There are those photographers who are compulsive, fanatical even, about taking their cameras with them wherever they go, in case a spectacular opportunity presents itself. I’m not one of them, sticky little kiddie fingers all over my lenses having been the last nail in the coffin of my mostly unsuccessful attempts at cultivating this habit.
Still, I will haul along a camera on occasion when the mood takes me. This particular image is a result of one of my more recent moments of photographic diligence.
A late afternoon romp on the beach with the kids and pugs in tow seemed like a likely source for at least a few cute pictures of sand covered little ones. On arriving at the beach I got a little thrill of hope that something more may be on offer: a lone fisherman casting his net into the shallows while the sun headed for the horizon behind him seemed promising.
My first couple of attempts at making a decent photograph were a little dull, since the sun was still too high and the fisherman was too close to the buildings on the shore to give the shot a decent balance. After carting a few more plastic dumptrucks of sand across the beach I noticed that the light had taken on a much more interesting look, and a very compliant fisherman had moved both closer to me and further from the buildings, it was game on!
I managed to shoot three sequences of the net being cast before the light faded. Each sequence comprised 8 – 10 frames, from the fisherman winding up to throw to where the net reaches the water.
The first image above is from one of the initial, not very interesting sequences, while the rest are from the sequence that went into making the final photograph
On reviewing the images I immediately realized that the effect is not particularly interesting in any single frame, but by combining the frames I could capture both the most energetic body position and the flight of the net in one go. The final result is a combination of one of the first frames just before the net is released, and the four most dynamic renditions of the net. In compositing the image I had to move the individual nets apart a little further to stop them crowding together too much, hence the slightly superhuman distance of the throw!
In the end I’m quite pleased with the result, and it has certainly inspired me to lug the camera along a little more regularly!