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
I’m always getting excited about what I got rather then what I can have. I got a chance to travel to Tampa Bay, FL and usually when I visit this part of the country I don’t think I’m going to score waves. I’ve seen the Gulf of Mexico at it’s best but most of the time it’s lake placid. Well I scored waves, otherwise you would have to endure another “Artistic” post about the mottled composition of some strange topic against the contract of the setting sun. Lucky for you.
I got to Clearwater Beach around 6:30pm after work, it was dark grey, cold and windy. Not exactly perfect picture weather but I made the best of what I got. I had to use a flash, which requires low aperture settings, which in turn blurs everything that isn’t illuminated since everything is moving so fast. But I managed to produce some great images that really shows what it means to be a Gulf Coast surfer.
This guy had style for miles, I got the most photos of him because he was killing it the whole time.
You don’t always get the warmest welcome at local surf spots in Florida but this guy had a smile on his face the whole time.
I love to bust out the flash on dark night that are clear but when it grey it’s not always easy to get shots. I lucked out a lot and was able to catch a few keepers. You’ll notice that it’s hard to get a clear focus but on some photos it actually adds to the action.
The Surfing Photog will continue to travel and seek out new spots if you keep looking, Mahalo
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.
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
I went surfing all day today, it feels so good to be able to say that since it’s been flat for weeks on the East Coast. I met up with a guy I randomly met in Hawaii this winter that ended up living 3 miles away from my childhood house. When we met neither of us knew when we would go back but it’s nice to reminisce about the small details about the places we called home. He lifeguards at Robert Moses State Park and I was excited to see a semi clean sand bar at a beach I never went to while I lived here. Hidden gems I guess.
When we surfed in Hawaii we only rode shortboards so I was stoked to see that Neal had skills on a longboard
A few of his lifeguard buddies snaking each other and having a blast before their shifts
He offered to let me try his soft top but I declined, Not my style but he made it look good
I loved the fact it wasn’t crowded but there were a few locals ripping it up
The water quality is so much better out east, I don’t think I’m surfing closer then 30 miles from NYC any more
Neal offered to take photos of me and since I really don’t have any professional quality shots from the water, I was excited to let him try with my camera, I told him he had to take his photo getting hit by the wave, I do it ever session as a gag, funny to see someone else do it.
His best shot of me, don’t blame him I really wasn’t catching good waves on my shortboard plus I got up at 4am to try my new Flash for my Water Housing… I need more practice with it
I need someone willing to wake up at 5am to get to the beach by first light, cause with my new flash I can capture so much amazing color. For now you just have to look at my head haha
Somewhere along this journey I started to do more then just take pictures, since I travel so much I get to document each local surf scene I travel too. I’m lucky enough to have another job so I don’t need to make money selling surfing pictures. This has it’s plus and minus, I take the pictures I want too and if you want to buy them more power to ya.
On this day I went to the old mans longboarding beach “Gilgo Beach”. It’s a “town beach” and if you don’t know what that means: it means it’s operated and run by a town so they can do anything they want with it (kind of like a country club). If you aren’t a resident of the town it cost $40 a day to park, there is no public transportation and they really don’t want you there. I wanted to document the old man scene that I watched growing up when I used to go there as a kid. I wanted wide angles of the gracefulness and close ups of the technical nose-riding. I forgot that even though I enjoyed watching this type of surfing, this is not my favorite type of scene to be in.
Old dudes on Long Island are crabby, they usually hate their job have a bad back and think they can catch every wave. Thats all well and good but surfing is supposed to fun. Most of these guys are the epitome of a hard core surfer, cold weather, dawn patrol before work and they will never stop surfing. It’s something that I respected growing up but never understood that tough guy, weary of outsides, this is my beach attitude. All of them will deny this, but none of them even payed attention to the young surfers or short boarders in the line up. I didn’t stay long and I won’t post the negative attitude I witnessed but just remember have fun, it beats working any day.
Even thought I think I got some good shots I’m not going to speak about the photos individually, they are happy in their little pack and I’m just going to let them do their own thing. Maybe one day when I’m old I’ll understand but I hope not lol
Any surfer will tell you riding waves may be the act of surfing but being a surfer has many meanings. I am not the same surfer I was when I was 12 when I got my first board and I won’t die being the surfer I am today.
I’m back in NY after a lengthy North America tour and a high school friend wanted to get some surfing pictures of her and her 10 month old daughter. It was hard for me to prep myself conceptually for this photo shoot only because the elements would be greater then the surfing (lighting, angles, distance, crying babies). I decided that early morning light would be the best, an East Coast summer sunrise has this crisp almost blinding light that seems to skim across surface of the ocean and I knew it would add to the youthfulness of this shoot.
