Now, there are all kinds of kayaks, some are for long trips in oceanic waters, others for flat inland waters and rivers cruises, some people use them for white waters and some extreme sports lovers, dare navigating down waterfalls, in what most of us would judge, as an insane sport. Well, this article is about a white water and extreme kayaker who has done some very wild things in the Lost World region of Canaima National Park in Venezuela and currently runs a white water tour operating in Barinas state.
The Photoshoot was a random thing. It was not planned, and it happened during a recent trip to Margaria Island, where I was to give a workshop, on how to use photography to promote tourism in social networks. As it turned out, one of the speakers in the event was an extreme sports, safety instructor, and tour operator Alejandro Buzzo. He needed some pictures to promote his workshops and I had taken my equipment with me to the island. So one thing led to the other, and the resuslt was: I was to photograph Alex using a white water kayak to run waves! This was a Great subject for Digital Camera Adventures and a new photo experience for me to share with you.
As my gear was for land use, I needed to get as close as my camera and lenses would allow, while staying dry from the breaking waves during the shoot. And Alex needed a beach with waves high enough to demonstrate his skills and the versatility of a white water kayak to run the waves. I needed a chrash course on Kayak figure making, 180s, helicopters, esquimo roll, the parts of a white water kayak and what to look for during the action shots in order to make the shoot as good as the conditions allowed.
I used a 70-300 f/3.5-5,6 zoom for most of the shoot. The camera was a Canon EOS 7D.The shutter was set at H, the focus to AI and the camera ISO was set at 400. All the photos were shot in RAW. During this job, I followed the instructions of an action photojournalist with whom I worked on a previous shoot. He recomended the following: Its best to edit each photo series in the camera, erasing the pictures that did not come out well. At times, when 3 or more pictures of a series do not come out as needed, it is best to erase the whole set, unless you've got a shot that is outsanding. Yes, It consumes battery, but saves pos-production time,and when you just a a few shooting hours out of a 4 day workshop program, every minute in a workflow counts. Furthermore, as a Canon owner here is a little trade secret that he shared with me. In Canon cameras, that have the AF-ON button on the back of the body, one can use it in conjunction with the shutter buton to shoot action series really well.First, one most set the camera focus to AI. Then, as one presses the AF-On button located at the top right backside of some EOS cameras, simultaneously, with the regular shutter. One can take as many in focus photos as your buffer will allow. The lag associated for the regular shutter trying to maintain the image in focus, is reduce to zero with this tecnique. This allows for a larger number of keepers in the action series. Try it, it really works!
There was a beach about ten minutes away from our lodge. So we got up to an early start to see if it would work for our shoot. The cool morning and slow winds were good enough for a few hours of work, as we had to be in the auditorium in three hours. This beach was in the winward part of the island, however, the winds were not bad since it was early in the morning. It was safe to work without worrying about sea spray and sand getting into the cameras. The coast had a sandy bottom and no underwater surprises for Alex. The beach had a jetty that enable me to go into the surf without risking my equipment. So, as I got the camera ready, Alex worked his way paddling out to where the waves were more promising.
It was early morning and the waves were small, as the winds had not picked up speed from the hot tropical sun, but they were good enough, for Alex to show us how a white water Kayak is used to ride them. So we started to work. We had no communiations, therefore, I had to guess, what would be the next move he was going to do, and I was lucky to get e few sets of pictures to tell the story.
When photographing an objective that we are not familiar with, it is best to learn the most about it. However, if we happen to be an unplanned thing, that is happening at the right time at the right moment, and our knowledge on the subject is limited, well, it is possible to use common sence and allow ourselves to make the most out of the experience.
he would in the rapids of a river.
Once, the kayaker has hone on his skills in white water rivers, it seems that running waves with a kayak may be a lot of fun.