The morning session
I'm really liking the new lens, its a small 24mm pancake lens from Canon, which is giving me a wider view more like a 40mm with the crop sensor. I can get up close and get a full frame shot, or drop back and get a bit more of the scene in - its a different perspective than the 50mm I was using last time, which is closer to an 80mm full frame equivalent.
I'd organised to catch-up with Jake from Keel, the local surf shop, early on Friday before work. The forecast was for good light, favourable winds and some manageable surf. All the ingredients for some nice shots.
It seems as though many people like to start their weekends with a before work surf on a Friday. It's an appealing proposition - something chilled and relaxing to start the lead into the weekend right, especially in summer. This Friday morning was packed as is usual, not many people had a wave to themselves. Drop-ins, collisions, boards going in all directions, learners going straight, experienced surfers going across the waves. At times, I was glad I was shooting rather than surfing, as it seemed a lost cause to try and get any form of decent ride. There were other times, when I wished I was on the beach. There is nothing more frightening than looking at the line up in front of you and seeing a gaggle of beginners all paddling - head down, none looking sideways to see who else is paddling, and then they all take off on a closeout that didn't have any potential in the first place. When you see this start to unfold and knowing that there is little control of the boards, which are heading straight for your head, you can forget about getting a picture of anyone on that wave, the only option is to dive for the sand.
I'm not entirely sure if anyone left the beach, that morning, in a better frame of mind than when they got there, there were a lot of stony faces full of frowns. Mind you, if you kept your expectations low and enjoyed just being up early, and in the water - that was the best you could hope for. I guess Freshwater beach is one of the most crowded and popular beaches in Sydney. Martin, from 'the pocket' cafe was doing just that, with the warm weather and sunny skies he was anticipating a busy day for him and the crew, and trying to pick up the left overs, before his short window of time ran out.
The afternoon session
I didn't intend to shoot both in the morning and afternoon on Friday. It was getting close to the end of my work day, when I got a call from a friend, to let me know that the afternoon on-shores had abated and there were some nice log waves. The waves were good enough that his son, and friends - all good surfers - were aiming to make the most of the conditions. I wasn't bothered about surfing and a chance to get some good shots was all the inspiration that I needed. I assembled my drying gear, which was laid out ready to be stored for the next session, and headed down to the beach. I even lucked out on some rock star parking, which is a rarity at Freshwater.
Thee afternoon light and the vivid colours are so much different than the mornings light. I should probably shoot more in the afternoon. Usually, it's a case of either conditions or availability never seem to line up. The vibe was way more chilled in the afternoon, plenty of smiling faces, and sharing of the waves. The morning session was taking it's toll though, my legs were tired when I entered the water and I stayed out as long as I could. Eventually I got washed through to the inside on a larger wave, and had nothing left to get back out - my afternoon was done.
Enjoy the pictures and see you in the water.
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