April 14, 2016  •  2 Comments

1 Surfer1 SurferCopyrighted Digital Image


This series of 3 images preceding, during and after the surfer ends his run should have had a fourth crash “on film”, i.e. me. I was enthusiastically clambering over the rocks on a promontory at the beach in Biarritz two weeks ago, when I slipped and fell from the boulders protecting the structure from a winter battering, onto the concrete pathway. Wildly waving my precious camera and lens in the air, so as to avoid their demise, I nearly caused my own, as I fell heavily on my left side. Luckily my head was spared, but given this behaviour, you may well be wondering what use it is to me.


Other beachgoers hastened to help me up and check on my health, but, bruised and battered on my left knee, elbow and shoulder, I “bravely” waved them away and carried on with my action photography of the surfers. The wisdom of my actions was proven a week later as I sat in the emergency ward at L’Hopital George Pompidou being prescribed strong antibiotics and a tetanus injection for an infected, swollen elbow. I am only now recovering my normal mobility.


Was It Worth It?


2 Surfer2 SurferCopyrighted Digital Image


This particular surfer is clearly well experienced and he demonstrated many techniques of balance and wave-riding to great effect. Even as the wave buries him in its final charge to the beach, he keeps control and his balance amazingly well, as evidenced by the second image.


3 Surfer3 SurferCopyrighted Digital Image


These three images were chosen as a sequence to tell the story, but I also hope to identify the hero of our story (evidently not me – as described above) by a contact I have at a local surfing journal




Settings necessarily prioritised speed, given the sport involved. Otherwise, the excellent light of southern France did the rest. I did also "trick" the camera to extend my enlargement / telephoto capacity, by switching the sensor from 35mm "FX" format to Nikon's smaller "DX" format, which creates a "crop factor" of 1.5x the normal magnification of a 35mm lens.  Hence the reach of the 200mm lens was electronically extended to 300mm.




Camera: Nikon D800

Lens: VR 70-200mm zoom f/2.8G,

Focal Length: 300mm


Focus Mode: AF-C

Aperture: f/9

Shutter Speed: 1/2500s

Auto Focus-Area Mode: Single

Exposure Mode: Aperture Priority

Exposure Compensation: 0 EV

Metering: Matrix

ISO Sensitivity: 800

Mounted on tripod


The motto of this week’s blog is:


A) Be very careful in dangerous places and have a primary focus on safety, rather than on the image capture opportunities

B) If it comes to your health versus that of the camera – drop the camera!   


Copyright Paul Grayson 2016 All Rights Reserved


Bruce Drossman(non-registered)
Use of tripod noted yet again. I never fail to forego mine. Vive ta différence!
We'll have to work on your shoulder roll, though.
Quel aventurier...Ma large préférence pour la deuxième photo pour son coté comique. Un hommage à ton bras blessé ? Remets toi bien pour nous faire partager de nouvelles photos.
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