Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka

Posted by Kerry Davison on Sun, 09/20/09 00:02
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Comments by Jan Bjorklund on Sun, 09/20/09 09:42

Strong sense of action with the feeling that the surfer is being fired into the air by the wave. Great with a black background which further enhances the contrast between that of the surfer and the relative lightness of the wave.

Comments by Dan Rubin on Sun, 09/20/09 10:08

Absolutely spectacular shot. (Though one nit for me is that there seems to be a bit of a halo around the surfer, probably could be remedied by more precise dodging/burning.)

Comments by Linda Frey on Sun, 09/20/09 11:19

Great action shot, Kerry!

Comments by Kara Williams on Sun, 09/20/09 12:36

Magnificent shot! How were you positioned in relation to the surfer wehn you took this shot?

Comments by Tom Manson on Sun, 09/20/09 21:31

Phenomenal shot. What lens did you use for this? Well done.

Comments by Mike Hites on Sun, 09/20/09 22:50


Comments by Alias on Sun, 09/20/09 23:52

Totally *bleep* in' !!!

Excellent timing, light, color, control, explosive composition, presence, and tactility.

Splendid wave beautifully ridden.

Thanks for being there ...
Now I can be there too.

Comments by Kerry Davison on Thu, 09/24/09 01:13

Thanks for all the feedback on this image.

In answer to some of the questions, the lens used was a Nikon 180mm f2.8 on a camera with a full frame sensor (D700). However it was cropped down quite a bit, so the FOV of the final product is probably about what one would get with a 300mm lens on the same camera, or what one would get with that same lens on a camera with an APS sensor. I didn’t list the equipment initially not because it’s a secret, but only because it seems not to customary to do so on Photocritique these days.

The photo was taken handheld standing at a spot right on the edge of the shore. In that section of Arugam Bay, the waves break nearly perpendicular to the beachfront (as opposed to parallel to the beachfront as they do at most beaches. That creates a situation where much of the surfing action will be rather close to shore, and where the photographer gets an angle on the action that otherwise would require an offshore position and/or an extreme telephoto.

As to the halo effect that was pointed out above, I actually didn’t notice it until I saw that comment. Even now, it seems much more pronounced on some monitors than others. The image wasn’t manually dodged but I did apply some fill light when doing the RAW conversion in ACR and then did some adjustments with the Shadows/Highlights tool in Photoshop after that. I know that both those tools can have some odd artifacts (most conspicuously in terms of causing weird orange/yellow color shifts), I can only guess that the haloing much have been one such artifact. This was a relatively quite photoshop job, I suspect that the haloing could be avoided if I doted over the image in PS for a while.

Again, that you all for the comments.

Comments by Alias on Thu, 09/24/09 01:38

Seems the PS sensor is ignorant of surfing terms ! ;-)
It substituted a word I did not write for a perfectly respectable term which rhymes with "rich"in'

I find the halo appropriate to the subject, but it can probably be controlled with the radius slider, most likely in

Great to see such beautiful, responsive work.

Comments by Maria Salvador on Thu, 09/24/09 08:53

Spectacular. Great timing and viewpoint!