PoTM 2011 December: Narrabeen Surfer



Surfing, for many climbers, is another ‘must-do’ activity; some ultimately switch their attention completely. The UK’s cold seas don’t seem to deter the committed; their wet-suits get thicker and their determination increases as the mercury slips away.


Elsewhere around the world the climate is more favourable and the surf vistas (arguably) more pleasing to the eye. This is definitely the case down under in Australia as I found during a recent trip. Based around Sydney, and with Bondi just down the road, it was a perfect opportunity to check-out the surf action, get some snaps and maybe, just maybe, have a dabble…


Without wishing to sound like a so-called typical whinging pom, the weather in early December 2011 was pretty rubbish – warm(ish) but wet and grey; not exactly what was expected. By Xmas though blue skies were returning and with them the opportunity to snap some blue-sky surf action. Visits to the north beaches of Manly and Narrabeen coincided with said blue-skies and my surfing portfolio, at last, got some stock.


Whilst the serious surf photogs get into the water with waterproof housings etc. – I was land-based and happy with it! The beach at Narrabeen shelves quite steeply and the surf was breaking pretty close to the shore. Despite shooting thigh deep in the breakers I still wasn’t really close enough to the action so as part of the post process I cropped the final image to get in tight to the action. Shooting with a DX camera I get two advantages though; extra reach and greater pixel density. Both proved quite handy but a longer lens sure would have been handy.


I’m very pleased to have started my surf portfolio and I’d be keen to add to the set if the opportunity arises in the future. I’m not sure I’ll ever be tempted to get into the water with the surfers – reckon I’ll leave that to the pro’s. And in case you’re wondering, no I didn’t try my hand at surfing either...


Capture Details:

Nikon D300, 70–200mm AFS VRII f2.8 @ 200mm, ISO 200, 1/800th sec and f5.0 matrix metering in aperture priority with final imaged cropped



Australia, Surfing, Narrabeen Beach