Scored an epic day in Long Beach, New York on the 22nd of April; It unfortunately didn’t come with any sun. When it’s overcast windy and heavy not many people throw their 5/6 mm wetsuit on and come out for a photo session in 50 degree water temperatures. Luckily I can always count on my Buddy Neal to charge for awesome photos.
All the photos are grey today but I bet they still get your blood pumping for surf. Broke this post into my favorite sequences and left a bunch a single shots for the end. Aloha
I’m really a fan of this angle, it usually leaves me totally exposed to get hit in the lip with the wave but I can’t wait till one day when the wave chandeliers over my head and I get a backdoor barrel shot.
Same angle as last but I was a little too inside and the wave didn’t really open up, Neal really threaded the needle though and busted threw the backdoor on this one.
Here are just a few single shots that I really liked
Delawho!!!! Delahere!!!! DELAWARE!!!!
Had a fantastic session at Indian River Inlet, DE. Delaware is not really on any major surfing radar but it gets solid beach break shoulder high surf. I’ve been working in Baltimore, MD and had a few days off so I hit the beach and washed off the big city blues with a little friendly town charm.
Nothing to say but positive words about the wonderful surfers and people in the state of Delaware, I’ve rolled thru this part of the country a few times and have always been greeted with smiles. So I passed out a few business cards at the beach and if anybody would like copies, email me @: firstname.lastname@example.org and I’d be more then happy to pass along the ALOHA I have been shown.
Liquid Aloha (Needs a little touch of heat though haha)
Killer beach break barrels, this guy entered with no fear… actually he had a smile on his face the whole time
In a place where you would think everyone would be rocking the long plank… this was the only longboarder in the line up
A First on thesurfingphotog.com!!!! a mofoing KneeBoarder, they still exist. “When you are on your knees ever thing is HEAD high “
I even had a Talented women with a warm blanket waiting for me, days off don’t get much better, Mahalo Delaware
Me and the ocean just took a serious break from each other. It’s never planned but in my pursuit of waves searching I’ve had to go in land to produce funds for my traveling. It brings me back so hungry it’s almost all consuming. In a few days I’ll get the first chance to surf/shoot in the last 3 months. I’d like to tell you I’m returning to a massive swell with perfectly groom off shore winds but I’ve never been a good liar. I’ve checked the reports so many times in the last week at this point I could by the minute tell you the meteorology data for all of the Northeast. But rather then bore you with jargon, I present to you some found beauties that were over looked in my first edit of my NY fall season.
The best Motivation I know is to re-edit old sessions and find sparks of fire I missed the first time. Mahalo for viewing them.
The sting of the sand blasting against your face, the almost creepy silence of the beach void of all sounds except the crashing of the waves and the burning sensation of the brisk 40 degree water temperature sizzling the small amount of skin that is not covered by thick neoprene. This is the price we pay for empty barrels in the dead of winter. It’s an addiction that saves us from the insanity’s of life.
Do you have what it takes to be here?
Go into a surf shop and put on a 5/6mm wetsuit and try to touch your toes, the extra power you need to stretch to normal limits is ridiculous. Now try pulling into a barrel… Neal making it look easy
If you are a regular visitor to my blog you know how addicted to color I am, but there is a solace to a grey overcast days with brown waves. It’s raw, not pretty and real. This is surf photography for people that have so much love for the ocean it literally hurts.
Step into life without fear and be rewarded by the things that scare you.
It’s been an amazing week in Southern Florida. I couldn’t ask for more.
The color and clarity is insane
I met James early in my session at Lake Worth and just thought he was some dude asking about what I was doing in the water, I then realized James has got skills. This guy was all over the place, killing it.
Closeouts are fun it you know how to rock them
The light was blinding around 10:30, most of my photos were getting over exposed but I managed to find some gems
Thank you is all I have to say
So Lake Worth is where my Grandma lives, she is here alone so I come here whenever I can. I go to the Lake Worth Pier because it’s the closest spot, I could drive up and down the coast looking for other waves but I don’t. I’ve met a few awesome locals and they say hi and explain the tides and the currents and generally look out for my bobbing head in the water. For a guy who travels at least 8 months a year feeling like a local is something I miss.
