Bits and pieces

Its been a funny couple of weeks – I’ve been focussed on passing my bike test and, if you’ve read the last post, been made a bit redundant – both of which have taken up a lot of my time.

I haven’t been totally idle on the photo front though (although I think ‘mostly idle’ would actually cover it) – I have a load of bits and pieces shots from the phone and also shots from the garden, birthdays and jaunts out to the beach.

Spring is one of my favourite times of year – it’s invariably lovely, weather wise, there’s loads of pretty flowers and stuff, particularly the jacaranda trees in the city and days are longer which means there’s more time after work to enjoy the outdoors. Read More

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The tale of the kite and the moon

It’s been a while since I went down to Safety Bay and took some shots of the kite surfers – winter isn’t the best time for them to be out (we only get that reliable sea breeze once the daytime temperatures start to hit the high 20’s) and I’ve been busy with other stuff.

I had some time yesterday whilst Jay was doing some study for her degree so I popped down camera in hand to see who was about

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Lull

Well, dear readers, I trust you all had a wonderful Christmas 🙂

Its that little lull in the proceedings, that odd time of the year now between Christmas and New Year when nothing much happens.  Some people are at work, a lot of shops are shut on the Public Holidays that are in lieu of the Christmas weekend, but most people are kinda just mooching about waiting for their New Year parties!

I had a good day yesterday – I dropped little ‘un off to a friends house for a play date then headed down, yes, you guessed it, to Safety Bay.  Well, it was blowing about force 5 against a crystal blue sky and 31C – how could I not! (and it’s the same again today)

As I drove up along the road, I could see the sky was full of kites – a very good sign that some decent riders would be there too.

And I wasn’t disappointed.  A lot of the pros that are here for the summer season have teaching jobs with the local kite surfing school, so they’re all set, but generally they’re busy until the end of the day, but there were still plenty of really good guys there, including Aaron Martin, who I’ve met before and was kind enough to pull some moves again, Ian Curry-Lindahl, a young kite surfer from Belgium over on a 2 week holiday and also local rider Justin Brown

I stood in the water for 2 hours with the wide angle lens, got soaked and got some incredible shots that have taken the best part of a day to whittle down to a handful of the best pictures.  So, here, for your viewing pleasure…kite surfing photo heaven!

First up – Aaron Martin

This guy is really up for some risky stunts – coming up close in relatively shallow water and taking off right over my head – pulling some crazy moves in the process.  Even going as far to crack his head on the sand in only knee deep water.  Big respect – got some fantastic photos, but man, you’re nuts!

Next – Ian Curry-Lindahl.

He’s such a nice guy, soft Belgian accent, big smile.  He has also competed a few times on the PKRA pro circuit, so he’s no slouch with the kite, that’s for sure.  He has a totally different style to Aaron, using his smaller build to his advantage to do quick twists and turns in the air, never going for the huge air, but rather focussing on the technical difficulty of the tricks.  He was very good to watch, putting in a lot of energy into every move.

Lastly, one of the Safety Bay locals – Justin Brown.

This guy was funny, his sense of humour comes through in the faces he was pulling and the crazy tricks he was doing.   He’s obviously been kitesurfing for a long time and he’s currently looking for sponsorship – he deserves it too – he was very entertaining to watch and clearly has a good time out on the water and in the air (he pulled one of the biggest jumps I have ever seen)

I have so many other shots from this session, but it’s so hard to choose my favourites!

mad dash

I had my Tuesday free time again tonight, but as the sunset and golden hour is now later than the time I have available, its difficult to get any decent landscape shots.

So, as there was a good breeze,  I bolted down to Safety Bay to see who was out on the water.

I met a lad from Devon with a camcorder in a waterproof housing filming his mates doing some cool tricks.  It turns out he’s Ned Taylor, UK #1 freestyle champ. Not that he even really mentioned he did much kite surfing.  So much modesty!  I’m sure I got some shots of him the other day actually – be good to see what he can do for the camera.

Anyway, we had a good chat – he was really getting in there with the filming – very cool – all those wide angle on the water shots you see on TV of kite surfers – well, that’s how they do it – waist deep in water!

I got a few shots, but I had so little time – shame really – hopefully I’ll get another chance to come down and take some really cool shots of them all out practising.

I’ll be back for more soon 🙂

More kite surfing

Yes, you might well be bored shitless of these posts by now, but I have more kite photos.

It was blowing a hoolie yesterday so I popped down to Safety Bay (which I am told is one of the best freestyle kite surfing spots in the world) to see who was out.  It was high tide this time, so no toe nipping crabs.  And it was freezing compared to the weekend too.

There were a few people out on the water – most notably Cesar Portas from Barcelona, Spain.

