For National Geographic’s latest Your Shot assignment, titled “Spontaneous Adventure,” photographer Julia Cumes submitted a beautifully surreal photo of stand up paddle boarding at night (see above). As a stand up paddle boarder herself, Cumes was intrigued to learn about the nighttime version of the sport and was equally intrigued to photograph it. “What I love so much about stand up paddle boarding is its ability to transport one, surrounded by nature, to a quiet, meditative state,” she writes on her blog. “So what could be more magical than having that experience on a moonlit evening? I also knew it could be visually beautiful although I wasn’t sure how well it would photograph because of the low light conditions.”
Specially-made, waterproof LED lights are attached to the base of the boards which illuminate the water below. This allows the paddler to see all types of fish otherwise not visible in the darkness.
And so, on a warm September night, at around sunset, Cumes went out to Sesuit Harbor in Dennis, Massachusetts, stood on a jetty overlooking the water and photographed the scene below. “What I saw was even more beautiful and surreal than I was expecting,” she states. “I thought I’d share a few photographs from this extraordinary night.”
She calls this set of photos Paddling Dreams.