Stormy New Brighton

Yesterday was a good day. For the past few years I’ve missed the really big winter storms here due to having the sniffles. So I’m glad that nature was bored and decided to give us one in the middle of summer. I went down to New Brighton knowing it would be good and I had a list of shots to get. This was one of them. Now most people would probably use a tele-photo lens at maybe 200mm and stand clear of the waves. Where’s the fun in that? 10mm, right in there.

I re-watched ‘War Photographer’ the other week with James Natchway. The one key important lesson I took away from it was to just go for it. You’ve got to be in the action to photograph it. Now I know this, and have done for a while. But as they say in the Matrix, “Theres knowing the path and walking the path.” There are times, when doing street photography, that I feel too self-conscious and I walk away. I don’t get the shot. This time though I got wet, my camera got wet but most importantly I got the shot. It wouldn’t look the same at 200mm from the safety of my car either. I spent over 2 hours down there and got completely battered by the wind, sea, random foam and sand. My god though, the weather was awesome. Oh and there are 4 kids in this photo, not that you can see them for the water.

Posted by:Pete

Photographer and part time Spider-man.

24 thoughts on “ Stormy New Brighton ”

  1. Thank you for a memorable and thrilling image. I, too, am a storm and surf chaser and love this stuff. I can’t imagine a better capture than this one. Splendid.

  2. Absolutely perfect; a true ‘decisive moment’, and I think the best shot you’ve posted on here. The quote that sums up the ‘get in there’ approach for me is from Oliver Stone’s “Salvador” – “You’ve got to get close to get the truth”.

  3. You’re right – the 10mm really does the trick! I love the contrast, yet great dynamic range. Great action too!

  4. Would it be wrong of me to say that I think this is the best shot of yours that I’ve seen in a long time?

    So well constructed, so well captured and so well, just bloody good and powerful.

    Did any of the local papers take it? It’s surely a front page image.

  5. I like this a lot. I have that same self consciousness when shooting street and it’s something I’m overcoming by just shooting more. Sometimes you really do have to be in the action to make the connection. I see some great shots out there in blog land but I wonder how close they were standing and using a 200mm telephoto seems like cheating and impersonal.

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