I like a mood to fit a style and an image to translate a message. Working underwater brings a quiteness to a photo, you have to add dramatic elements to bring a voice to photos. Maui has breathtakingly clear water but there is only one beach on the island that has a beautiful tan sandy bottom… Makena Beach on the south-side of the island.
I don’t wear women’s clothing but I was able to pick an ensemble that fit my model’s look and attitude. I kept thinking “Nico” from Velvet Underground and the work she did with Warhol in the 70’s. I needed the pictures to scream “STYLE” but remaining quite with a devoid of emotion. I think we did a great job and I’m happy to introduce Willie Kennedyto an ocean that is as beautiful as she is, Thank you Willa.
I have diluted the color on some of these images to fit the era
I don’t claim to be an “on-land” photographer but I wanted this shoot to tell a story. So we documented her journey to the sea
The umbrella was a fantastic addition to the shoot but it has not easy to maneuver. It also only lasted for 30 minutes
I’ve been know to edit out tattoos from photos but this one was poignant and actually added to the shoot
This photos tone may be distracting from the rest of the shoot but the bubbles and the way she is slightly holding down her dress need to be cooled… these accidental test shoot always seem to yield at least one breathtaking image. As the clouds came I needed to adjust my aperture and was just asking my model to stay still so I could adjust color.
As these types of photo-shoots do not necessarily fit my moniker “The Surfing Photog” they sometimes are more rewarding. I couldn’t ask for better photos or a better model. MAHALO
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
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.
I sometimes get the pleasure to step beyond myself, waiting for stillness and expression rather then turbulence and action. I’m currently traveling for work with my girlfriend and luckily she has the grace and patience to indulge me with a series of pool photo shoots. Not really sure if these photo adventures have a purpose or meaning but maybe its better that way. There is that whimsical childlike excitement that comes from exploration. Water is my medium, this is my education
Skin tone is diluted by the distance of water between you and your subject, think of water as giant blue filter for your camera. This might be a more morbid photo then you are used too on my blog but my models skin is very light and this series of photos play on that contrast.
Here is the other extreme, matching skin tone underwater can add a vibrance to an otherwise dull photo
This is just us having fun, luckily I have long arms and a fisheye lens so I don’t need a 3rd person for stuff like this
We learned a lot from the first shoot and decided that the best photos were the ones that were still and screamed peacefulness. So we switched outfits and pools and continued to explore .
I’m not really used to portraying thoughtfulness and presenting it in a peaceful manor, I take surfing photos…
This pool was also a lot darker and deeper so it help capturing the moment from afar.
We had fun and learned a lot so hopefully I’ll be able to bring you more pool shots and just maybe I’ll figure out how to bring some of this calmness to surf photography
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.
I’m in love with color, mostly the vast arrays of changing light during sunrises and sunsets. The light skims across the surface of the water and the hues of the sky become alive. Unfortunately clarity is an issue as the light fades, I recently purchased a flash for my water housing so I can better illuminate my subject in the failing light. It adds another 2LBS making the totally weight around 7-8LBS and it’s not arrow dynamic cutting thru the water so, I feel like my balance is off and I’m struggling to maintain a horizon because its top heavy. Here was my first attempt on a super glassy 2-3 foot day at Robert Moses State Park. Many Mahalo’s for my friend Neal for staying in the water extra late to help me practice.
There was enough light when we first started that the flash wasn’t needed, Plus I need to understand range of my Flash (check out the moon)
Normally he would be a silhouette shooting into the sun but the flash added just enough color to make this shot
Too Far away and the flash doesn’t even matter.
The Flash actually made this too colorful and its was super red and over exposed so I bumped up the contrast and made it black and white, around this time I was having issue with focusing, the camera couldn’t find a focal distance in the dark.
This obviously wasn’t the best shot but it illustrated perfectly the concept I was going for, Perfect clarity in almost no light.
In between sets and at the end I wanted to try to get a few beach break barrel shots. But it was really hard to turn my arm with the extra weight to position my camera perfectly
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
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 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
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
So the stormy filled sky’s of Southern Florida were an entertaining change of pace from tropical setting of Hawaii but the appeal has warn off. I feel like I’m over editing as a way to compensate for the gray overcast. Maybe I’m just being moody…
I was excited Albert finally pulled off a 360 that I got a picture of… it’s a cool trick but not visual stunning as a single frame. So here is a few shots of the sequence. I think this is the only angle that works cause honestly it just looks like he is face planting most of the time cause the spray covers the move.
This is just a picture of a kick out (exiting the wave) but Albert does everything with flair so it looks good
It started pouring and I never shot in rain like this so I tried a bunch of settings to get it right… I think I need more practice… heres one dark and one light, there is no middle ground… it’s all grey
And I’m sorry if this offends anyone but I’m in Florida for my grandmas birthday and my cousin came with me to the beach today… he’s my comedic relief and helps me to remember not to take life to seriously… thanks jeff… bet you never thought this would make it onto my blog hahaha
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…
Black and White photos really aren’t my thing but due to the stormy weather and the churned up ocean I decided to do a series of over and under exposed photos that I would later manipulate to Black and White. Grey storm clouds and lack of light make for crappy color photos but they add mood to B&W photos.
This first one is my favorite by far, this kid is like 10 years old and he was shredding! Usually I don’t turn around if I know the person can’t make it over the lip (I would be taking pictures of the back of the wave otherwise) but his little kid pulled it off. Thanks little buddy
Albert has been showcased in all of my Lake Worth, Florida Posts, He’s hungry and he shreds. He also watches where I am in the line up, Pro’s do the same thing, they realize sponsors pay every time they are in the magazines. Here’s a hint for all you young surfers *make friends with someone with a camera. Cause if your aspire to get paid to surf, you have to have proof you are worth the cheddar*
This guy showed up, took off on all the bombs of the day then bounced. He also had a killer Mustache.*hint for all you young surfers, Grow a Mustache = Take off on bombs*