Full focus – Claire Glasby SUP photographer profile

Interview: SUPM

Pics: Claire Glasby, Miles Taylor (PROtography)

Claire Glasby’s work first came to our attention when we saw some stunning windsurfing shots of hers in 2017. It was therefore quite fitting that one of her images adorn the cover of SUPM’s sister magazine Windsurfing UK. But Claire isn’t a one trick pony and shoots all kind of subject including stand up paddle boarding. Here we catch up with CG to find out more.

Tell us how you got into photography and what made you think it’d be a good idea to stick with?

I got my first ‘point and shoot’ camera as a young teen and was always praised at how well I framed my shots. This made me want to get a DSLR and I was given one as a present on my 18th birthday. I then went to university in Southampton, where I joined the Windsurfing Club. I went to many Student Windsurfing events, when I decided it was too cold to windsurf, so instead got on a powerboat and took lots of pictures!

You shoot a lot of watersports but what’s your fave thing to photograph?

I love to take nature shots of landscapes on a smaller scale. By that, I mean focusing on a small area of the landscape, rather than the full picture.

Any particular one shot you’re proud of? Is it included in the selection accompanying this profile?

The picture I’m most proud of isn’t included in the selection here unfortunately. It’s this picture of the front half of an old Kawasaki motorbike parked up on a beach on the north side of Lefkada during a very pink sunset, with the sun peering through the front wheel.

Who inspires you and your work?

I would like to say there are various people that inspire me and my work. I follow lots of different accounts on Instagram. Some are very much landscapes, nature and others are watersports accounts. My manager, owner of Protography, Miles Taylor, inspired me from the moment I met him. We were introduced in Vassiliki and watching him put his passion into practice is why I am here now! I am a huge fan of the pictures he takes; he has a keen eye of thinking out the box and his perspective is very unique.

What appeals about shooting SUP and watersports?

I really enjoy shooting SUP early in the morning, because the water is like glass; it is so tranquil and always looks so relaxing being on those boards first thing. I also really love shooting freestyle windsurfing – being able to capture those ridiculous moves in a split second is a great feeling. I really enjoy being able to capture the speed in watersports, also because I love being on the water myself, it has more appeal than sports on land.

How do you make an image look dynamic, or is it more down to the subject in question?

I would say that it comes down to the placement of yourself, in comparison to the subject on the water. You’ve got to be able to know where the SUP, windsurfer or other is going and then try to line up with them.  It’s also important to make sure your camera is set up correctly.

Where’s your fave place to photograph?

One my favourite places to photograph was Sri Lanka; the country is beautiful. The landscapes, the animals and the people there are beautiful. I would love to go back.

Any bucket list spots you’d like to get to specifically with shooting in mind, home or away?

There are lots of places I would love to travel to and photograph along the way, but I think that as I’ve been to many hot countries I would like to go somewhere cold for a change – somewhere like Iceland, maybe.

What gear do you use and why?

I use a Canon 5D mark iii and the lens is a Canon L series 70-200mm f2:8. I use that body because when I got it it was one of the highest shutter speed cameras with full frame. The colours that come out of it are amazing. It shoots brilliantly in low light and you can ramp up your ISO quite high before getting too much noise interference. The 70-200mm lens is perfect for watersports as taking pictures from a rib you can get quite unstable in windy weather, so you wouldn’t want a bigger one. The lens is also very crisp and I love that it has an f-stop of 2:8.

Do you get any industry support and help with costs of equipment?

I do not get any industry help with costs.  All the equipment belongs to me and I have to pay for my own maintenance.

Any plans to get involved shooting from the water?

I would love to shoot from the water, however, the equipment to make this possible is very expensive and I would be very worried for my own safety if riders didn’t see me.

Talk to us about your involvement with PROtography and how that works?

PROtography hires me to do take the pictures specifically at Wildwind Sailing Club. The company provides me with accommodation, food allowance and flights.

What’s the hardest part of your job and why?

I would say the hardest part of my job is being in the sun for long hours every day. I have to make sure I’ve always got enough water, sun cream, hat, sunglasses… everything possible that would prevent me from getting heat stroke.

And the best?

The best part is that feeling when you know you’ve got a great shot and you just want to share it with everyone. Also, spending a great amount of time with the Wildwind beach team; they are like a little family and I have great fun with them.

What about actually getting afloat yourself – get much time for this?

I don’t get as much time as I would like. Usually after finishing taking the pictures there’s not enough hours left in the day. But I should probably admit that I don’t push myself enough to get out there at those times; I’m not actually very confident on the water really.

Do you get frustrated when a good forecast pops up and you have to work behind the lens?

Yes, I do get frustrated when an amazing forecast pops up and I have to work, but it also means that I can get some brilliant action shots.

What are your plans for the rest of 2018 and into winter? Any plans for more trips or a break from work?

I am in a privileged position in that I option for my future work, I’m leaning towards heading down under in Australia and explore and work there. Also Belgium, my homeland, is an option or even possibly going back to the UK.  As I’ve had such an incredible summer showcasing and expanding my skills whatever I end up doing needs to be just as stimulating.

And what about next season? More of the same?

I can’t say for certain what I will be doing next season.  I think that depends a lot on my winter plans.

Final words on photography in general?

I love how creative I can get with photography.  I come from a finance background, where there are set rules that have to be followed and it’s not so easy to think outside the box. With photography you can be as creative as you want to be and also share your perspective on things with others. The more I practice the more I see. My work has definitely helped me appreciate travelling more.

Thanks & praise

Firstly I’d like to thank my parents. They’ve always been supportive of my career choices, from previously working towards becoming a chartered accountant, to working in Greece as a photographer. It’s been a huge transition and I’m not sure I could have done it without them. I would also like the thank my manager, Miles Taylor, for giving me the best opportunity entering into the world of photography and really believing in my work.

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