Interesting Photo of the Day: Kiteboarding Bonanza

Looking something like a cross between surfing and paragliding, kiteboarding (also called kitesurfing) is apparently quite a popular pastime at Waddell Creek Beach in California. Photographer Casey McCallister spent an afternoon observing the sport, and (one hour of shooting, 200+ images, and some serious Photoshopping later) he ended up with this:

kite surfers at beach

“Rush Hour” by Casey McCallister. (Via Imgur. Click image to see full size.)

Calling the composite photo a representation of the “organized chaos” he observed while at the beach, McCallister explained to Resource Magazine Online how he went through the process of creating an image where the 30–40 kiteboarders he photographed appear to be all on the water at the same time:

“To capture the photo, I set my camera to timelapse on a tripod, taking one shot every second. On this particular day, I estimate around 40 kiteboards filled the ocean scene while I was there. They move quickly, so one second was enough time to allow plenty of separation between shots, but still keep the cloud positioning mostly the same. With two memory cards filled, I headed home with around 3,600 photographs from a one-hour period.”

As to the editing, McCallister selected around 200 photos to blend together into one scene:

“Now, the fun part: I used a combination of Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop to bring the kites into one scene. With a blank canvas to work with, the beginning frames were easy to blend simply using layer masks. Once the sky and ocean began to fill, more detail was required to blend in the action. Kites began to overlap, and clean space disappeared between the athletes….Duplicates do exist, and I tried to space them equally across the frame so as not to draw the eye to one particular area of the sky. I did no warping or moving of any kites and all kites exist where they did at the time the blended shot was taken.”

All told, he put nine hours into editing his work into the one final scene you see above. That’s some patience and perseverance!

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