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?
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.
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
Shutter Speed: 1/2500s
Auto Focus-Area Mode: Single
Exposure Mode: Aperture Priority
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
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