Croyde? Where is that?
The UK isn’t as famous as Hawaii or Australia for surfing; but in the South, in Devon and Cornwall, lie some little gems where the winds and the tides offer plenty of waves to stoke excitement.
Croyde beach in Devon, is an awesome spot with a great swell that happens to be very photogenic. It was the perfect place to roll up my trousers and step into the cold sea, camera in hand. The way the light changed throughout the day made my introduction to surf photography a fun challenge.
If you have not photographed surf photography before, here are some tips to help be in preperation:
- Use the longest lens possible, my 70-200 f2.8 was not long enough (even if I set my camera to DX magnification) and I got wet getting closer to the action.
- Wear flip-flops and take a towel to the beach. Nothing like stating the obvious, but I wasn’t expecting to wander into the water like I did. Of course, the excitement of the images enticed me in. I left my socks and shoes on the shore, but had to keep my eye on them as the tide was coming in. Flip Flops would have been a great idea. It was great sitting in the car with the heater on full blast on my feet at the end of the day too :).
- Watch the action. Before making images, look at the surfers watch their styles, see if a particular persons style makes a better image. Also try and learn which way they are going so you can pan and follow the action.
- Use a fast shutter speed and a large aperture to freeze the moment.
- Keep an eye on the action, the chances are, if you saw it, you missed it with the camera so have your wits about you.
- Speak to the surfers, they are a cool bunch of people as dedicated to their sport as you are your photography.
It was interesting watching people come and go throughout the day. Fortunately, while I was there, Surf South West were hosting an Advanced Surf Coaching course. This helped make for some interesting images. I was chatting with John, a Senior instructor who was out with a camera, filming the guys, then heading back to the classroom to show the videos and give feedback before heading out again for another session.
Here are some images of the guys from Surf South West in action (Yeh, I need a longer lens).
I cant wait to get back out to the water. Next time will be with a wetsuit, to make some more interesting images.
And remember to follow my journey