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 (https://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 (https://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 (https://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 (https://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 (https://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 (https://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 (https://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 (https://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
I would normally have something funny or maybe even something witty to add to my pictures. BUT I’m tired I shot for 4 hours 2:15pm-6:15 (1,200 frames) and have been editing since 7:30. It’s now 2am it’s my 3rd post of the night and I’m going to bed. Maybe I’ll re-edit this in the morning but I wouldn’t hold my breath on that promise…
I had a lot of epic shots I took this winter but it’s funny how many I missed, It would be impossible to post all of them but I’m getting surf stoked all over again going thru my re-edit.
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!
What’s funny about shots like these is that they have more of a mass appeal then regular surfing shots. Over exposed, over edited garbage will all grace peoples walls. Don’t get me wrong I don’t dislike shots like these, I’m just try to salvage a bad day of lighting with an artsy touch. Basically I’m disappointed in my effort today…even though you will enjoy these shots
I gave up half way into the shoot and went underwater, I got a cool sequence of a guy breaking on a wave (stopping Flintstone style hahah)
and the ever popular behind the waves shot…. I still have to work on this one
Got to Hookipa around 4 for a setting sun session with my buddy Rez. Some cool shot and great color. Less words more pictures 🙂
Rez almost landed on me 3-4 times during the session but he was going hard so I didn’t mine.
You need a permit to use a Jet Ski (they call it a thrill craft in HI) and be able to Tow-In surf in Hawaii. This guy was in my class this weekend, He is a Kite-Surfer from San Fran cool guy, hopefully going to shoot him kite surfing next week.
Rez into the sunset
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
This is the Heaviest wave I caught a picture of this winter. It’s of Tom Whitaker at Honolua Bay on 1/4/12
So I said had a bunch from yesterday session so I thought I’d do a part 2 from Honolua Bay.
This was actually my favorite shot of the day! The surfer dropped in on the bodyboarder and the sponger edged him into the white water then looked back to watch the guy get smashed by the lip. Really funny
This not a bodyboarder post but this guy got super deep so I had to show it too.
Longboarder’s were killing it too
I’m a goofy foot so I understand this photo, still doesn’t make it a good idea on a point break style wave. The girl duck diving can’t figure it out either haha
This was a great spot for this surfer but this was the wave I got smashed on. Thats how crazy I am, I know I’m about to get pounded but I still grab a few shots before the wave drills me haha, I might have issues
Today at Honolua Bay was EPIC!!! I have so many amazing photo’s from todays session. If you don’t know where the place is don’t come here haha.
Kai Barger was killing it!
Dustin Barca about to get shacked!
Its awesome when you have the chance to show people there waves after the session, Met this guy on the top of the hill, he’s a local guy that was killing it all day, went back for more after I left too
I dig this shot cause I get to show you how heavy it was and where I had to sit to get these shots. Only got pounded once but I can tell you it wasn’t fun…
So this is going to be a different type of post, I gave out a bunch of business cards today and told everyone I would post their picture. My gift to everyone…
Email me if you want the sequence
Started off at rocky lefts
This guy was ripping, he was dress partly as Santa, said he couldn’t surf in the jacket. 3rd picture is him getting clipped by the lip. Dude came right back out for more. It’s my pleasure to shoot people who go for broke
Here is a bunch of shots from Gas-Chambers, some big sets and heavy drops
I don’t think anyone likes to get skunked but it happens. I got a few shots but I’ll let you be the judge if they are quality. No excuses play like a champion 🙂
I like this kid (I think his name is Rico?) he always goes for broke
The low tide @ Rocky Point has been super shallow this week, this guy is over like 2 feet of water
Why old guys don’t do airs
It’s unlike me not to post for a few days but I’m honestly happy to be drying out for a few days. I’m giving my wounds, cuts and bruises time to heal. If you have never been to Hawaii the surf breaks are over a very hard and sharp reefs. It hurts a lot when you get smashed into them. I will be exploring Maui for the next few months so I promise to post a bunch of new and exciting locations soon…
here are a few pictures I liked that I didn’t have room to post in the last few weeks
Here is Myles Padaca during the break for the final at sunset, He was a caddy and got the place to himself for 40 minutes
Here a guy getting burnt at pipe and the other guy getting an epic barrel, happens a lot at pipe, kind of suck but it’s reality
And Jamie O’Brian home at pipe
Got up early to get out at pipe before the glorious sun ascended over the Koʻolau Mountain Range which frames the North Shore. I was feeling artistic from the moment I left my house, the air was crisp and I was good spirits. I’m really grateful for my time here and I want to make the best of it. I hope my images warm your heart wherever you may live…
And here is a barrel shot because it is Pipe 🙂
Swam out to Backdoor today, Pipe was firing too, I just liked the shape of Backdoor today more. (for people that don’t know they are the same wave, Backdoor is the right, pipe is the left).
No more talking, you say the word Barrel and nothing else matters
Kamalei Alexander getting shacked
Ok I’m not hatting here but I had to post this. I don’t know if Benji Weatherly gave up or literally fell asleep during this backdoor wave. The wave was not a closeout and pealed down the line with Benji so I know he didn’t fall but I have no clue what was going on during the wave.
I can’t end a post with Benji and his narcolepsy so here is Dylan Goodale about to get shacked
So I live across Kam Hwy from Rocky Point Surf Break (probably the most photographed beach this season due to the lack of Pipe swells) so there is always talent at my beck and call. I could live here forever but I wouldn’t want to be any where else right now.
If you have ever surfed Rocky Point you have seen this guy, his name is Rasta, nice guy just don’t take off on his wave
Wanted to show the change of color from the rights to the lefts, both these pictures were taking within 10 minutes
I don’t post blurry pictures too often but I literally get hundreds a day, Water is a hard medium to shoot in and if you haven’t noticed to sticks to everything. This u shape blur actually worked as it blur out the back of the surfer and the sun refection on the wave. Picture was taken at 5:30 right before sunset
O yeah and it’s Holly Beck, you might have heard of her!
The crowds were out in full force today, I wanted to get away and have a fun session, no better place to find smiles then at Velzyland. Meet a bunch of happy people today, gave out a few business cards, so lets see if any of them go home and check out the site. I’m not trying to make money on small day like today, just go out and have a good time. Mahalo for checking it out
So I don’t usually post pictures of bodyboards but these guys where mad cool and actually funny
Few good ones rolled thru
I got a bunch of pictures of this Young scrappy kid, reminded me of my self. He would paddle his brains out to get into every wave. Kept going the whole time I was out there, gave him a card hopes he checks it out.
Today was the finals of the Pipe Masters and the Triple Crown of surfing. I stayed out shooting all day. It was a great ending to an amazing contest season for me and couldn’t be more excited to be a part of it. Kieren Perrow took home the win and John Florence the Triple Crown.
Kieren Perrow in the final
Michel was one heat away from the Triple Crown Title you could hear him in the water, he was really pissed off that he didn’t make it, there is no second place in the triple crown.
Relaxing back stage and just stoked he was wearing a $10,000 watch, haha