Friday, June 24, 2011

Surfers at Bronte

A surfer at Bronte
Carving it up at Bronte

* Photographs must be viewed at a larger size. Please click on each image.

The weather last weekend was the best we've had in Sydney for a while. I decided to take advantage of it and headed out to the Eastern Beaches to do some surf photography. Bronte and Tamarama were the locations of choice due to the fact that they are relatively small bays which are surrounded by cliffs. Fortunately the zoom on the 100-400mm lens was sufficient for me to shoot from shore.

More shots inside.

A surfer at Bronte
 The big white

I cranked up the ISO on the 7D to freeze the droplets of the waves as they broke over the surfers. I started off with the ISO set to 100 but the shutter speeds I was able to get were not fast enough. The fast shutter speed also allowed me to shoot without a tripod which was a handy bonus.

A surfer at Bronte
In the drink... almost

I think the facial expressions of the surfers added a lot to these images. I was pleasantly surprised that the zoom on the 100-400 was long enough to capture the facial expressions of the surfers. It was a bit hard to gauge exactly how far away the surfers were because I was on top of a 40 meter cliff. I'd guess they were close to 300 m away.

A surfer at Bronte
The green wall

The surfers in these shots are all positioned on the right of the image as they were all taken at Bronte where the break was from the right. I tried a few compositions with the subject on the left but the white water didn't really add to the overall compositions. They images were a lot more dynamic when "the wall" was more dominant. The only exception was the shot below.

A surfer at Bronte
The Break

The day got off to a great start when a pod of 8 humpbacks made an appearance a few hundred meters off shore. The surfers paddled out beyond where the waves broke and sat on their boards watching the pod for about 45 minutes. At times they would have been no more than 50 meters apart. They swam off towards Bondi and disappeared. We are going whale watching on Sunday and hope we get lucky again.


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