B&W

A Life Less Ordinary

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 Kennedy to 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

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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

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The umbrella was a fantastic addition to the shoot but it has not easy to maneuver. It also only lasted for 30 minutes

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I’ve been know to edit out tattoos from photos but this one was poignant and actually added to the shoot

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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.

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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

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GREY, THE NEW COLOR

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

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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.

 

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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.

 

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Here are just a few single shots that I really liked

 

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Old/New Movtivation

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.

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Beautiful Motion

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.

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Here is the other extreme, matching skin tone underwater can add a vibrance to an otherwise dull photo

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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

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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 .

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I’m not really used to portraying thoughtfulness and presenting it in a peaceful manor, I take surfing photos…

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This pool was also a lot darker and deeper so it help capturing the moment from afar.

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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

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A Bath of Fire

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?

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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

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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.

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New Color

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


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