October 14th, 2011
The Red Bats were thrilled when the City of Santa Cruz contacted us to do a portrait of sorts. Not a portrait of a person, but a portrait of the city: they requested a variety of images of Santa Cruz to be used on their website and elsewhere on the internet. We pulled lots of favorite shots out of our archives, and went out shooting again to get more. This project was especially rewarding for me because I was able to use my earliest photos of Santa Cruz, images that will always remind me of the beginning of my relationship with this magical place. I’m looking forward to seeing what the City does with the several hundred photos we gave them. Here are just a few of those shots.
October 10th, 2011
And now for a digression from the love-and-marriage theme. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you might remember that the Red Bats took pictures for Covewater SUP last year when the shop first opened. Covewater SUP is still going strong and is the center of the SUP scene in Santa Cruz. In July, Scott and Leslie Ruble created the First Annual Covewater Classic, a SUP race that attracted paddleboarders from all over California and beyond, and they asked for more Red Bat photo action. I was the only Red Bat available that day, so I got myself over to Capitola Beach at 7:30 am to shoot an athletic event for the first time ever in my life.
Photographing a race (actually, three races, for three different skill levels) was way more fun than I expected. As sports fans know, it’s a great feeling to watch other people work really hard while you just stand there and cheer. Not that I stood there the entire time- there was running involved for this photographer. The second leg of the 7.5-mile Elite race required the athletes to pick up their boards and carry them across the sand from the water’s edge to Soquel Creek, where they got into the water and raced up the creek (with a paddle) and around a buoy before returning to the beach to get back into the ocean for the final 2-mile leg of the race. I followed them as they raced over the sand and up and down the creek, and as I did so, I admired the fiendish mind that created this course. Imagine paddling as fast as you can for five miles and then sprinting across sand with your board to paddle some more. Watching this happen destroyed any remaining idea I had of paddleboarding being a leisurely sport.
I found shooting these races to be far easier than shooting a wedding. Here people didn’t mind if I got pictures of them making strange faces and sweating. I didn’t have to worry about their makeup and clothes being awry, or figure out how to pose fifty of them so that all of their eyes were visible. All I had to do was get myself into the right places at the right times and shoot shoot shoot. The day started off foggy and turned beautiful. By the time it was all over I’d experienced a vicarious endorphin high and admired the green-blue of the seawater. I’d definitely do this one again.
If you’re interested in the results of this race and/or want to learn more about what Covewater SUP is doing, you can check out their site.