Sunday, May 9, 2010

I know a secret spot...

I know a secret spot
Paradise by the sea
We'll find a place to park
That's kinda cool after dark

Lyrics from the song
Still Cruisin' by Beach Boys in 1989. Incidentally that was my first audio cassette :)

Funny thing is it's 21 years later and I surf and as surfers we're all about "secret spots". The irony behind surfing and secret spots is that there aren't really any "secret spots" when it comes to surfing. I mean, think about it... every surf spot requires that the water touch the sand/land. So if you just follow the coastline, you'll find ALL the spots. Hell, just pop on Google Earth and you can see every coastline in the world. That said, I know that's not how "secret spots" work... the secret lies in the hard to access locations where you wouldn't think there'd be surf.

As an outdoor photographer, you should constantly be scouting for potential shoot locations. I'm bad at this. Fortunately, I know people who are good at this and can tell me a thing or two about where to shoot. For example, last Saturday we went to Lucerne Valley to shoot in the desert. This location is well-known to everyone and his/her grandmother. In fact, at any time there are usually several shoots happening in this desert. This would obviously not be considered a "secret-spot".

Yesterday however, my makeup artist Kathleen showed me the following location that works really well and is rather accessible (read: hours of driving not required). The location has other scenery that we weren't able to take advantage of because of the time of day (position of the sun), so we shot only by these rocks with available light and a reflector.

Here's where I toot my own horn. It was a bit windy but I managed to handhold the D3/24-70mm f/2.8G at around 1/160th-1/200th, f/5.6-11, ISO200 occasionally with my left hand and hold the 52" reflector with the other hand. With the wind being temperamental, I had to shoot in spurts and would often screw the composition and the lighting was not always uniform. That said, I think we came away with a few useable frames of Ashley from Models International.

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