At times we forget that it's the stories (not the gear) that inspire thought, provoke action and rekindle love.  Well told stories through both photograph and film open our eyes and hearts to the possibilities around.  New gear inspires us to spend money. :)

Thanks to DP and film maker Shane Hurlbut for this reminder - "Story is what matters most, not the tools.  When I read a script for the first, second and third time I do not think about my responsibilities as a filmmaker, they are always at the back of my mind but not the go to reflex. I love experimenting with new technology. It’s like being a pioneer such as Lewis and Clarke, navigating the uncharted waters, or being the first man on the moon. But this is only a means to an end. You are trying to tell a story with images that enable people from around the world to share in that experience."  More of Shane's post here

-Kevin Winzeler
Commercial Photographer and Film maker

Apr 11, 2011

Mauna Kea - The Big Island of Hawaii - Photography and Film

Hey folks - I'm on the road again this week heading to Boulder, Colorado for a trail running photo shoot, but had to get a little Hawaii footage up as a quick preview from last months trip. 

This footage was primarily shot near 14,000 feet atop the world famous Mauna Kea.   Yes, high elevation and snow both exist in Hawaii!  My primary purpose on the big island was to knock out a bunch of epic time lapse shots of Mauna Kea, telescopes, star trails, the Milky Way and more.  As luck would have it, I had five days planned for the shoot and was skunked the first four out of five days!  (All this on a mountain that boasts clear skies about 95% of the year)  Thick cloud layers continuously gathered and vog, snow, rain and sleet pounded the top of the mountain for the first four days.  I was a bit stressed to say the least.  On the final day and night, the skies cleared and I snagged the resulting footage.  For one nights work, I was pretty pleased with the results.

*As a little warning to those visiting and shooting Mauna Kea; when you blast up the mountain from Sea level to 14,000 ft. without taking the recommended time to acclamate at the visitor center, you will get altitude sickness!   Coming from Utah, where I regularly spend time at 10,000 feet +, I thought I would be the exception to the rule, but the big Mauna Kea threw her wrath my way with a massive headache, insane amount of nausia and barely enough strength to lift my camera bag into the rental car; seriously crazy stuff! I barely held it together as I composed two time lapse shots, started my intervalometer and rolled down the winding road back to 8,000 feet to recover and get some rest for the night. My cameras survived and so did I.

More Hawaii photography to come...this is just a test clip

-Kevin Winzeler

commercial photographer and film maker

Technical info:

Time lapse shots were taken on two 5D Mark II's with an intervalometer. File type: Raw
Lenses: 16-35mm f/2.8 @ f/2.8, 15mm Fisheye f/2.8 @ f/2.8
Support: Sachtler Cine DSLR Head and CF75 legs (shown above)
-Glidecam HD2000
-RRS - Plates and QR clamps
Packs: Clik Elite


-Adobe Lightroom 3 (Import and batch processing of all frames)
-Adobe After Effects CS5 (clip assembly and key frames at 16 bits and export to ProRes)
-Adobe Premiere CS5 (cut sequence together)

Apr 7, 2011

Today's Message - Make time for the most important stuff!

In the midst of creating that epic photograph, tweaking, your marketing plan, blogging, Facebook'ing, adventuring, directing, and whatever else you devote your 24/7 to, remember to make time for the most important things in life!  Last week's post about my good friend Daniel and his paralyzing accident was a stark reminder about what those important things consist of for me.   I'm grateful today for an amazing family, wife and kids, genuine friends, and the lens of faith that brings proper perspective and balance to it all.  

-Kevin Winzeler
Husband, Father, Friend, Photographer

Comic by xkcd

Mar 28, 2011

Need your help! Athlete and friend, Daniel Velasco seriously injured in Paragliding accident.

Hey folks,
I write today with a heavy heart and ask for your faith, prayers and financial support for a good friend!  Last week, I received an email that stopped me in my tracks and made all the things I had planned for the day completely insignificant.  My mind started spinning and I could barely focus on the photo shoot I was about to undertake.  I learned that an amazing athlete and good friend, Daniel Velasco, had suffered a severe spinal cord injury as a result of a paragliding accident and may not walk again.  We need to raise money as Daniel does not have medical insurance and has a long road to recovery.  Read more and donate here:

