Monday, February 15, 2010

How the day went down....

                On Saturday my wife and two of my good friends decided to make our way down to Half Moon bay to check out the big wave surf contest being held there better known as Mavericks surf competition. The forecasters were predicting some the of the largest waves to ever grace the shores of the competition.  
                We got an early start arriving in the area at about 6:30am found parking on the main road and hiked into the madness that surrounds the competition. We followed the drones of eager onlookers to a spot up on the bluff that we thought would give us the best vantage of the huge waves rolling in. As we all got comfortable and set-up I decided to get out my gear to start setting my camera up. With me that day I had both my body's : D90 & D700. Coupled with my 70-200vr I figured I would have not enough reach with my FX body so I opted to take my chances with the 90 hoping that the crop sensor would give me that little more reach that as the fog was moving out I could see I was going to need if I really wanted to get in close to the surfers. The bluff is by what I could gather talking to others and seeing pictures that they had taken was the best place to watch these crazy dare devils fling themselves down walls of water 50ft high.  But I could see from the get go I was going to need something a little longer if I was going to get any good shots at all. Just as I was thinking this a god sent in the form of a man named Mark Vuko who was standing to my right asked me if I had the 1.7x on my lens (teleconverter). Of course I did not and wished I had. I had actually gone online the night before to try my luck in hunting one down for the competition but could not. Mark very kindly allowed me to use his that he was not going to be using and I accepted gladly. With this little bit of kit I was able to take my focal length and multiply it by 1.7. SO on a crop sensor that all DX body's have I was looking at about 340mm plus a little more for the crop on the camera as the amount of zoom I could work with. I have been told that out of the three converters Nikon makes (1.4, 1.7 & 2x) the 1.7 is the best.  It offers up the zoom needed while only losing only some of the IQ (image quality). After my experiences with it that day I would have to agree totally! After a full day of clicking away I left feeling very happy and excited to look at the over 1,000 images I took.  Here are some of my best shots from the day.....  If your ever around the Bay Area and you hear that Maves is going to be happening... all I can say is GO! Next year my goal is to be able to take my shots on one of the two boats that are allowed in the area with the press photographers onboard. But like I said earlier where we were on the bluff was the best seat in the house next to actually being out there.

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