Summer, Surf and Beach — Christmas on the other side of the world
Macfilos Weekender by John Shingleton
A summer photo, just to get us all in the mood for Christmas: For all the readers in the northern hemisphere, languishing in the depths of winter. Taken a couple of Wednesdays ago at Cellito Beach on the midcoast of New South Wales, Australia in the Myall Lakes National Park — 280km north of Sydney.
I was staying with a friend who lives at Blueys Beach to the north of Cellito. To access Cellito you turn off the main road and drive about 3km down a rough dirt road to a dusty car park surrounded by tropical rainforest. Fifty years ago it could easily have featured in an early surfing film, with Holden station wagons and battered VW Kombis parked there. Last week all it displayed were a few dusty SUVs.
You reach the beach via a boardwalk from the car park to the top of dunes and there in front of you is the stunning surf beach. Pure white sand stretching to the distance and barely a person on it — just a few surfers bobbing about in the ocean waiting to catch a wave. And in the distance is the headland of Seal Rocks with its lighthouse and more pristine empty beaches.
It was hot on this particularly Wednesday. Very hot. And the glare off the sand was intense. Definitely sunscreen and hat territory. I had taken my Leica Q along in the hope of taking a "spirit of summer" photo. I like my photos to tell a story.
Taking a camera onto a beach is not a good idea but as there was no wind to blow sand I decided to risk. I saw what I thought would be a great shot: Two girl surfers in wetsuits - the sea is still cold this early in the season — looking out to sea and holding their surfboards.
Now with the Leica Q and its 28mm lens you have to get in close. I was nearly ready to shoot when I spotted this very typical surfer coming across the beach. I abandoned my girl shot and took this one. Fortunately the Q focuses so quickly that I was able to literally grab it without hesitation and without having to ask him to stop. By the time I had taken it the girls were paddling out on their boards. Damn, but I had one good shot and it was my "spirit of summer" shot so I was happy.
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