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How I Got the Shot: Speed Blur at Steamer Lane

Editor's Note: Our "How I Got the Shot" feature talks with today's leading photographers to get the story behind their most captivating surf photos. This article features surf photographer Jared Weintraub.

Capturing a surfer at Steamer Lane, Santa Cruz during a fall morning sunrise was a magical experience.

Setting up on the cliffs with my trusty zoom lens, I could feel the excitement building as the first light of dawn painted the sky in hues of orange and pink.

The atmosphere was serene, with the sound of crashing waves echoing below. 

Using a camera technique called panning with a slow shutter added a dynamic element to the shot.

As the surfers rode the waves, I followed their movements with my lens, allowing for a sense of motion blur in the background while keeping the surfer sharp and in focus.

It was like painting with light, capturing the essence of the surfing experience in a single frame. 

The challenge lay in timing and precision – waiting for the perfect wave, the perfect moment when the surfer was in just the right position, and then executing the panning technique flawlessly.

But as the sun rose higher in the sky and I reviewed the shots on my camera, I knew I had captured something special.

The image not only showcased the skill and grace of the surfer but also conveyed the raw beauty of Steamer Lane at sunrise, making it a photograph I'll cherish forever. 

For more of Jared's surf photography, visit his website.


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