I had observed that despite the weather forecasters’ reports of total gloom, the afternoons of late had often brought sporadic sunshine. So it was, that once again, I took a chance and headed for the lake at Brogborough as the other item in the weather bulletin was wind, and I had already noted that in that, they were correct.
When I arrived, there were already a fair number of people setting their boards up, and there was a steady trickle of new arrivals as I got my tripod and gimbal head set up. Looking heavenward, I could already see the glimmerings of a sun behind thinning clouds. These slowly developed into distinct gaps in overall cloud cover and although I started shooting in meagre light, for the rest of the time, the sun appeared and then was swapped for dark clouds , giving me a fair chance of a bit of sparkle to the surfers’ bow waves.
I set up a position where I had at least a chance of sunlight illuminating my subjects and for the first half of my time lakeside there was a steady stream of surfers taking to the water, but not much jumping taking place, but later the situation improved, but they were often in the distance and mostly I was behind them, but every so often I was treated to frontal shots, but several took place when I was following a different person and caught only the tail end of the action. My lack of knowledge as to when someone might attempt to jump did not help my overall statistics, but I was not bereft of luck.
Definitely using the gimbal head this time and with the 150-600mm Tamron lens on the 5D MkIII was a good move, but using the tripod on a slippery slope did have its drawbacks and the wind was doing its best to ensure I had to reset the level of the tripod fairly often.
I was reasonably satisfied with the outcome, but I did still have to rely on cropping in post processing to get a reasonable size of many of the more interesting pictures as much happened in the far distance, making some of the shots look as if the participants were actually running out of space and heading directly for the far shore, such was the foreshortening effect of the long lens and crop combined!