Monday, July 21, 2014

Surf's Up

I spent the last two weeks at the beach. No, we weren't on vacation. At least not properly. We slept in our own beds every night, but seven or eight hours of every day were spent at or traveling to and from the beach. You can do that in The Ocean State. Especially during surf camp.

Surf Camp - Flotsam of the Mind

Surf camp is one of many opportunities my kids have that I'm sure they do not appreciate sufficiently. It is such a rare opportunity. It is so cool. It is so much better than anything their parents did when they were ten years old (or six in the case of the smallest of our group).

Littlest Surfer - Flotsam of the Mind

Camp lasts only three hours, four days per week, but we are in for the long haul. We did surf camp with two other families and, once surf camp ended and lunch was inhaled, it was time for hours of boogie boarding, sand castle building, and dam construction. Six kids can create a lot of fun at the beach while their mothers constantly head count to six.

Paddling Out - Flotsam of the Mind

Getting Out - Flotsam of the Mind

This was the second year my son participated. After one week last summer and two this summer, he's starting to look like he knows what he's doing. Some of his friends are even better.

Big Waves - Flotsam of the Mind

Of the eight days of camp, only one qualified as a true "beach day." I don't think I took off my sweatshirt the first week, and I stood in the drizzling rain for four hours on one day. All that rotten sunbathing weather made for some great waves, which was all the kids cared about. All those clouds also made for better photography, which kept me occupied amid the head counts.

Rainy Day at the Beach - Flotsam of the Mind

Waiting to Surf - Flotsam of the Mind

A few months ago, I discovered that the lens attached to my film camera also fit my DSLR. It had been gathering dust in my bedroom closet for seven years, but now it's in the rotation. It is a longer lens than any other I have, so I hoped it would be good for soccer games and swim meets. Surf camp was the first I'd tried it, and I was very pleased with the results. There's no way I would have been able to capture any of it with one of my smaller (favorite) portrait lenses.

Waiting for a Wave - Flotsam of the Mind

Riding the Waves - Flotsam of the Mind

The hazy days also presented a great editing challenge for me. I really had to tweak the contrast on each one to make the surfer pop. Otherwise, each would have been lost in the fog.

Wave Crashing - Flotsam of the Mind

After two weeks of packing, unpacking, driving, laundering, and repeated head counts, I'm ready for something new. After two weeks of seven- to eight-hour days in the ocean, my kids were exhausted and ready for a change.

No one did much of anything the last couple weekends, and we went to bed early every night for a couple weeks. The kids have been pretty crabby when not at the beach, and I'm sure I've been lacking patience. But it was worth it--a great time spent with friends learning something special, with a few new photos to boot.

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