Konica Minolta

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Windsurfing, there is something about watching men and women skating across choppy water on a board with a sail attached, often at speeds of 60 mph or greater… Even I, a non-swimmer and defiantly, a non-avid sports minded enthusiast, fell in love with this sport, as a spectator of course.

I can recall the day my business partners at the time; we had a company called Photo Hunters Freelance Photography, but that is another story; were in a press scrum chatting about cameras and other photographer items of interest.

Having trained myself along the lines of a Vancouver Sun Photographer for who’s name I have long forgotten who had, throughout the years, attained a level of photographic skills of using not only his eyes but his listening skills as well (Aside from being a top-notch press photographer, he was also an acclaimed wildlife photographer and his ability to listen paid handsomely in both visual and monetary awards), my ears were attuned to my surroundings as well as the conversations at hand.

It was due to that training that I was able to capture the image of a windsurfer as he skimmed across the water at such a high rate of speed only to become airborne for a brief few seconds. Just long enough for me to turn and immortalize his feat to time and eternity on film. (See the image link at the bottom of this post)

Imagine if you will, about 6 – 7 photographers all in a circle chatting amidst the action of a fierce windsurfing competition, each thinking there was enough of a lull to take a break; Freelancer’s, such as myself, and full-time news photojournalists.

In keeping with my tradition and self-taught training, I had as always at the beginning of any sports event, taken a grey card reading, pre-set my exposure to match and set my shutter speed to fully automatic to compensate for the action at hand. That as well as keeping my ears tuned to the action around me as well the conversation that I was embroiled in allowed me to capture this image. What I heard was a sound of something skimming across the water to my right at a fast rate of speed and without a second thought I turned with my camera already to my eye analyzed what was taking place and fired of no more then three frames. As I always used a power winder, it gave me the split second advantage needed to do so.

My equipment of choice was my trusty Minolta x700 on which I mounted a 300 mm zoom lens with a Heliopan circular polarizer. I took my readings using my Konica spot meter and a hand held grey card. Film of choice, Fuji’s Velvia 50 pro pushed one full stop.

Photography to me is a mixture of luck, being at the right place at the right time and of course, knowing your equipment, and having it always at the ready.

While my partners and I having been hired to provided images of the Malibu Rum windsurfing series for two years in a row by the sponsors, I discovered the deep seemingly unspoken bond between windsurfers. Never had I met such a fun-loving group of people. Fiercely competitive but when the chips were down, they were there for each other… And as I write this blog I am reminded of those days and have solemnly swore an oath to myself that this year I will once again visit the spit and for years to come as I rekindle not only my spectator passions but my photographic desires as well.

This particular image was later published as a front page cover for a Real Estate Magazine as well with a series of my other images in the inside of a book entitled, “Whistler and the Sea to Sky Country”, by Constance Brissenden.

“Windsurfing”…there is something about watching men and women skating across choppy water


Allan Herman, Creative Visual Marketing Services Inc. (CVM Inc.)