Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Surfing Photography For Dummies

Long Board by LeRoy Grannis

Caught in time, and taken just over 40 years ago, this famous shot shows one Dewey Weber doing what he loved best. And with two webbed toes on each foot, could you have a more appropriate surname? No wonder he could swim like a fish. Dewey enjoyed his partying as much as his surfing and in the end the bottle did him in. His name lives on in the boards that still carry his name.

Hanging in there longer than old Dewey is the the high octane octogenarian LeRoy Grannis who snapped the photo. I picked up a book of LeRoy's photography in the Tate Gallery St.Ives that was sitting at the till and thumbed through it so long that I felt obliged to purchase it. Surf shots as good as they get.

Now clearly you have professional photographers, and you have amateurs. And then you have Beach Bum. But hope springs eternal and LeRoy's book had me cooking so it was onto Fistral South last Saturday. Having choked my last little Sony VC1 to death with sand from too many days at the beach, I'd splashed out on a Canon point and shoot and a waterproof casing.
As much as I enjoy a bit of self flagellation, I cannot endure looking at the results and you, dear reader, will certainly be spared.

Did I learn anything? Well, yes...

1. Wear one of those caps with the dorky looking peaks - it's going to cut down on glare so you have some chance of seeing what's in the viewfinder.
2. Don't try to balance the camera on a bodyboard when you're trying to ride a wave at the same time. In fact, don't take any kind of board out at all. A pair of fins would have served me better
3. Pick a day when the there's actually some waves.
4. Set up a small shrine to the likes of LeRoy and his ilk and chant "we're not worthy"

Surfing Photography for Dummies, is that out on Amazon yet?

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