Archive for July, 2012

Entitlement

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

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The Definition of a Surfer

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


Hometown Breaks

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


Quality vs Quantity

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