Shortly after I bought my very first SLR, I joined IMAGES photography club which was possibly the best thing I could have done to kick-start my love of photography.
Occasionally, we spontaneously manifest like a locust swarm and go photograph stuff. This time, the 'stuff' meant going to Scheveningen beach and walk around randomly, shoot stuff, and then drink a beer (or ten). This ended turning into what I'd like to call The Great Jumpathon of 2009.
Initially, I wasn't very inspired, I just ended up making half an effort to do something creative/different with a relatively boring scenario.
This last image (below) was as good as I thought the day/night would get for me, photographically.
Then we found a bar on the beach to sit back and relax. We were literally sitting at tables on the beach waiting for the sun to come down.
So here I am (above) thinking, hmm, even though it's on-camera flash, can I get some decent flash photos and more importantly, how I can I make them different, something more? JUMPING!!
He you see me and Andreas working out the timing of the jumps... bad idea trying to use the 10 second timer! So now I lay down belly first in the sand to get as low as possible.
The "techie" stuff of the upcoming photos: I had a Canon 20d with a 10-22 efs lens. The camera was sitting on a Gorillapod very very close to the sand with me laying on the ground behind it and triggering it with a wired trigger. I used a 430ex flash on-camera. Ideally you'd have two flashes, at 45 degrees on either side of the subject to get more flattering images. Most of the shots were at/around f/9 to ensure sharpness with moving subjects at 1/100th of a second at 100ISO and at 10mm on my lens. This allowed me to get very close even though it doesn't look that way and creates a feel that the jumpers are jumping higher than they really are. Clearly the silhouettes are without flash!
Tip: Use the rear-curtain flash sync function if you can. In some of the shots there is a dark 'shadow' in the direction the jumpers are moving.. it's this way because the flash fired at the beginning of the exposure. So when the people continue moving after the flash, their silhouette is recorded as a shadow. With rear-curtain, the shadow would be behind them making it look better.. (if this makes no sense to you, ask me, yeah?)
Even screw-ups (like not turning the flash back on above), lead to "hmmmm" moments. I realized at this point that silhouettes would work really well as well.
Some early samples. In a situation such as this, let the subjects (Harm Tido and Geraldine)have fun with it (below). The first 10 minutes I spent jumping up and down like an idiot before others joined in helped them relax at the idea of me photographing them acting the fool on a public beach with lots of bar/restaurant customers looking at us (jealously I assume!).
At this point (above) I realize the light in the sky had reached the perfect moment (in my opinion, some would want more light in the sky). I now started getting them to really jump!
"Super Hot" Ana doing some high flying of her own.
Me, your friendly local Zen master and incredible standing high-jumper!
Andreas starting the Superman trend...
I think Andreas or Harm-Tido took over the camera here.. no more tying the self-timer. So they were my "voice-activated-trigger".... I still take credit for the awesomness! ;)
What you don't see is the point of impact which left me doing my best to avoid curling up in a ball and whimpering like a lost puppy from the... um... cramps that overcame me because I didn't ensure a more appropriate body part hit the ground first! I love the bit of sand you see kicked up in the bottom left.
Always thinking of how to make things different that the usual, I thought "hey, Geraldine, run and jump AT me"... and though I love this photo me and my camera didn't love being covered in sand. After this I thought no way in hell I'm gonna have someone land on my camera (me, not so concerned!). See that smile? Pure joy (maybe because she may stomp my face??)
Harm-Tido doing the "hanging man" which was his idea. As I noted above, in a fun thing like this, let your subjects do their own thing, it'll be more creative and fun....until...
...until you have to get involved and give a little direction. At this point, lots of us were tired from jumping, so I started dragging people in front of the camera. Sorry I can't remember his name, but boy he was not enthused.. ;)
Finally I talked him into jumping. At first I thought "boooring" until I saw the image. And it was strange and surreal and cool.. then I said, "scream and do the exact same jump!"... which he did (below).
..which he did and I think it worked out great! Click onthe image to see a larger version!
Go Trevor! Love the sand coming off his feet!
And below is the shot I used as the very first above without any edits. As you can see from the version just below it, I cropped it square, mostly to get closer in on her and to cut out Harm Tido who wandered into the scene.
Even our waitress got in on the act.. too bad it was so dark at this point..
And (below 2 shots) we ended the night with a nice group jumping photo both normal and in silhouette!
All-in-all a great afternoon-evening. Hopefully we can do more of this this summer (IF we ever get one!)
Thanks to all that participated!