Now my friend neglected to tell me that she has never taken her daughter surfing before so my ideas of close ups, capturing joyfulness excitement of her child riding waves turned into watching the bond of a surfer/mother take the first steps into a whole new world. I realized I needed to swim further away and give less direction and not even continue our conversations. They were both justifiably nervous and both of them didn’t really know what was going to happen. I watched as their moods changed and the elements that I was so focused on faded away. I could tell my friend was realizing that a new chapter of her surfing life was starting to happen and even though she might not want to give up her old surfing life,she was ready to make this work.
The range of emotions that flew by were powerful enough for me to be stop in my tracks
You wouldn’t think paddling out on a two foot day would be challenging, until you realize that it’s the first time you’ve ever done it this way
the initial relief of making it to the outside was washed away by the realness of the moment and the striking realization that this was really happening
My favorite photo: the wave passing by with neither of the heads turning, as if it didn’t matter
and the exact opposite: the mother watching what she would love to be doing while holding her daughter tight
On this day no waves were ridden but we welcomed a new surfer into the world. Aloha
I’m a New York Surfer, I grew up on Long Island. This is a statement I had to defend my hole life. Now I’d love to show you how epic the waves can actually get In NY but it’s not going to happen in this post haha. I’ll be in NY till september so here’s to hoping for an early hurricane season.
I went to the beach today with my friend and his family, I was hoping to get shots of him and his daughters surfing but I forgot that none of my friends can surf and they all got Old and Lazy (they would be the first to admit it). So I got some shots of some local surfers and a few shots of us messing around in the shore break.
I know it’s not Hawaii or any other amazing breaks I’ve shown in my posts but its home. No matter how far I travel, my root grow out of nasty brown water and I’m proud of it
As my friend stated watching me take shots “TAN SHIRT KID IS KILLING IT”
Learning on small waves will make you scrappy!
My buddy wanted to try taking shots of me, but he didn’t feel comfortable out in the break so we hung out in the shallows. This is the best shot he got of me, it’s harder then it looks isn’t it
but he did get a great shot of me getting pounded by the white water… Thanks
Before we left I went out one more time while he caught his breath and had a cigarette break ( I wonder why he need to catch his breath?)
this guy asked for a business card, so even though it not an amazing shot. Everyone is stoked on getting a surfing shot so, I hope he likes it.
O yeah, heres my friend being sexy on the shore
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
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
So I travel a lot for work, last week I was in Southern California this week Galveston, TX. But luckily for you I always bring my camera.
I was at 61th St in Galveston (yes Texas has surf). I shot fisheye today, something I don’t normally do when I don’t know the break or the local surfers (because you have to get really close), but I thru caution to the wind and it paid off. Actually it made the waves look a lot bigger.
Just incase you didn’t know the water is a filthy and brown, O yeah it almost always smells like low tide, but if it has waves I’m going in haha
People are friendly in Texas! This kid was just a local college student spending his free time at the beach. You be surprised on how many people don’t even say hello to me and people wonder why I charge them for photos (If this kid emails me I’ll give him everything for free). It pays to be nice
The line up was empty so I was about to go in then this guy paddled out and I decided to see what he had to offer. I’m glad I did he ended up working at the local surf shop (Southern Spears Surf) across the street. He was killing it and it actually made my session so big ups to SouthernSpearsSurf.com
To be able to punt airs with on shore wind and mush waves is a huge testament to this guys ability
Here is the last sequence I shot, I love when I get a shot and I know that it just made my session.
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 had the pleasure of going to my favorite beach in Southern California and I’m purposely not telling you the location (lack of a crowd is one of reasons I love this place). It is predominantly a longboard spot and is home to some of the most stylish surfers in the area. Its contrast of a visually stunning backdrop and long pealing waves make this place a diamond in the rough in over crowd ego driven So Cal.
Inspired by the location I decided to get artsy with the shoot and “document” surfing in it’s purest form, Not only concentrating on the “sport” aspect of surfing photography.
Not easy to only find one guy in a line up in So Cal
I loved the focus on this image
The following pictures are examples of longboarding done right
This guy was the only short boarder in the line up but what he lacked in fiberglass he made up in style
Today I got to check out “South Florida Surfing Air Show”, since the waves were only 1-3 feet they used a wench/rope-pull to propel the surfers into the waves. There were some great crashes, a few airs and a bunch of fun.
But the best part of the event was seeing the community of surfers here in Southern Florida coming down to the beach, bring their families and spreading good vibes. At the end of the day it didn’t really matter who won, everyone had a great time.
If you have never seen a Huck Jam this should explain how the surfers were propelled into the waves
Now for some AIRS!!!
This was my favorite part of the event, the guys waiting for their turn on the rope and everyones families were sharing these little waves and hooting & hollering, having a great time…
My Favorite crash of the day
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/)