It seems to me that the more time one spends in the water and around people who share the lifestyle of a water(man/woman), the more you are exposed to mind blowing images of people doing radical things under extreme conditions and heavenly lighting. And I don’t just mean those pictures you see on websites and magazines, I mean those images you see when you are paddling out and you look over your shoulder to see a perfect almond barrel peeling towards you with your buddy neatly tucked inside. Those are the images, the moments, that I can’t but help want to capture.
So I started playing with a Gopro to see if I could use it to freeze those moments in the way that my mind captures them. This just resulted in frustration. Sure a Gopro is great for filming yourself, your mate and taking a few shots but as soon as you want to do anything creative like adjusting depth of field with aperture or using a zoom lens or any sort of filter you soon find the limitations are, well, just too limiting. Around the time I started finding these limitations my Canon 50D started having focusing problems and I was using a friend’s Canon 7D to shoot from the beach. After a few days I knew it would be tough to go back to the 50D, the 7D was just so much faster, sharper and had far more dynamic range not to mention the flexibility of the auto-focus system.
It was time for an upgrade and it just so happened that Clark from Wildhare Mmages was looking to sell his SPL Waterhousing and had a 7D that he had replaced with a 70D. After a little negotiation I had secured myself the box of toys pictured. Since then I have donned a helmet and literally thrown myself head first into shooting from the water. I just love the angles and the action it affords me. Having a surfer or windsurfer heading straight towards you, your heart pounding with adrenaline, your head mixed with signals. Shall I get out of the way of those fins or wait just one more second to get the shot? It is almost as good as being the athlete yourself.
I am learning it is unforgiving work. Out of hundreds of shots only a handful will be use-able, but when I get that one shot that is and present it to someone who has always thought these sorts of shots are reserved for the domain of pros, it makes it all worth it. So keep an eye out for me in the water and I’ll do my best to capture your moment.