Thursday, 27 September 2012

Paragliding action at Bells Beach Southside

Travel Photography - Advice and Tips

By Darren Stones

Photographing paragliding action is a real challenge, and I believe the best place to do it on the Surf Coast in Victoria is at Bells Beach Southside, Torquay.

Here's a few shots that I think capture the essence of paragliding in this area. Spectators can see the action close up because the paragliders use the thermals across the cliff top where the viewing area is located.

Paragliding at Torquay, Victoria, Australia IMG_5616_Torquay
Spectators glued to the action

You need to be patient and continually observant, because composing unique photographs can be a bit hit and miss. With people moving, timing is critical.

Paragliding at Torquay, Victoria, Australia IMG_5448_Torquay
Floating on air above the beach

It's a great spectacle to see a paraglider floating on air above the beach. When the backdrop is as brilliant as the Victorian south-west coastline, it makes for awesome photographic opportunities.

Paraglider at Torquay, Victoria, Australia IMG_5386_Torquay
Waiting for the wind

There is the opportunity to get close to the paragliders before they lift off, however I suggest you introduce yourself to them and develop a rapport. Chat to them about their experience and interest in the sport. You can gain a good insight by engaging in conversation.

Paraglider at Torquay, Victoria, Australia IMG_5389_Torquay
Ready for lift off

Every so often it's wise to step back and take a wide shot. Photographing with a wide angle zoom allows you to take images that include the natural surroundings. Sometimes the sky adds a brilliant background to a scene.

These images were taken using a wide angle zoom lens. By using a wide angle zoom, and getting in close, you can create dramatic images.

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Darren Stones