Day 1 Teahupoo
First off big thank you to Moana my host in this beautiful country. I will be living in Tahiti for the next 2 months and hopefully we get more waves like to day.
Not a lot of talking on this post since it’s been about a year since I got my camera in the ocean and can’t really explain how heavy Teahupoo was today. I’m glad I had the balls to swim out on a 6-10 foot day. Not so happy after I shot, I caught one wave then got pushed 50 yards across dry reef. shit happens… Aloha.
Just Incase you were wondering how deep Teahupoo is… Lets hope you never find out lol
Bro’s before Pro’s
I was shooting at point with bunch of friends and a few of the young pros on the island showed up in the lineup. I could have raced over and shot in the inside but today was about smiles not impossible airs.
My buddy Reza was working in off island last month so it was nice to go surf with again… It’s been too long
My buddy Mike is alway reliable to take the bigger waves of the day
It was Saturday morning and Christian had to keep checking his family on the beach but he had time for a few nuggets
It’s always good to meet new people, here is Justin, I always see him at Hookipa on the outside. As a guy that prefers quality or quantity, I always respect the guys that sit outside and don’t scrap for crappy waves.
Ok after I got shots of all my friends I swam over to hump Matt Meola leg on the inside at Middles.. He seriously never disappoints, always gives 1000%
He’s so fast sometimes he’s hard to catch
But the dude can huck airs, I’m kind of glad he didn’t land this, I was 5 feet bellow him…
12-4-15 was heavy and by no means clean, I got up super early so I could shoot my buddy Mike before he had to go to work. I didn’t sleep well but I was so excited from the amazing shots I got the day before, that I got greedy for more.
Protocol on bigger days is to go surfing first for 30-60 minutes to make sure it’s safe to go shoot. You have to understand that Hawaii is an Island Chain in the middle of the Pacific Ocean Winds, Swells, Tides all drastically change from day to day. I thought because the swell size was dropping from Wednesday to Thursday that I could just swim out without studying the break. I quickly realized I made a mistake and the safest place was to get outside where the waves were breaking.
The swell from early this week was fading and a more Northerly swell was arriving. The problem with this new swell was it was closing out the channel (the safe area, just outside the breaking waves). This new pattern of churning water was also sucking me outside into the breaking waves. If I took a second to look at the water before I swam out I would have realized I shouldn’t have gone out.
The Channel is normally just past these rocks, I should have noticed that it was churning White Water but I was too busy checking my settings taking photos of my friend entering the water.
This was the first wave my friend caught or didn’t.
There was only one other surfer (Kenny?) and a bodyboarder out. Since it was such a workout trying to follow my friend it was hard to stay in position take photos of anyone else. Examples of being to far away and too close
Somehow I did manage to take a great sequence of my friend but this would be the last picture I took that day. I took a massive beating by the next wave, then tried to get in and couldn’t so I swam back outside waited for my friend and asked him if he could help get me back to the shore. I was freaked out and needed help. I’m grateful for good friends. Thanks Mike
Safety With Size
I love these types of days! When the ocean shows us just how small we are. I’ll let the pictures dictate the size of the day and assure you it always seems bigger when you are swimming in it.
I went surfing before I brought my camera out, I needed to know I could get in and out safely and that there were quality surfers in the water worth the swim (you really can’t tell from the beach). Big Thanks to Zack Howard (http://www.zackhowardsurf.com). I had to ask him to stay out for at least an hour (he was one of the only shortboards killing it outside), here is a guy I’ve never met before and I’m asking him for favors…
I used my 70-200MM Lens for the first time today, it was a little weird not using a wide angle lens and sitting 20-30 feet away from the surfers. But it was the right call to make on a day this sized. Not going to say I mastered it on the first day but I can see a lot of potential adding this lens to my arsenal.
You needed power, speed, and commitment just to drop in on these waves. It was so hard not getting hung up on the lip, the wind coming off the face of the wave was intense.
Believe it or not, this guy was not caught inside. The wave was just imploding on the shallow reef behind him…
I actually had some issues with being too close at 70mm and I would get this blurred out foreground if I didn’t hold the lens away from water…
I couldn’t believe how clear this lens is… I don’t use a full frame camera in the ocean (Nikon d300s) but I bought this lens (70-200MM F/2.8 ED VR II) with the hopes of upgrading and seeing this is making my pockets shake…
I have few more shots from the day, if you didn’t see yours, Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org… Sorry I don’t mass post pictures, it’s an art not a sport to me.
The Mountains We Choose
It’s 5pm and I have 45 minutes of daylight left, most people would just enjoy the sunset and called it a day. I grabbed my camera and swam the 100 meters to shoot because I knew my buddy Mike was out. I realized once I got out, a rain squall was quickly approaching and was going to destroy any hope of usable color. Regardless these are the Mountains we choose to ride and I feel images like these portray surf culture better than the glossy advertising magazines.
