You will have noticed that I haven't posted in a while. I've had a busy few weeks organising my son's wedding and hosting guests from abroad - so no spare time for fun photography, or blogging, etc. But I'm back now, and yes - the wedding was a great success and the sun shone from a brilliant blue sky right up until they left for their honeymoon (thanks for asking).
So, what to post? Well, while I was acting as host and tour guide to the best man, who had travelled over here from the UK, we visited the Motor Show in Sydney, went surfing, went to the wedding (obviously), and then the whole party went on a jetboat tour around Sydney Harbour the day after the wedding (it was pretty miserable weather, but they were going to get drenched in seawater anyway...)
I've already posted the best of my Motor Show shots on flickr and some on DPS, so I'm not going to repeat them here (just follow the links from the sidebar if you want to see them), and I'm not sure I should post the wedding shots, so that leaves... surfing :D (at this point, the chorus of the Beach Boys "Surfin' USA..." should start playing in the back of your head - and now that I've suggested it - it's going to plague you for the rest of the day...)
So - some things to consider for surfing pictures...
- It is inevitably going to be windy, with sand and/or salt spray blowing around. You don't want this inside your camera, so go with the correct lens already in place - or go back to the car if you need to change lens at all. Probably also a good idea to have additional protection such as a UV filter on the lens, and a plastic bag around the bulk of the camera - especially if there is a lot of salt spray around, and some sunblock for yourself (but DON'T keep it in the camera bag... you just KNOW the tube will split, or the top come off, and cameras don't really need or like sunblock)
- If you are taking pictures from the shore, the action will be far away - you'll need a longish lens or lots of extra megapixels to allow you to crop later without losing resolution. My 200mm could've done with another 100-200mm to get me closer in, since my camera has a (normally quite adequate) sensor of 10MP only.
- If you are out on the water either in a boat or on a board yourself, then a waterproof camera or casing is probably advisable ;-)
- Some locations may offer the chance to get out in the vicinity of the surfers via long jetties or headlands that stick out into the water - take advantage of these for sideways action shots along the line of the wave, if they are available.
- If you've got really big waves, keep down low so that you can see them towering above you (and the surfers) and always get a surfer dude in the picture for scale.
You'll see that I cropped this one using the rule of thirds (with Mike towards the left of the picture, and the line of surf in the lower portion), giving him room on the right to surf into - this is just a trick of composition that adds to the 'dynamic' of the picture - but that's a subject for another day.