That being said I usually only get to take close outs because I’m a kook and should stick to taking photos haha. But there where some RAD barrels today and even thought I spent most of the day fighting a super strong Rip Current, I managed to squeeze out a few good shots.
Not sure who this guy was or if he made this wave but it’s fantastic to be in warm water with barrels again.
Not only was it warm but super clear, the locals will argue this with me because they think the water is murky but they don’t have a bunch of raw sewage that just leaked in Long Beach, NY that I will be going back to in a week.
At the Pier there was this strong rip current (which was making it barrel so hard) but it wore me out in 40 minutes so I floated down the next break called “Bonsai”. There were some larger waves over their but they weren’t barreling so shooting with a fisheye I was a little out of range. Plus I wasn’t sure where to sit because it was a mushy A-frame.
Devin enjoying the spray off the rights. For some reason I’m always two feet behind this guy, I’ll be here a week, I promise to get a shot of this guy ripping.
So I surfed for 2 hours, shot for another 1.5 while constantly swimming to beat the current, But I haven’t been shooting in over a month so despite the fact I was super tired, It was still barreling and I had to go back out.
This guy was killing it, he was in the right spot every time and charging
On his next wave… He learned when you go hard, you take hard knocks, swam over to me after to ask me if the cut on his head was bad. Just a little gash but he kept charging. If you don’t know already most surfers on good days will stay out with an injury unless its life threatening.
Stoked to be back in the water and I look forward to more waves all this week. If you live in Florida come to the pier but don’t expect to be a local on your first day. Aloha
NY surf comes alive during the fall, the beach empties out, we dust of our wetsuits and we charge. Waves here are few and far between and on a good swell you can tell that half the guys in the water have called in sick. That type of hunger represents NY SURF, paddling until your shoulders are burning and saying 1 more wave, 30 times. I surfed until my arms were tired then shot till my legs were burning then did it again.
I love surfing… maybe too much?
People where getting annoyed this guy was catching too many waves (those people sucked at surfing), this guy was killing it all day. So much style and form… take as many waves as you want, I got your back
The wave would jack up right above the jetty, I couldn’t understand why everyone wasn’t lined up there? Me and this guy shared the peak the whole time I was surfing there. (rock jetty you can notice in the bottom corner)
This dude told me he was 40 years old! I really wish I can still hack like this at 40.
There were some barrels to be found but you had to ride them into the jetty. Mostly close outs but in NY we are not afraid to go for it.
The amount of people started to shrink as the day got closer too noon, maybe people took a half day or just maybe they got tired from surfing amazing lefts all morning.
Sorry It’s been over a month since my last post. On September 7th I had a leak in my water housing due to user error, I lost about $4000 worth of equipment and honestly it was so hard for me to even look at this blog since. I just surfed and re-evaluated everything I had learn over the last year, while I figured out if I could afford getting back into a hobby that means so much to me.
I got a new used camera body and considerably cheaper 50 mm lens and got back in the water yesterday to push myself creatively. The lens wasn’t as quick to focus into the light as my old one and instead of letting that hurt me I decided to use that to my advantage. I got in the water at 6:20am (about 40 minute before the sunrise) and I wanted to represent the softness and pureness of the morning light. The color was intense!!! And with my new lens it remind me of looking into a cellophane hard candy wrapper.
Thank you for your continued support, it makes the struggles of living creatively worth it. Aloha
First light creeped over the horizon at 6:30 water temperature was high 50′s and air was low 50′s but my buddy Neal still suited up and helped me get back in the water.
Sometimes you just need to take a second and appreciate the sunrise
Focusing was hard while the ocean was rushing and my buddy was floating over the lip but the softness captures the essence of surfing at it’s purest form. Getting up sooo early so you enjoy your passion before you have to run to work stoked and salty
As the sun broke it released these wonderful purple and red hues that engulfed the sky. I don’t really eat candy but this was a huge sugar rush for me
Contrast the sky against the sun blaring thru the brownish/greenish (really dirty) water and there was an explosion of color.
