More Dragon Boat racing

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For the forth year the Bradford Dragon boat festival was held on the river Aire at Roberts Park Saltair. It is the only three day festival for Dragon boat racing in the country.  I have covered it of the last few years.  as it is a good opportunity to get some different type of sports action images. It can give you some good colourful images too.

Over the  last few events I have taken a number of approaches to photographing the Dragon boat racing. If you want the standard freeze the action shot then a high shutter speed does the job.  However for me the approach I really perfer is using a show shutter speed together with a panning action to get the background blurred.

I usually start with my shutter speed set at around 1/30 sec ( but it can vary downwards to get the really blurred colourful shapes). I also add an on- camera flash unit, with the output dialled down. (-1 is a good starting point ). But  check the images to make sure that you can’t tell that there is a flash being used. This helps to freeze the water droplets spray that you get from the paddlers paddles as they work to propel the boat forward.

Show here a few of the images from this years event:

sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, a slow shutter speed was used together with panning to give a feel of the speed in this one the boats are all very close in the reave and there is lots of effort going into the paddling by all the crews
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Model: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM 1/30 sec @ f-13 / ISO 100
sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, a slow shutter speed was used together with panning to give a feel of the speed all the paddlers in the shot have they paddles synch and all pulling the water together
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Model: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM 1/30 sec @ f-14 / ISO 100
sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, slow shutter speed was used to give an abstract effect with a flash firing to captured the water spray droplets
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Model: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM 1/30 sec @ f-14 / ISO 100
sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, a slow shutter speed was used together with panning to give a feel of the speed an on camera flash fired and froze the water droplets as all the crew reach forward to pull the paddle back towards them
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Model: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM 1/30 sec @ f-14 / ISO 100
sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, a slow shutter speed was used together with panning to give a feel of the speed in this image on the paddlers has spotted the camera and is looking at it a smiling as they power past
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Model: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM 1/30 sec @ f-16 / ISO 100
sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, a slow shutter speed was used together with panning to give a feel of the speed and in this image a feeling of really speed as all the paddles have the paddle at the top of the stroke and they arms are all up in the air
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Model: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM 1/30 sec @ f-18 / ISO 100
sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, slow shutter speed was used to help capture the feel of movement and speed in the image a male crew are all at the same point in the stroke with all their hands at the same point along the side of the boat
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Model: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM 1/30 sec @ f-16 / ISO 100
sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, a slow shutter speed was used together with panning to give a feel of the speed and a on camera flash was used to spot the water splashes as they paddle hard
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Model: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM 1/30 sec @ f-10 / ISO 100
sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, a slow shutter speed was used together with panning to give a feel of the speed anone camera flash has captured all the water splash making it slightly more abstract type sports image
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Model: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM 1/30 sec @ f-10 / ISO 100
sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, a slow shutter speed was used together with panning to give a feel of the speed the on camera flash has frozen the water splash from the effort the paddlers are puttting in to power the boat foreard
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Model: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM 1/30 sec @ f-10 / ISO 100
sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, a slow shutter speed was used together with panning to give a feel of the speed which really comes out in the shot
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Model: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM 1/30 sec @ f-14 / ISO 100
sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, a slow shutter speed was used together with panning to give a feel of the speed the colours the team in the front boat of this image are blue and red and stand out, as they paddle hard past me
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Model: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM 1/30 sec @ f-11 / ISO 100
sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, a slow shutter speed was used to give an abstract effect and feel of speed
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV – Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

A new Rankin book

A new book found its way on to my bookshelves late last month. When I had the chance to go to one of the launch events for the new V&A photographic gallery.

This particular event was a talk by the photographer known as Rankin.

fashion photograher - fashion photography - image captured of the title screen of an evening with the photographer rankin for the launch of his new book
Richard Spurdens Photography – Images from a visit to London on October 15 2018. Photo: Richard Spurdens …………Camera Data……….. Model:X-T2 Lens: XF18mmF2 R 1/60 sec @ f-2 / ISO 400

If you are interested in photography around the fashion and arts then you will have come across the works of the Rankin. He was always a portrait photographer (and still is) but when he helped co-found the magazine Dazed & Confused back in 1991 with Jefferson. His work then help defined the aesthetics and attitudes of the 1990s and 2000s, Rankin’s work has featured in leading publications worldwide.

From this vast portfolio of work Rankin has issued numerous books, of which I have a couple “More” and “Painting pretty pictures”. More was a retrospective of his portraiture work, which has always inspired me.

This new one is a retrospective of his full career in fashion photography and charts 30 years of Rankin’s work in this area of the industry. It is edited by the Rankin himself, and it shows the hard commercial side and also the not so glossy side of the fashion industry.

The images are presented in reverse chronology, Unfashionable moves from Rankin’s recent work with images from Hunger and then on back to his earliest Polaroids as he was starting out.

fashion photography - fashion photographer - the book cover of rankin book titled unfashionable book
Richard Spurdens Photography – rankins new book cover

The event

Rankin’s presentation was based on his new book. So it gave a good insight into the contents of the book and the some of the stories behind the images. I found presentation informative and interesting and so after the talk I decided to make a purchase of the book and add it to my library. I also got it signed by Rankin himself, and even had a short chat with the man as he signed it for me.

image of the inside cover and its signature
Richard Spurdens Photography –

I have tried in the past to make images that were inspired by Rankin work. Itis always direct, unapologetic and confronting. I like his honesty in his images and have tried to create similar types of work when collaborating with certain models who understand this challenge.

So below are a couple of images that I feel were inspired by Rankin approach and look

fashion photography - fashion Photographer - image of model carla monaco topless wearing big black pants and jewelled belt leaning against a white wall
Canon 5D mk III Sigma 35mm f2.8 lens. ISO 100 1/125sec @ f / 5.0
Fine Art Nude Photography - Fine Art Nude Photographer - a high key edge fashion nude image of the model madame bink based on a rankin look
Model: Fuji X-T2 Lens: XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR ISO:200

I think the book is worth a look if you like the work of Rankin.


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