This was the first photo I took as I was swimming thru the channel towards the break… I instantly started questioning if this was a good idea because it was too late for me to go surfing
It’s always comforting when you have friends that can surf, here’s mike throwing a hack right in front of me. Pretty much making my long swim out worth it. thanks mike
Then it got crazy windy
Then it started to pour
Then everything started to fall apart
But if you’ve every been to Hawaii you’ll realize it does this and leaves as soon as it comes in… these 2 photos were taken less than 3 minutes apart
Honestly I don’t know how I focused on this last photo, I attached the original next to the edited one to show how dark it actually was… Try in your house to get a photo of someone walking with a shutter speed of 60, f/stop of 2.8 and ISO of 500…
I Get Wet!
I’m not sure if there is some other meaning for Andrew WK’s song “I Get Wet” but it excites me and I’m not ashamed.
Ho’okipa Beach park on the North Shore of Maui is the closest thing to my home break, Not saying I’m a local, but I have spent more days here than any other beach in the world in the last few years. Personally I like it a little bigger but if people are ripping I’m going to go out with my camera.
I haven’t been in Maui since the winter of 2013 but when I swim out with my camera it feels familiar. I know the reef, how the spots break on different swells and how to get in and out of the ocean safely. Maybe I should have been more cautious, It been a few month since I’ve seen good surf but that didn’t stop me. I swam out full steam and got a close as I could with a 17-50mm lens… Maybe too close.
All the shots today were at Pavils (It’s short for Pavilions, but I was assured multiple times no one uses that name but feel free to shorten an abbreviation to an abbreviation and call it P-Vil), there was a PWA (professional windsurfing association) event today so all the surfers were forced to the most eastern section of Ho’okipa.
This is the “Picture of the Day”, It’s clean, crisp and logo free (well except for mine, but I’m not corporate)
I guess I was excited to be back because I took more close-up than anything else, maybe I should have used my Fisheye Lens
I was only scared once today when this 58 year (it was his birthday on Saturday, I talked to him on the walk to my truck) came wobbling towards me, Not saying he wasn’t charging but on this wave I thought I was getting a rail to the face.
It was a surprise to swim out and see another Photog, Raja (http://www.travelingkameleon.com/)… You don’t get a lot of interest in the small-medium surf on a Thursday morning, but it was nice talking to someone that knew what they were doing.
Raja was mostly communicating one surfer (Lucas), when you go out to capture pictures with a photographer, you try to throw maneuvers in front of him so I didn’t connect with Lucas that much because our timing was not in sync. Luckily Raja missed a few sections down the line because he was shooting Fisheye and Lucas came screaming down the line.
Short Sands Playground
In my last post I gave a shout out to my shaper in Portland, OR (www.Blackfernsurfboards.com), Mike Hall not only built me a custom board in 3 days, after he found out I was a photographer he agreed to meet me at the beach to show me how much Gnar his board could Shred (“Shredding the Gnar” is my favorite term, you might as well get used to it).
I may have forgot to mention to Mike that I really only love heavy, chunky technical waves and really don’t care for pretty soft long rides. Unfortunately Short Sands Beach on the coast of Oregon is the latter. You go to short sands to learn how to surf and have a pretty day on the beach with your friends. Mike can shred some heavy Gnar but most of the other people surfing this day probably drive Minivans (not the cool crossover kind).
Oregon literally has the most consistent surf in the country and I couldn’t believe the level of surfing I was trying to film, it wasn’t pretty. Maybe I shouldn’t talk trash but it’s so easy. Ok I’m only going to show two utterly gross attempts to surf then i’ll bring back the gnar…
Was this guy tied to the ground?, how do you not even gain any forward momentum… I couldn’t believe this waste of wave
I watched this guy butcher 10 waves already so I should have known but he had such a stylish arch to his take off turn I thought he would actually try to make a section… Nope he just stood there and let the wave smack him in the face, nice!
Thank you for hanging in there, Here is some gnar… Mike on my board, he mastered this skate style chop hop floater on his back hand… either that or he was trying hard to show off his logo on the bottom of the board
Ok I don’t do this often… But I have to publicly shame this Orange hat dude. “Donkey of the week” (he’s luckily this happened a few months ago because I would have dedicated a whole post about talking trash about this guy). Obviously this guy is “A Local” but if your burn little kids trying to learn, your the kook (it’s not Malibu). Not to mention the “I’m too cool to care” attitude but I’m going to hover around the guy taking photos all day, give it a rest. I can admit you can surf but don’t be that guy
New Board Shout Out
BIG shout out to my shaper Mike Hall at http://www.Blackfernsurfboards.com… I gave him 3 days notice to make me a board before I came to Portland, OR for work. He not only delivered, he surpassed all expectations… He took my input and tweaked his “Bean V2” model (skate inspired concave deck with volume in all the right places) I asked for bit more rocker in the nose (I rock the late take offs) and a little less volume then the standard size model…
Check out those lines!!! the concave deck makes for radical turns and less need to grab rail during heavy turns or foam ball barrels
Thanks to my wonderful girl friend Miss Wille Kennedy for all the surfing photos (especially on those not so nice PNW cloudy day) I got a new toy and need to Shred the Gnar hahaha
Thanks Mike, hope I do your creation justice