Not the most epic action shot but the spray of water across the foreground reminded me of crystalized sugar in bright light and it seemed more then fitting in this post.
Daniel the Surfing Photog
I’m in love with color, mostly the vast arrays of changing light during sunrises and sunsets. The light skims across the surface of the water and the hues of the sky become alive. Unfortunately clarity is an issue as the light fades, I recently purchased a flash for my water housing so I can better illuminate my subject in the failing light. It adds another 2LBS making the totally weight around 7-8LBS and it’s not arrow dynamic cutting thru the water so, I feel like my balance is off and I’m struggling to maintain a horizon because its top heavy. Here was my first attempt on a super glassy 2-3 foot day at Robert Moses State Park. Many Mahalo’s for my friend Neal for staying in the water extra late to help me practice.
There was enough light when we first started that the flash wasn’t needed, Plus I need to understand range of my Flash (check out the moon)
Normally he would be a silhouette shooting into the sun but the flash added just enough color to make this shot
Too Far away and the flash doesn’t even matter.
The Flash actually made this too colorful and its was super red and over exposed so I bumped up the contrast and made it black and white, around this time I was having issue with focusing, the camera couldn’t find a focal distance in the dark.
This obviously wasn’t the best shot but it illustrated perfectly the concept I was going for, Perfect clarity in almost no light.
In between sets and at the end I wanted to try to get a few beach break barrel shots. But it was really hard to turn my arm with the extra weight to position my camera perfectly
I wanted to taking surfing pictures, I never knew I would fall in love with the world under the water. Moments seem to slow and pace comes to a crawl. Here are some gems that for some reason or another never made it onto the blog.
My Friend Kate at Little Beach in Maui
During my photo shoot with Kate (see above) I was blown away how beautiful the sand suck was at the beach, she kept asking me what I was doing in the shallows. I guess I see things differently then most
Attempting to spearfish with my buddy Rez, I say attempting because it is really hard
The Beautiful Val Frey doing what she does best, looking good
My Buddy Rez wanting a ducking diving shot, it’s not so sexy when guys do it haha
I’ve tried this shot so many times, It’s not something you can catch on the fly, you have to wait and wait underwater for all the elements to come together
I got Kate to play in the Sand with me for awhile
I made my buddy Rez Hold this girls hand so I could get this shot, I was told it looks like two dudes hold hands, either way I still like it
While in Florida I went to brunch with an old college friend and made her climb in the coy pond so we could get shots, give me a break brunch was $50, she was confused why I asked her to bring a bikini to brunch
I had to finally post this, I’ve been saving this for months and it seemed long enough to make fun of
It’s been a long time since I had the opportunity to taking surfing pictures, for the last 2 months I’ve been in the Midwest and Canada for work. I had the 4th of july off and was in San Francisco so I packed up my gear and went to the beach. In the last few years I’ve visited NorCal a lot and have leaned most of the breaks from Santa Cruz to SF. If you have never visited coastal northwest of the United States the weather is almost always foggy and overcast unlike the picturesque beaches of SoCal. So unless you are a hardcore surfer and will brave cold water and heavily populated shark infested waters you don’t surf here. UNLESS it’s a holiday… When it’s a holiday every kook and his kid are at the beach riding longboards on 2 foot beach break.
Luckily I know were to go. I went to a surf spot called Grey Whale, even though it’s easy enough to get to and only 5 miles south of Pacifica Beach it’s never going to be a crowed surf break. Limited parking, 50-100 stairs down a cliff and a short beach keeps tourist away. It’s also a steep fast wave so it cuts out most of the long boarders and beginning level surfers. Their must have been 100+ surfers at Pacifica surfing 2-4 waves, there was 6 at Grey Whale the whole time I was there and really only 3 of them belonged. As for the size it must have been head high to some double over head sets.
