On a cool winter day at Huntington Beach Pier there may be a hundred surfers, in their black neoprene wet suits, out there paddling around, waiting for another big wave. Instead of shooting surfers from the beach, move up to a higher camera angle to avoid including the sky in your photographs. Climb the stairs to the upper level of the pier and walk out to the point where the big waves are breaking. The peak of any surfing action will be happening right below you. A 300 mm telephoto lens is just right for shooting surfers riding the curls late in the afternoon when the low angle of the sun catches spray thrown up by their boards. A shutter speed of at least 1/2000 of a second is needed to freeze the action. You may have to increase your ISO setting. Shoot a few tests to fine-tune your exposures, set your shooting mode to “S” for shutter priority, and set your exposure mode to “continuous.” This is the kind of sports action that digital cameras were made for.
Notes and images from Bob Hitchman.