Sunday, February 5, 2012

Nippers at Woodside Beach.

The Beach is a great place to be, just listening to the surf.
Today i was really looking forward to getting on the bike and riding but I knew that the pictures I took at Lakes Nippers in January were appreciated and I was keen to get up to Lakes on 18th February with a little more knowledge of Nippers and Surf Carnival format, so I headed off to Woodside today for the Woodside SLSC Nippers Surf Carnival. It was a great opportunity to learn what works well and what doesn't work.
Honestly as I headed out the garage and watched my husband head off on his bike, I did wish I was heading out too,  BUT the day was fantastic. The weather was great and when I arrived at Woodside there were Three clubs there competing and an army of youngsters ready to race.
The colors are great, each club has distinctive colors and the surf caps have to be worn.
Today was the junior section (up to age 11 or 12 I think), and so it was a good opportunity to see how they handle the surf and I must say...better than me. I grew up at Lakes Entrance, and never really ventured to the surf, and with waves crashing, the kids running into the water and just giving it everything. My lens didn't quite get into the surf and there was so much to take pictures of between the flag event, the races and "Iron Nipper".....
These small kids, were facing big waves and being thrown around in the surf
I took a lot of pictures and my thoughts were (I will put about 200 on the web), so my first port of call when uploading photos (through Adobe Lightroom), onto my hard drive is:-
I was definitely still looking for those cool shots, where it all just works. I couldn't have posed this better, one in white, one in red, and the two in the middle in black.......Against the water and the beach the colors all looked amazing
1. Pass vs Reject
This is the easiest way of initially culling. You give an image a P if it is a keeper and an X if it is a delete. Then you delete the X photos from the hard drive, from everywhere.

2. Rating.
I use the 5 star rating as a 4 star is a YEP, and a 3 star is a keeper but not quite up to website standard but keep it as it is still a good picture as I might go back to it. Anything that is questionable as to quality or clarity is instant delete (I took a lot of photos and so I only want to work on a few, not the full number.......Yes I took around 800.....I know ridiculous.....But that includes a few runs on 8 frames per second where a few are out of focus). After my Pass vs reject I was down to about 620 and there were a lot of photos where kids were blinking or especially in the flags I take a run at 8 frames per second and only put the most exciting ones on the web, the others are just running out may be out of focus.

3. The Hard Part
I think by now I will have around 400-500 that I like, not sure yet as I haven't started culling, just downloaded and I will choose 250.

4. Then I edit the final pics, crop some, adjust white balance and color and tones to make sure they look their best and then finally upload them to the web...Job Done! It takes about 4 hours if I spend time on each picture.
The volunteers need a medal in Nippers, Having to organise lots of children in lots of age groups and make sure they are all safe is a team effort and they all do a great job

I also took some beach scenes and stuff so they will be part of it too, and just mixed in with the rest.
I tried some more arty type pics, I love textures, so added one to a pic to see how it would come up.
Overall I am very happy with the photos, compared to last time, I got a lot more single portrait style pics as I felt more comfortable taking photos there. Taking cycling photos and taking photos of peoples children are different and both present challenges, both are fun and both give me a lot of chances to think about the creative side (shutter speed, depth of field,focus, all the camera settings.....)

I learned today the benefits of shooting in RAW format, as my RAW files were all good, but the last few (where I was running out of memory) were shot in JPG and I had my camera set on Landscape and so they were a bit oversaturated and not as easily corrected. Solution - Shoot in RAW and check all camera settings.

I also learned:-
- Take more water
- take more sunscreen
-Take a piece of plastic or something to make a clean surface to change lenses (I didn't change lenses on the day...too scared...sand vs camera....:(  )
I actually just enjoyed watching the kids competing. Nippers is a great environment, everyone is really supportive of the kids and they are so tough, I saw some children who had literally copped a hammering from the waves, and they were ready to race at the next event. Tough kids and tough conditions.
Lined up to hit the waves on their boards, and they all seem to love it.
Ready for February 18th and some goods pics......Will be fun.

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