If I wanted to sell shots I could have made a killing at Pacifica but instead I really only took pictures of one guy and when he offered to pay for the shots I declined. So I introduce to you Keil Miller of San Diego. As stoked as he was to receive the shots, I couldn’t be more grateful he was there to make my only beach day in 2 months worth it. Aloha
I knew it was a heavy day when people comment on the fact they can’t believe I just swam out there but I didn’t really realize until I saw this picture haha. I guess in the heat of the moment I don’t really worry about limits.
I was hooting more then he was when he raced thru this barrel, haha
It was super overcast and since this shots angle was up and away from the beach it was grey and void of color. I thought it looked better as B&W
Think about where I was to get this angle? I thought I was going to fall on top of him
This was my Follow the Light Foundation submission. I’m not much of a video editor yet but I put a lot of heart and thought into it. I hope you enjoy.
I’m working on a west coast International Marketing Tour, yet for some reason I’m in Illinois… Don’t ask it’s marketing. I’ve gone to California a few times already this year and have been lucky enough to land some pretty solid swells. Here are a bunch of great shots for one reason or another didn’t make the cut in my previous post, so I thought since I’m suck in the Midwest and the chance of getting great surfing shots is slim, I’d revisit the west coast.
Sold this shot to this guys friend for a gift… so I didn’t want to post the shot until he got it. It was the best shot I’ve got in California hands down! (it was his first session with his new board… I think it’s a keeper)
This kid was killing it that day!
The water temp so freezing this day I was surprised I stayed in for 2 hours with only a shorty 2/2mm. Wish I could stay longer it was a super glassy day
I could just post the 3 shot from this sequence and claim it was a sick but he didn’t even come close to landing it.
Here is a great barrel shot from the Wedge but it was a little too pretty to add to a post when you are calling the place a freak
I had to drive 6+ hours to be able to stay on Galveston for an extra day but when there are waves you do what you have to do, especially since I won’t see the ocean for 30+ days. I got up super early and drove the coast till I saw surfers at 37th Street. Couple of long boarders and one fun boarder but it was more then enough for me to get suited up. (I would swim out if it was an old guy in a row boat as long as he was riding waves).
Luckily for me there was a lot of style in the water and some amazing color the brown water was a great contrast for the morning light.
Here’s Mike!!! a Texas A&M student and a super nice kid, he was riding this wide twin fin and it was the perfect board for early morning chop, this ended up being my favorite sequence from Texas. I feel it represents the majority of TX surfers, people who enjoy just being out there dong what they love. Riding waves is fun and doesn’t have to be more then that
This angle was the only one working early in the morning, it was too grey shooting away from the sun.
Found a frothy barrel on the inside sand bar… really brown
David Voigt the local pro/surf shop employee that I met the day before showed up to grab a few more shots, surf photographers don’t show up everyday in Galveston.
The sun finally came up and so did the waves. Still a little grey but when you got talent in the water you make it work.
The best photos come when the surfer actually works with me to get the shots. He knew I was shooting fisheye and that means the closer the better.
If you aren’t familiar with the “Wedge” in Newport Beach, CA let me tell you that the place is an anomaly. A rock jetty was built to protect the entrance to Newport Harbor and it formed one of the gnarliest waves I ever had the pleasure to witness. It’s unique angle and shape takes the power of one wave bounces it off the jetty and then combines it with the second wave of the set.
You’ll notice in the pictures that I’m facing the shore but your looking at the skim boarder profile, that is because he is riding the force of the wave bouncing off the rock jetty and then it is “Wedging up” and combining with the second wave of the set.
This is a nice picture of the wave.
Not so nice. The problem is you never know how crazy it will get till it’s too late haha
Riding the Power off the jetty about to get shacked by the wedge.
It almost always barrels but on larger sets it has this double slab and it drops out with out warning
Here is a shot from the beach to show you how massive it can get… After that my favorite crashes
If you don’t get pounded onto the beach the next set will get you.
Why would you put your body thru this punishment? because when it’s good it’s great
As the sun sets it releases the days tensions and reminds us that tomorrow is a new day.
I went out for a “setting sun session” the other day at Huntington Beach, CA. I wanted to capture the essence of what it feels like as the light falls behind the Pacific Ocean and that sensation as a surfer when you realize you almost don’t even need to see what you are doing to enjoy the rush surfing brings you.
