Flyin’ Out – Venice, Florida

As I have said in previous posts, I live in south west Florida. You would think that I would spend all kinds of time at the beach, sunning myself and eating hot dogs on the board walk. Ugh, no. When you own your own business, there is always something that needs your attention. However, it’s still better than working for the “Man”.

This is where those of you who live in a cold climate part of the world may not like this post. You see, this photo was photographed during Christmas week about two years ago! It was a lovely 70 degrees with very windy conditions. Here’s the thing about Florida, from what I have heard, Florida sucks for surfing as we don’t get the wind like California or Hawaii does. During this particular week it was VERY windy. I got a call from a photo buddy and he told me to get to the “Jetty” quick as there were about 25 surfers in the water. This was unheard of due to the conditions that I just described. I loaded some gear in the car and off I went. About 20 minutes later, sure enough, surfers were everywhere catching the waves.

I pulled out my camera and took some test photos. It was a challenging time of day as the sun was in front of me so the surfers were back lit. This is where you make your subjects silhouettes.

How I photographed this photo…
Since I was going to be dealing subjects that were going to be out in the Gulf a ways, I wanted to take my longest lens that I had. I used my 80mm-400mm. I really like this lens as it will go out there and grab your subject and you’re not in the $9,000 price range for like a 400mm f/2.8. I set the camera on shutter priority as I knew I wanted to freeze these guys as they crested the top of the wave with the spray behind them. I choose 1/1,000 a second and started with ISO 100. I also had the camera set to continuous so I would get 10 frames a second. Is this sounding familiar? This is how I shot To Catch an Angel.

It’s always interesting to see what happens to your potential subjects when you show up at the beach with a 14″ lens. Some always ask if you’re from the newspaper. I just tell them that I’m doing a self study project. All of the sudden, it’s like giving a five year old a ten pound bag of gummy bears and a case of Mountain Dew to wash it all down with! These guys were out there really trying to catch some air. I believe I shot around 1,000 photos that afternoon. I ended up with about six keepers. This is actually really good odds for something like this.

No matter where you live, get out there and try some fast moving sports photography. For all of you who live in snow country, I would shoot skiers, or the “Jamaican Bob Sled Team”. Sorry, I love that movie Cool Runnings. Freezing snow as it’s being thrown makes for a great photo.

Until next time…

Keep Your Glass Clean



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