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.
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
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/)
Here is just a friend of mine saying goodbye to me at the Maui Airport… Makes me smile
Fisheye Lens are a staple of surf photography. Depending on how you angle the lens you can make waves look bigger, deeper or steeper, But the down fall is you can also do the opposite. When I first got comfortable enough to get close I realized that I then had to master the fisheye. I mess up a lot of great shots due to inexperience and being too far away. But I learned from my mistakes and how to crop a photo to hide the distortion. Enjoy
Check out the original and the cropped, it’s really hard to maintain a believable horizon
Bottom angle shots will dwarf a wave size
Water droplets on a dome shaped housing ports are a way of life and an image killer
Subjects on the edges of the image get distorted
Too Far away
Point is the West break at Ho’okipa and it was super glassy and on point. No need for a description, the pictures will say everything
Lets start with the airs!
Some barrels, hard shredding and local flair
I love the perception of this photo, I was shooting under the lip of the section that broke in front of the surfer and it makes it look huge!
Pavilions is fast steep take off with a long workable right, it’s a fun technical wave. When it’s going it off is a heavy local spot and you can bet if you aren’t sitting deep or paddling like crazy you are going to get in someone’s way. It’s my favorite wave at Hookipa despite the fact I’m goofy foot and the lefts are blocked offed by jagged rocks.
Dylan Walsh was tearing up the wave the whole day… Check it
Some more local Shedders
Overall a glassy over head fun day
So a few days ago I had a photo Shoot with my friend Val Frey. She operates a Billabong Surf Camp here on Maui (www.WavesHawaii.com (best school on the island)). She wanted to get the classic duck diving photos so for an hour all she did was swim under wave after wave. The girl is a super athlete and did it with a smile on her face the whole time.
900 photos, over a 100 keepers, this was the hardest editing I had to do all winter