Having to shoot into the light in sports photography is an image killer, good thing I don’t think surfing is a sport… It’s hard to explain to a surfer that I got the shot but not one they will appreciate, every surfer wants a well lighted image of themselves (But other surfers can enjoy the silhouette)
At 4:30 the sun was staring me in the face, making it hard to focus, took me a good 30 minutes to get this shot to work
The only place I could get the blinding light to work for me was in the barrel. Good thing its like a second home for me haha
I said it more then a few times, to get this shot you always get blasted in the side of the head. You’re trying to hold your position and then BAM!!! All the neck pains are worth it when it comes together
I was probably more upset he didn’t make this wave then he was
I took this photo because I realized I was about to have no more light and the only photos that would still work would be above the lip.
At the end of the session you stay in the water hoping to get that last glimpse of magic, the one that lets you go in with a smile on your face.
The Number Streets at Newport Beach, CA are home to some of the best surfers in Southern California, also some of the most localized surfers. That being said they really aren’t aggressive and territorial like most of the other popular surfing spots in the area. But, if you think you have a chance getting a set wave… You Are Wrong. See the issue with Newport is there are so many guys in the lineup that know exactly where the waves will break, what the sandbar is doing, how the tides are shifting, when the swell is going to peak. ect… On top of all that, they are all friends, so they don’t need force you out… they can just sit back and watch you take off on closeouts because thats the only waves they will give you (or bait you into taking).
This was the first shot I took when I swam out, it set the tone nicely for the rest of the day.
Then the Barrels came out to play
Believe it our not there was actually an empty one that I got to body surf… I never got one when I lived here haha
Barrel to the left to hacks to my right, stuck in the middle again
O yeah like I said, if you want to come on down to 52nd Street and get some waves the boys will be more then happy to give you closeout until you get discouraged and go back to the 909
I’m currently in Arizona for work and it’s killing me to be away from the ocean. Editing photos gives me this rush of energy and rehydrates my addiction to waves. Here are just a few photos that help me keep the stoke alive.
So I really don’t try to sell my photos to the magazines, yes I think it would be cool to be a published photographer but it’s not why I do it. That being said when I get an amazing photo I do send it to a few Editors just to see their response. Here was a photo of Dustin Barca at Honolua Bay on 1/4/12. Photo editors wont publish already public material so after I tried for a few weeks to get it published I forgot I never posted this great shot.
Jullian Wilson pulling into a bomb at Pipeline, I love this photo only because there aren’t any other photogs in the shot (that never happens at pipe haha)
Getting these shot require you getting pitched over the waves, you have to make sure you don’t fall on the surfer
Getting this shot at Pipe resulted in the worse beating I got all winter, I was thrown out of the wave. I wasn’t even trying to take this picture I just grabbed on to my camera for dear life and must have squeezed the trigger
No story about this one, I just like it
Doesn’t matter what sport it is when you see that one person on the field/court/track… that stands out as an amazing athlete. They are so good they make it look effortless. They are usually the person that is out practicing everyday and does it for the pure enjoyment of something they love.
This last week I have had the pleasure of following a young surfer Albert Boynton, here in Lake Worth, Florida. If you have been checking out my Florida post lately you already know who I’m talking about. I never met him before and no one pointed him out, he was just that guy who was a cut above the rest.
Since he has been making my job easy I thought I could return the favor… Here’s a few more shots from today and the best of Albert Boynton. Maybe we can help him get a few stickers on his board. Aloha!
You can practice all you like but some people are just born with STYLE…
A cut above
Here is my Re-Edit of December 7 2011.
I was so fixated on “surfers” when I first got to the North Shore of Oahu. Every Professional surfer around the planet comes to a 7 mile strip of beach to surf for 2 months. These are people I have looked up to my whole life, I was letting my excitement dictate which pictures I posted on my site. I’m a fan but I need to let the photography speak for its self.