He’s currently number 13 on the PKRA Pro kite surf tour and bloody hell, he’s good.  He was doing tricks I’ve not seen any of the locals do – not that they are not good, I’ve got some awesome shots of them as you can see in my past kite surfing posts, its just he was incredible.

I managed to stuff up a lot of the really good shots I had – somehow my lens wasn’t tracking the action properly and the autofocus was off pretty much every time.  Bah!  He even did a huge leap right over my head, which the camera spectacularly failed to focus on at all.   Really not happy – especially as all the pro’s have now headed off to the Gold Coast for 10 days for the Australian leg of the PKRA tour.

Anyway, here’s what I managed to salvage..

By ‘ek, it’s ‘ot (and more kite surfing)

It’s warming up nicely for the summer. 38 degrees today, which is starting to get to the level of heat you want to avoid.

So I just had to stay in and watch the cricket instead. (c’mon England!!!)

Its a hard life – the cold beers are purely medicinal.

I did get up early today and mow the lawn before it got too hot – cut me some slack!

Anyway. It’s been one of those crazy arsed weeks again, so no time for blog updates, photo taking or, well, any damn thing apart from work.

All work and no play makes Charlie a dull boy.

So, to turn that all around and because, under my layer of winter protection, I’m just an action hero kinda guy, I went out to take some shots of the kite surfers again.

There was sod all wind though, which was a tiny flaw in my plan, but hey, the wind always starts to crank in the end, so full of optimism, I wandered round to Safety Bay to see who was there.

Ah. The no wind thing. There was nobody there. Well, nobody except the Pelicans, and they freak me out. I’m pretty sure they’re not originally from this planet. So I took their photos, and some other random stuff too, just to show them who was boss.

Eventually there was a breeze and the sky started to fill with kites and I could stop taunting the wildlife and turn my attention to the kite surfers.

First up, a totally awesome dad with his son (at least I’m assuming that they were, father and son – might have been a mad uncle, who knows..) – they were so cool and came right up to get their photo taken, poses and everything – hell yeah! Best family ever.

Then, as more and more people came out, and it was low tide, I waded out into the middle of the bay and hoped the kite surfers would come and pose for me, close is good (I soooo need to remember my damn bathers though!)

Within a few mins, one of the girls came up and stopped and said hey, what kind of shots did I want to take, what lens did I have, etc. Awesome! She was pretty interesting (more on this shortly) and had been doing some good tricks already, so I thought I might be able to get some shots.

She did a close fly by (which, of course, I wasn’t ready for) but I did get a few shots before she stacked it and came back for a chat.

We chatted for a bit and it turns out that her name is Nicky Rudd, she’s a pro kitesurfer from England (with a delightful hint of a west country accent) and she’s over in WA for the summer kite surfing season and on the pro tour. You can see more of her here at her site www.nickyrudd.com

I then hopped and screamed like a baby when a crab bit my little toe. No really, I’m not making this up.

Yup, it seems the glorious bay that I have in all my photos is full of saucer sized aggressive flesh-loving crustaceans. Little mo-fo’s! I had no idea they were all over the shallows too, I just thought they liked the weedy deeper bits. Anyway, once I’d recovered my cool (ok, ok, never had any, and with a stupid handlebar Moustache – donate here – I’m hardly James sodding Dean) I realised I was standing in a crab minefield, plus the tide was coming in, so I had to retreat to carry on shooting. Bathers and stout shoes next time. and maybe a spear gun.

So, more Nicky…

Thats quite enough of that before I start sounding like a creepy fanboy. It was lovely to meet you Nicky

There were some other folks out there too by this time and I got some pretty cool shots of them too, but I shall save them for another post or this one will be way too long!

If you like these though, check out these other Kite Surfing blog entries.

https://charliebrown888.wordpress.com/2010/01/15/kite-surfing/
https://charliebrown888.wordpress.com/2010/02/14/kite-surfing-2/
https://charliebrown888.wordpress.com/2010/11/17/learning-to-fly/

learning to fly

I went to Shoalwater Beach the other weekend to see the kitesurfers in action as the wind was blowing and I thought I might get a few shots with the wide angle lens.

Stupidly, I was wearing jeans, so I couldn’t get as close to the water as I would have liked – must remember to take shorts next time.

Anyway, as usual, the guys (and girls – of which there were a good few out) down there were really cool and friendly and happy to chat and pull few moves for the camera, flying upside down and all over the place, so I ended up getting some very interesting shots.  I can’t decide if I prefer the ultra wide angle or the 18-200mm that I used on the last shots of Aaron.

So, Michael, Jamie and friends – thanks – see you back down there soon.

Apologies for the sheer number of shots, there are lots of cool ones!