So I’m back from New Zealand. But I am also moving house. So I currently have no internet at home and have been pretty out of touch for the last couple of weeks. Apologies. I realise that I have ended up with two anime posts back to back and that’s embarrassing cos that’s a sideline and not what this website is about.
So, in the five minutes I have left in this lunchbreak, let me throw together a couple of photos and assure you that there are more coming (together with some stories). Well, I say there are more coming, but truth be told I’m trying to sell a couple of them to a snowkite-board manufacturer. They’re not stellar, but if it works out I’ll probably have to sell the rights, so you won’t get to see ’em here. But the good news is that if I can’t move ’em, then I’ll post ’em here.
Good news, assuming you actually want to look at photos of a pro snowkiter suspended in mid-air. Otherwise it’ll just be boring. But, as always, there’ll be diversity.
And once I get my internet set up (wow… how did we live prior to the late 1990s?) that diversity will hopefully be back. In the meantime… thanks for your patience people!
1. The Southern Alps from the Pisa Ranges, an hour out of Queenstown.
2. I can’t do this. A snowkite world champion shows us how it’s done.
One of the tragedies of being a photographer is that you’re usually the one behind the camera, and don’t end up with many photographs of yourself. I’m not at all camera-shy. In fact I’m perfectly happy when somebody points one at me and offers to take some pictures. It doesn’t happen very often. Less when the activities you get up to revolve around being in camera-unfriendly environments such as salty lagoons or windy beaches (lately, at any rate). Less still when the people you hang out with get to know you as the photographer and are either too shy to take their camera out, or simply rely on you to do most of the shooting. At any rate, I don’t seem to have too many pictures of myself, and almost none of me in action.
This has proved to be a nuisance at work, particularly on the occasions where our comms/media folks have wanted pictures of me for publications or the website. “Don’t you have any pictures of you in the field?” they ask. They tend to want something which shows me wearing our organization’s logo, surrounded by a throng of happy poor children in some third-world slum. Never mind the fact that half the places I end up these days seem to ban taking any photographs. I keep telling them to deploy me with a photographer. After all, it’s not like I can take a photo of myself. And at any rate, most kids are frightened of me. I think it’s the beard.
So it was rather nice to have some photos taken of me by my friends Scott and Sarah, sitting in the boat while I was doing some wakeboarding. Using a newly-sourced Canon Powershot G10 (I add, being the Canon affectionado that I am) they snapped these shots of me having fun on the water, which I’m quite pleased with. So, thank you Sarah and Scott- all photo credits for these ones goes to you.
And with that I promise I’m pretty much out of wakeboarding photos now…
Wakeboarding is a lot of fun. I don’t mean to go on about it. It’s not like I’m a professional wakeboarder. I’ve had two lessons. I can just about ride toe-side and I’m certainly not comfortable riding with either foot forward. It’s not even a new passion in life (though I get a real kick out of it)- I’m still a skier (snow) at heart… and attempting to branch into kite-sports. But, well, I guess it’s one of those sports which, because it involves spending time watching your buddies from the sanctity of a motorboat, there’s time to play with the camera. Hence some photos.
You’ve seen the regular shots, of course. I like them for the water patterns. But as with all good outdoor sports, the shots of someone looking cool and [possibly] looking vaguely like they know what they’re doing, are only made perfect by the pictures of people biff. And biffing hard.
I share these shots for my own entertainment. And for my good friend Aaron “Huh, we appear to be lost in the mountains again” Mackie (of backcountry skiing fame), who never ceases to be amused by the sight of a good wipeout.
This is my buddy Scott, shot over about a second and a half worth of losing it:
This is also Scott. We felt this impact from the boat. A sort of audible “whumph” as he nailed the surface of the lagoon. He didn’t get up too quick from it. My personal favourite feature of this shot is the lone ski, skittering along the surface of the water, sans rider:
And this is me, courtesy of Sarah in the boat. I figure it’s only fair to share the love…
This is my buddy Scott. We work together. We’ve known eachother a few years now, and he happens to be out here where I am, which is rather nice. Last weekend I went up with his family to a resort area a ways outside the capital and we hooked up with Holger, who I met the previous weekend kite-surfing. As well as being a kite-surfer, Holger runs a water-sports centre, and on offer is water-skiing, monoskiing, and wake-boarding.
Scott’s a bit of a water-skier and decided to give the monoski another run. I sat in the boat and snapped off a bunch of shots while he zipped up and down the river. It was a lot of fun for all involved. My lens isn’t perfectly suited to capture action-shots- I was using my 60mm portrait lens, so had a fixed focal-length which luckily was just about right to catch the action in-context- but no super-tight face-shots or anything too intimate. The camera’s sharp depth-of-field did a good job of isolating the flying spray, and being cranked wide open I was also able to really up the shutter-speed to freeze the action. I like this image because it also frames the scenery we were playing in, which was lush and pretty and tropical- not your average water-sports park in some flooded suburban quarry. I got a bunch of fun shots of Scott which I’ll share in due course. However, coupled with the photographically-disappointing kite-surfing expedition, I’ve suddenly started craving a 70-200mm zoom lens…
NB: Once upon a time, when I first started this blog, clicking on an image would let you open up the larger version of the shot. For some reason this feature appears to be disabled now. It still works on my earlier posts, but they did a rejig of something a few months back and everything changed. Any ideas? Cos this image would really benefit from being seen a little bit larger so you can see all that luverly spray flying…