Here is the original post from 12/7/11 (http://thesurfingphotog.com/2011/12/07/where-i-should-be/) (that barrel by Gavin Gillette is still awesome!!!)
These pictures show the raw power of “Rocky Point” surf break and the chargers that own that spot.
Pipeline is less then a 1/2 mile down the beach but somedays it’s so much heavier here
Rocky Point sometimes has a double break (Lefts and Right) and Un-fortunately some times they crash into each other. Today both were going off. Which lead me to grow eyes in the back of my head.
Backdoor Pipeline? NOPE! This is Rocky Point going off
Here is an underwater barrel shot of Gavin Gillette wave from the original post
I’d like to say they were all clean that day but most of the time I’m swimming thru a football sized field of white water haha
Winter is over time to make room for spring so in no particular order here are my top 10 favorite moments from the best winter of life…so far
#1 This is a picture of Kamalei Alexander at backdoor Pipeline (the most famous/deadliest wave in the world). It’s unedited (no photoshop, no crop) This was the first time I didn’t sit in the “Channel” and I ventured out into the line-up. I was so scared and really pushing the boundaries of my physical abilities. But this day I proved to myself that all my training and hard worked paid off.
From the Post (http://thesurfingphotog.com/2011/12/16/backdoor-barrels/)
#2 This is a picture of a surfing Icon Randy Rarick, I met him on 2-4 foot day out at Sunset Beach. I was training on a small day and learning the contour of the reef. I knew the more I learned about the surf breaks on the North Shore the better I was prepared to leave alive. Randy introduced himself to me because he was intrigued (Established surf photographers don’t swim out to sunset on 4 foot days to “practice”). This chance encounter turned out to be the most influential day of my winter
From the post (http://thesurfingphotog.com/2011/11/18/meeting-my-icons/)
#3 Jadson Andre at Rocky Point. He purposely threw this air right in front of me, He wanted me to get this shot. I realized at that point that people though I was a professional because my abilities to maintain position in the line up and my demeanor in and out of the water. I sent him a copy of this picture and he Re-Tweeted (He is in top 20 in the world of pro surfing)
From the post (http://thesurfingphotog.com/2011/11/21/finally-some-swell/)
#4 This is just a random accident shot, wasn’t trying to get it… just following some no-name surfer on the wave. Magic moments are always there and anybody can have to wave of the day. Pro-surf photographers only take pictures of pro-surfers or huge waves… I take pictures of everybody because it isn’t a job… Its fun
From the post (http://thesurfingphotog.com/2011/11/16/got-to-love-art-shots/)
#5 Waterproof Long exposure… I have been a photo dork for a long exposures and night time pictures are my favorite non-sports related type of photography. To get this picture I swam out to the reef at 10pm, set my tripod (I got a custom tripod mount for my water housing) used a flash light in a ziplock bag to illuminate the ocean. It was a 30sec exposure at an f stop of 11 ISO 800
#6 I had permission to swim out to the Eddie Aikau Big wave invitational. Nobody besides invitees and a few photographers are allowed to participate in the opening ceremony paddle out. This is not televised and it is one of the greatest honors in surfing. With great humility and pride did I share those moments. December 1 2011 was the day I realized the true meaning of Aloha
#7 Clark Little is the most famous wave photographer in the world. Here was my first attempt to capture the amazing shore break he has made iconic with Hawaii’s powerful waves. I took about 1000 shots to get this one keeper… not easy
#8 Because of my success on the North Shore of Oahu and my eye for “art” shots a mutual friend Val Frey hired me to get her the classic duck diving shot. I got paid to take pictures of a model… I repeat I got paid to take pictures of a very beautiful model
From the post (http://thesurfingphotog.com/2012/01/10/duck-diving-photo-shoot/)
#9 That duck diving shot gave me enough credit to venture into Fine Art shots.
From the post (http://thesurfingphotog.com/2012/01/29/kate/)
#10 This was the biggest meanest wave I swam out to all winter. Tom Whitaker at Honolua Bay Maui 1/4/12
From the Post (http://thesurfingphotog.com/2012/01/05/honolua-bay/)