It was just over a year ago that I met one of the coolest guys I've come to know as I was recruiting athletes/models for a trail running shoot in Kauai, HI.  Daniels girlfriend had seen a local ad posted about the shoot and responded with a recommendation that I use Daniel.  The next day I was on the phone from Utah talking to a guy I hadn't met, but could tell he was going to be the perfect athlete to work with.  Not only that, but he offered this random haole photographer from Utah (me) a tour of all the best trail running locations once I arrived and anything else I needed while on his home island.  This guy was awesome, I thought to myself as I hung up the phone!  Upon arriving in Kauai and meeting up with Daniel the next morning I was amazed at how generous he was once again to a complete stranger; his smile and zest for life were contagious and I felt like I had know him all of my life, like two old friends back together to hang out for a week of awesome action and fun.  Our photo shoot carried out the next day and like many shoots required the 4:00am start time to shoot sunrise and a subsequent 12 hour day of shooting and non-stop running to follow.  My classic, "one more lap" was echoed throughout the day as we moved back and forth all over the Naapali coast trail probably putting in 12-15 miles of running.  He was unstoppable, never tired, had the form of a champion and the best attitude of any athlete I've ever worked with.  We created some killer images that day for my client and as a bonus Trail Runner Magazine put one of our shots on their Fall, 2010 Cover.  We were both stoked!  Shaka!  We've stayed in touch since the shoot even talking just the few days before his accident about how awesome it is to ride, run, surf and play outside.  In addition to his trail running prowess, Daniel is an awesome triathlete (one of Kauai's best), mountain biker and surfer.   He enjoys kite boarding and para gliding among other outdoor activities.  The guy's passion is contagious and he lives and breathes exercise, activity and the outdoors; which makes this accident even more devastating.

So, I'm writing to share a story that is close to me and to ask for your help!  Please help in any way you can.  Again, Daniel did not have insurance at the time of his accident and needs financial support!

1) Donate anything you can here.
2) Your prayers and faith will also be a tremendous blessing to Daniel as we have hope for a miraculous recovery!
3) Drop a quick email to offer encouragement here.
4) Share this link via Facebook, Twitter and other social networks.  Let's raise some money for Daniel!

DANIEL - We love you buddy!  Hang in there! If there's anyone that can get back on their feet, it's you!  Stay strong and keep smiling brightly.

Mar 22, 2011

Creating long exposures in mid-day sun. Photographing in Kauai (Tiffin IR ND Filters)

Location: Kauai, HI (Hanalei bay pier)

Photographing land and seascapes in Kauai is an epic experience and the Hanalei bay pier is just one location to check out when you visit.  On my recent trip to the islands, I was primarily shooting film and video for a commercial project I'm working on.  Of course, the beauty of filming on DSLR's (the primary tool for this project), is that there's always the opportunity to shoot a photograph without much of a set-up change.  Such was the case for this shot.

Let's talk shop for a minute - there are two things you might pick up on in this image:

1) There's direct sunlight hitting the pier.
2) The water is at a complete standstill.

The truth is that this image was taken on one of the best surf days of the year in Kauai.  There was a 20-30 foot swell that followed the disastrous Japan Tsunami all the way to the islands (fortunately doing little damage to the islands) and the tow-in surfers were out in spades getting in on the swell.  The large sets were breaking well outside of this frame, but there was a decent little break all the way to the beach.  

So how do we expose for long periods of time with that much light and create the effect of a sea of glass? ND filters to the rescue!  I pushed this exposure to 30 seconds and f/22 using one of my favorite tools, a 77mm Tiffin, 7-stop (2.1), IRND filter.  A 7 stop filter is an awesome tool for pushing your seascape photography into a different realm.  All of the sudden you can start experimenting with longer exposures at high noon on a bluebird day!  

For more info on the filters I use and why:
I hate to carry more gear than needed, especially when traveling, so I have one set of filters that I use for both Video and photography - Tiffin IR-ND series filters - 7 Filters total (1-7 stops).  I won't go anywhere without these babies.  This is the first filter specifically designed to shoot video on DSLR's and produce the best image (no IR contamination) bar none.  They rule for photographs in the same way.  Check Shane Hurlbut's Tiffin IR ND Filter test, for an industry leading opinion if you have any questions.  They're a bit spendy, but well worth it. 

Video Note:  [Why you need ND filters for filming:  As many of you do, I shoot a lot of film/video in addition to my photographic work and ND filters are one of the most important tools to create a shallow depth of field in brightly lit situations for film.  Shooting video on a DSLR (or any camera) means that your shutter speed is a constant (e.g. 1/50th of a second for 24p footage) and thus the only way to shoot at say f/2.8 or wider in bright light is to pull out the ND's.  You can't bump your shutter up to 1/5,000 of a second anymore.]

-Kevin Winzeler