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Sailing Color

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© Chuck Place

Driving down the coast to Los Angeles, I often stop at a small beach called County Line. Although it is usually packed with surfers, due to the beautiful break, this day was windy and the waves were torn into tatters. Not a surfer in sight. But the weather had brought out another type of surf fanatic—sailboarders.

A couple dozen were assembling their sailboards on the beach and side lighting from the afternoon sun was interesting, but once they moved out into the surf in front of me, backlighting set the sails glowing. This is my favorite lighting for sailboats of any kind. It highlights the texture of the water while intensifying the color of the sails. Over exposing one stop gives me an accurate exposure and the high shutter speed of shooting into the light freezes every flying drop of spray. A 300mm lens was used to make the viewer feel like they were actually in the surf with the sailboards.


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