Reader Stories: Capturing kite surfing in Crozon peninsula, western France

by Guest Contributor

posted Sunday, May 22, 2016 at 6:27 AM EST


By IR reader René Theuillon

Winter has gone and so did the tellin fishermen of the Crozon peninsula.

The deserted beach is beaten by the wind and the rain of spring time. It’s the season when a lot of meteorological depressions cross the Atlantic ocean and hit directly our coasts.

The days following a storm provide an ideal weather for the kite surfers to practice their spectacular sport: the wind remains strong and the previous gale having lifted a significant swell, the waves are present and the riders converge to the spot bringing a colorful activity on the beach.

The rig must be carefully checked before riding

I don’t know much about kite surfing, each acrobatic figure is carefully codified, so the riders (as they call themselves) constitute a sympathetic community speaking its own language.

While the tellin fishermen, having probably good reasons, didn’t like to be photographed (see previous article) the kite surfers do not mind so and it is not rare they come to speak to the old man shooting on the edge of the beach and let him, their email address in order to have some pictures sent, which I always do with pleasure.

Pulled by their wing, the boards are flying on the surface of the sea at an astonishing speed and when the right wave is at the right place the riders execute spectacular jumps of, let’s say, 20 feet high or so.

"Rider in the sky" (famous folk song)

I like to shoot that kind of scene. The interest for me is to wait for these very mobile elements to gather at the same place and to form an aesthetic composition that I can capture at a speed of 1/1000s. And when a horse rider comes galloping across the frame with the wave riders in the background, it’s just a great moment of happiness.

General view of the spot (composition in triangle)

I used a SAMSUNG GX10 fitted with a PENTAX-DA  1:4-5.6  50-200 mm ED WR. All the pictures have been shot at 1/1000s / f/8 / ISO 200 and I would only add that they have been slightly post-processed, but that they are real pictures without any montage of any kind.

End of session for a sea butterfly

(Another big "IR THANKS" for yet another interesting post, René!)

See more Reader Stories by René Theuillon

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Canon 7D with EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L II
(25 seconds / f/2.8 / 16mm / ISO 250 / manual exposure)