Evaluation of surf video

I now realise that the process of making a 2-5 minute video is a lot longer than I expected. My choice of subject did not do much to help this. In November the conditions where not great for surfing. I wasn’t able to film in Hornsea as planned because the waves were not ‘surfable’. I decided to go to Scarborough instead which posed further problems.

The first time I went out to shoot I no longer had use of the video camera so I took my Canon 750D. Unfortunately I committed the grave error of not checking my equipment before setting off and ran out of  battery . I also only had an 18-55mm lens which wasn’t long enough to get close up shots.

The second time I went the conditions were ideal and there were a lot of surfers. I started in Cayton Bay which involves a steep walk down to the beach. I took the tripod but it was of little use as it kept sinking in the sand. I had a longer lens which worked well but would have preferred to shoot with a video camera because of ease of use. I found the same  in Scarborough. The tide was starting to go out and in order to get close I had to scramble on the rocks. I found the camera difficult to manipulate, whilst trying to balance. I should have studied the location and prepared before starting to film.

I am fairly pleased with the finished result, although the quality of the film lets it down. I spent a long time editing to try to pick out the most exciting sequences. It was a long drawn out process. I captured some good moments and tried to minimise the long waits in between waves.

I chose the music “I gotta feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas because the beat and rhythm seemed to naturally follow the footage. I contacted the publishing company by e-mail and even tweeted Will.i.am for permission to use the track but, unsurprisingly, got no reply. However, when I published the video on YouTube it said that permission had been granted.

With regards, permission to film, I asked in Dexter’s Surf Shop, North Beach Scarborough and they said it would be fine. I also asked Greg, one of the regulars and a couple of guys on South Beach before I filmed. Surfers, in general, are pretty laid back and their help and feedback was much appreciated.

In conclusion, as a first experience I learnt a lot. I thoroughly enjoyed the thrills of filming such an exciting sport and even the cold, miserable parts, getting wet feet were worthwhile. I will definitely continue to photograph and film surfing. I’m just waiting on the call from Kelly Slater.


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