I don’t do much sports photography. The idea of spending hours and hours waiting by the sidelines with your fingers turning so blue and numb that you can’t tell if you hit the shutter button or not doesn’t exactly appeal. But a beach in the sunshine? Now that sounds like my kind of sport. To briefly explain kiting, you use a giant kite to harness the power of the wind to enable you to travel. In or what you travel with is up to personal preference, some people kite surf, others kite board using a skateboard that looks like it’s been put on steroids, some in a three wheeled kite buggy, and pretty much anything else you can think of with wheels, including skates.
I first started getting involved in kiting thanks to my mum. She started going along to the kite club meets, and I went along a few times too. After being dragged along a field by my face a few times I decided that it was pretty good fun!
At first, I really enjoyed taking part. But after an unrelated shoulder injury made kiting difficult and my photography started to take off I started enjoying the photography much more than the kiting. Probably because I wasn’t any good at kiting in the first place!
Kiting taught me a heck of a lot about photography. Shutter speeds, how to pan, depth of field but most importantly – timing. When I took alot of these shots I was shooting with a camera that did not take multiple images one after the other or high speed shooting. So in order to get the shot at the most dramatic point in time – you gotta learn the timings.
Now if you will allow me a chance to teach you to suck eggs. Taking photo’s of people kiting is great and great fun, but if you are not careful it’s very easy for it to end up with an oops. Before you run to the shoreline – look at where the most people are flying and what lines they are taking. That way you can avoid the busy lines. Make yourself as visible as possible. And always keep an eye on the traffic and an eye out for any of the “Get out of the way!!!” shouts.
So, if you do get any awesome kiting shots let me know! When I started taking wildlife and more creative shots everything that I learnt on the beach helped me immeasurably. I haven’t been kiting recently and I should. It’s a great sport with great people. And you should always take photos of different things. How else do you learn?