Kitesurfing: photography features

Speed, dynamics, splashing water, waves, wind, and all that - Kitesurfing.
But this is only a small part of what is associated with the sport.

Speed, dynamics, splashing water

I can not know that have kiters athletes racing at high speed on the tops of the waves, as it is not kitesurfers. But I think that this special feeling, which can only tell the athlete. My today's article is not about the special feeling that this is a sport, but the characteristics of photography that I know, and that I want to share with you today.

How it all began

July was the month. So there were the stars, I'm with my charming companion Natalia were in a small, cozy resort town with the name milozvuchnym Sergeevka. We, like most tourists, every day, went to the sea to sunbathe. One day, walking along the waterfront with a girl, my keen eye found in the sea gave an unidentified flying object red. Wanted to believe that this is a UFO :), but as it turned out after half an hour - it was a parachute kitesurfer who plied the waves Shabolatskogo estuary.

Until that day, I never saw a man who parachute Hasan on waves. For me it was something new and unknown, is what led me to quickly open the coffer and get the camera. Bringing his image televichkom, I saw a man on the board, on which he dissects how to ski the waves. It was very far away, about 2 km. to the subject, but my desire to know the unknown engulfed me, so I decided to come closer...

When I moved to a distance of about 100 meters, I saw that there is not one person but a group of people with the boards and parachutes. Some of them have already rolled up their parachutes and went, but a few people still skated, and I decided to approach them closely.


After receiving permission to take photographs

Taking off from a distance a couple of shots, I decided to wait until an athlete is removed from a distance. When he went ashore, I walked up to him and we met. As it turned out, it is also named Andrew. The guy was very sociable and good company. After talking with him for a few minutes, I got permission to take photographs, but on this day they were going home, well, I'm late... We agreed that the next time they call me to ride it and warn in advance so I could take pictures. That is exactly what happened a few days. Throwing shoulder carrying case, I quickly ran to the place of gathering kiters.

the place of gathering kiters

Features weather kitesurfing

At first I did not understand why kiters ride every day but only a few times a week, or even less. The fact that the need for driving wind, and not too strong and not too weak. As I explained to Andrew, if the crests of the waves appear whitecaps, so you can expect that soon there will be somewhere kitesurfers, and if the foam on the crest of the wave is not - no ride comes. Therefore, if you decide to shoot kiters on a windless day, do not waste time waiting for, better go to the sea, sunbathing, girls look... :)

choice point shooting - safe distance

Choice point shooting - safe distance

Kitesurfing on their dynamics similar to the auto-rally cross country. And if you do not choose the best places for wildlife photography - you can suddenly simply knock. But around the water, and your camera is probably not designed for underwater photography, that is not waterproof. Therefore, choosing a place, see where it can fly kitesurfer. That fly, as though they had no wings but fly as well as sea gulls ;).

As long as you follow a single object, some young athletes, lost control, you can knock down, or just plop beside raising a cloud of spray of salt water, which is not very friendly with your camera. In general, your head must be spinning as fast as the one picture that is in your viewfinder changing every second. It would be great if you are near an assistant, which would follow the movement of the round, and react to danger.

Kitesurfing - choice point shooting

Choice point shooting - wind direction

In this weather, when riding kitesurfers, all seagulls, at a radius of 10 km. Sit on their nests and do not stick their beaks into the street :) - a joke... In general, the wind is intense and can cause irreparable damage to your camera, which will lead to the output of the camera system.
- How is this possible? - You ask.

It's simple... Just imagine the following scene. Not far away flies at supersonic speed rider. So he picks up a huge cloud of spray, which the wind can carry a long distance. And if you're in a place where the wind is blowing towards you - just remember the song: "the wind blowing from the sea - catching up trouble."

So, small drops of salt water spray could reach your camera, and then out of trouble is not far away. You certainly know very well what that salt water can put the camera down. Therefore, watch where the wind blows, and hide the camera from time to spray. To take photographs should take a clean, soft cloth or tissue to wipe the camera, as mist will still settle on it.

Kitesurfing - splashing water

Accent lighting

Ideally, if the sunlight falls on an object at a slight angle. It is more expressive tone gradation and volume. This coverage will also capture the details of the background, such as clouds, see the photo below. If you shoot into the sun, you can get a glare on the background (white sky), and/or underexposure of the main subject. Therefore, the direction of light is a very important factor that must always remember, if you want to get a quality shot.

Accent lighting

When framing, try to build the track, so to leave some space at the place where the object is moving, opening up space for his movement.

Kitesurfing - space for his movement

Kitesurfing - Shooting mode

Dynamic scene, which is the kite, you can shoot in single-frame shooting, but the best option for such conditions, in my opinion - is the burst mode. Shooting in this mode, you have more chances to catch a great shot. Also postprocessed you can gather a series of shots into one to get about what is shown in the photo below. We're not talking about the artistic value of the picture, and only that can provide viewers an unusual story.

burst mode

Tracking AF mode - this is the mode that will help keep the focus on fast moving objects. This mode will prevent the camera's autofocus system from errors focusing lens when the camera and the lens is fully compatible.
In a tracking autofocus mode can be set on the camera dynamic AF area mode, it will not lose focus on the main subject, even if it comes out of your chosen area of ​​focus.


Which format is better to shoot? It depends on the capabilities of your camera. A better way to shoot in RAW, but if your camera is not particularly fast writes in this format, then use Jpeg is the maximum resolution.

The use of large-aperture telephoto (200-500mm) will help you remove a good picture from a distance, but if you have in your arsenal as long as there is no such tool, apply to at least 200mm lenses. Remember that in this case you have chosen to your subject closer, threatening troubles described above.

In conclusion I want to thank Andrew kitesurfers (pictured right) and his team-mates for kindly allowing me to take photographs kitesurfing. I also want to express my respect and admiration for his mastery of the sport.

All who want to see pictures that are presented in this article and others in this series in a large amount, I invite to the gallery Kitesurfing.
Your notes and comments on this article at the Guestbook. Thank you for your attention.

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© Andrey Ko 2012***
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