At the planning stage, I was pretty confident that I was going to shoot high quality technique pics (I hadn't planned for the British weather, but that's another story), and I knew from the start that contacts in the kayaking industry would help out with mindblowing action pics. What I felt was missing was a bit of lifestyle to tie the message together, a few shots that said "Kayaking is fun, cool people with happy lives go kayaking..." And strangely that's more of a challenge. A wicked action shot looks awesome as long as it's basically in focus and correctly exposed - no one is too worried about the composition and the finer points of lighting. But unless a lifestyle shot is super-über-mega-well executed, it will end up looking like someone's holiday snaps, and that does not stand up to scrutiny in a book on the shelves in Waterstones.
|© Haynes Publishing Ltd, photo Bjorn Thomassen|
The photo above is the chapter opener for the surf kayaking section. The surf's a bit messy, but I think the image successfully conveys warmth, and happy sun-tanned people enjoying a balmy tropical evening? You'd never know it was shot in a howling gale and driving rain on a bitterly cold beach in North Cornwall.
|photo © Simon Burfoot. Bjorn uses Elinchrom lights, Canon cameras/lenses.|
|Bjorn briefs the models - in this shot the Elinchrom light has triggered from Simon's on-camera flash. ©Simon Burfoot|
|Mattos, and Kitty James. Valley Surf Kayaks, Kober Paddles, Nookie Eqpt © Simon Burfoot|
|The crew assembles the gear and the models get ready to freeze. © Simon Burfoot|
|Shooting the other direction presents no problem when you've brought your own light! © Simon Burfoot|