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Using What You Have

Driving down the coast to Los Angeles, I stopped at County Line, a popular surfing spot above Malibu. The wind was blowing hard and the area had been taken over by sailboarders.

using_what_you_have
© 2007 Chuck Place

The longest lens I had with me that day was a 80-200mm f2.8 zoom, an extremely versatile lens, but not enough reach to capture all the wave jumping happening offshore. I had to settle for shooting sailboarders as they battled their way through the wind-blown shore break. Positioning myself high on a bluff, I cropped out the horizon to isolate the action and made sure the backlighting and white surf didn’t cause me to underexpose my images. The action was wild with some sailors getting knocked down as they tried to punch through the powerful waves. Sometimes, it turns out, you don’t need those super telephoto lenses to capture the action, just the right vantage point.


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