Variety is the spice of life, and so it is for me as a photographer. Some photographers specialize, I didn’t. As such, I had to learn a variety of techniques to handle diverse subjects, not only for assignments, but for personal work as well.
A few years back I took up a hobby, photographing birds. It is a lot harder than you might think. I suppose if one is an ornithologist, they would be able to anticipate movements and habit of a particular bird, even better if they were an ornithologist/photographer. I was more like Rocky Balboa chasing a chicken around a yard. Eventually with the help of my friend Marty, I got to the point where one out of fifty clicks might be worth keeping. Marty, an experienced skeet shooter, a skill transferable to photography, probably hit on one in ten. What I learned photographing birds in flight helped me when shooting surfers in Oceanside California. After a few hours of observation, I could anticipate some movements. I found a perch on a pier that gave me a good perspective, the only wildcard being the surf itself. As it turned out, that summer, this particular surf didn’t offer too many challenges to the surfers, it was just too quiet. That made tracking the subjects easier, but for the most part, it meant less drama on the water.
There were interesting dumps.
There were some delightful fantails.
At one point I decided instead of freezing the action, I would use motion blur.
Some very aggressive moves.
But alas, not much in the way of curl.