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 working on a west coast International Marketing Tour, yet for some reason I’m in Illinois… Don’t ask it’s marketing. I’ve gone to California a few times already this year and have been lucky enough to land some pretty solid swells. Here are a bunch of great shots for one reason or another didn’t make the cut in my previous post, so I thought since I’m suck in the Midwest and the chance of getting great surfing shots is slim, I’d revisit the west coast.
Sold this shot to this guys friend for a gift… so I didn’t want to post the shot until he got it. It was the best shot I’ve got in California hands down! (it was his first session with his new board… I think it’s a keeper)
This kid was killing it that day!
The water temp so freezing this day I was surprised I stayed in for 2 hours with only a shorty 2/2mm. Wish I could stay longer it was a super glassy day
I could just post the 3 shot from this sequence and claim it was a sick but he didn’t even come close to landing it.
Here is a great barrel shot from the Wedge but it was a little too pretty to add to a post when you are calling the place a freak
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