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
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
Having the ability isn’t enough, it’s knowing when something goes wrong you have the skills to protect yourself. I know that shooting fisheye in the pit at Honolua Bay is the right lens but doing so leaves you exposed if an outside set comes rolling thru. I got a bunch of fantastic shots yesterday but what I’m most proud of was when I got caught inside and wave after wave (maybe 6?) keep sending me deeper into this torrid mass of white water, that I was able to rise above. Having only a few seconds to gasp for air before the next wave hits you is a strange feeling but freaking-out is what gets your hurt. It’s a helpless feeling knowing that you are not strong enough to get yourself out of this situation, you need to stop fighting and let the current push you out of the impact zone.
What a rush…Mahalo for visiting my site
I have a bunch more photos, if you don’t see your wave please email me
There will come a time in every young surfers life when he has to start missing Swells for work, birthdays parties or hangovers. But there are days (especially during a wave drought) were you have to “just get to the beach”, this Sunday was one of these days, not the cleanest but the biggest we have seen in some time. I’m not going to name this spot (please don’t post locations) but it was prime for this crazy cross island swell. The people informed were ripping and everyone that stumbled across it were struggling to keep up (myself included).
I’m the not biggest fan of empty wave shots, they lack perspective and are sometimes UN-rideable but these perfectly illustrate the intensity of this swell. *none of these are fisheye shot, I was using a 17-55mm, what you see it what I was dodging all day Sunday.
This one is blurry but the size of this pit needed to be shared.
Best Turn of the Day. He had crazy speed going into it
The cold water has arrived and with it has come some serious waves. This is the time of year in NY when all the kiddies that thought it was “so radical” to take up surfing for the summer go away and the cream of the crop rises to the top. When you realize that this isn’t just a warm water hobby but a serious addiction that is only satisfied by the cold heavy hand of mother natures raw force.
Let the fun start
Wished he made this massive air drop but you have to have a serious pair to try
It was so hard to stay in position, Would have love to be able to shoot fisheye in the pit but when your swimming against a raging current my 17-55mm lens is money.
A lot of surfers where out, but you could quickly tell the one’s treading water and the one’s charging
Days like this I don’t even mind that they are devoid of color, waves like these aren’t pretty, deal with it.
AND THE LIGHT SHALL SHOW YOU THE WAY!!! Got together with my buddy Neal before work on Monday 9/30 in Long Beach, NY. If you not up on current events, the North Atlantic is currently in the middle of the weakest Hurricane season in the last 100 years (maybe I’m being a little dramatic). We are waved starved and will hump an glimpse of swell we get. In effort to squeeze a couple of more rides out of the swell, we got to the beach around 5:30am, a solid 45minutes before first light and an hour before sunrise. Easy enough for Neal he’s just got to ride the wave, I have to focus on a moving target in the dark while bobbing up and down trying to get a usable image. The only way I can get a usable image in “no light” is with a flash, luckily I have a waterproof flash housing to go along with my Camera.
I didn’t get too many usable photos when it was pitch dark, but this one some how was crisp as day light. You can tell by the blur of the light in the back ground that there was more then a little movement going on. Aperture 40, F-Stop 2.8, Flash 1/8 ISO 500
You can tell by the difference in light from the first photo that I must have spent 15-20 minutes without getting another usable photos and this one is a little shaky
I was getting great color shooting into the sun but positioning myself close enough for the flash to be affective was a little tricky
I have to give credit where it’s due, imagine get flashed at 8fps (frames per second) in the dark and keeping your cool to pull off style like this
It stunk that we had to go to work so early but you do what you have to get waves.
I take photos, I imaging I also do a fair bit of marketing myself as a surf photographer, Exhibit 1: This Blog. But I struggle with the conflict of doing this for fun or doing it for money. I was approached by SURFLINE.COM to be listed as a “Local Pro”. Meaning they do a small bit of advertising for me personally and I generate site traffic for them and their advertisers by directing them to where they can see my pictures. Fair trade off I guess, just being listed as a “PRO” on their site gives me creditability that would be hard to generate on my own.
But I guess I’m just stating that I’m not doing it for the money, they have a section where you can buy my photos but it’s not about that. Surfline.com is the largest surf forecasting site on the internet and to be associated with them is an honor. I will always take my own type of photos (I’m not into “Sports Photography”) with an artistic approach.
So I hope you also go to their site and see my photos but you’ll never have to worry about “The Surfing Photog” going away, this is my home and it’s what I do best. So less words and more photos, Aloha
Lido West, NY FRIDAY THE 13TH
this guy almost cut back into my face, I felt uncomfortable how close his ass got to my face lol
Around 6:30 the sunrise came up but there was so many clouds that the light didn’t really get good until 7
The blur on this photo made it cool but the guy throwing the double shaka make it AWESOME!!!!
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of hitting the coast of New Hampshire, I have been to the coast there before but never scored any waves. After talking to the locals a little, they don’t really have any waves during the summer. Luckily I had a friend that was scouting the coast early that morning and found a really awesome cove called Rye Rocks. On low tide it is a total bone yard over 50 yards of rocks but as the tide rises it peals off this point break into the cove. I personally wouldn’t recommend going right until the tide fills in, that’s if you would like to keep your fins on your board?
Didn’t get into the water until 11am and by that time the sun was blazing over head. When you point a camera at the sun it has a really hard time finding a focal spot. Not the best to take pictures in but I made the best of it.
You can see the white water on the inside of this wave was basically a shiny overexposed blob of brightness.
I was glad Rye Rocks was more of a local spot, if you have even been to NH’s coast you know that every tourist from 500 miles comes to beach and it can get a little crowded with people that really have no clue how to surf. There was only 10 guys in the water where I was surfing, but a few miles down the road at “the Wall” there was over a 150 surfers in a 1 mile stretch of beach. This guy owned this spot on a what looked like a 5’8″ board and he was no little man.
If I got down low enough and shot on an angle I was able to find some color. The rest of my session was a game of dodge ball with the sun.
This kid was my favorite, super happy grom, that was basically just stoked to be out there surfing with his brother. ear to ear smile the whole time.
He watched his brother the whole time and took off on any wave his brother told him to paddle for.
Unfortunately I don’t think his bother told him to duck dive and stop watching.
Overall it was just a fun New England surf session, cold water, friendly vibes and a lot of smiles. Can’t Really ask for more… Except maybe more surfable days, Aloha
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
I’m always getting excited about what I got rather then what I can have. I got a chance to travel to Tampa Bay, FL and usually when I visit this part of the country I don’t think I’m going to score waves. I’ve seen the Gulf of Mexico at it’s best but most of the time it’s lake placid. Well I scored waves, otherwise you would have to endure another “Artistic” post about the mottled composition of some strange topic against the contract of the setting sun. Lucky for you.
I got to Clearwater Beach around 6:30pm after work, it was dark grey, cold and windy. Not exactly perfect picture weather but I made the best of what I got. I had to use a flash, which requires low aperture settings, which in turn blurs everything that isn’t illuminated since everything is moving so fast. But I managed to produce some great images that really shows what it means to be a Gulf Coast surfer.
This guy had style for miles, I got the most photos of him because he was killing it the whole time.
You don’t always get the warmest welcome at local surf spots in Florida but this guy had a smile on his face the whole time.
I love to bust out the flash on dark night that are clear but when it grey it’s not always easy to get shots. I lucked out a lot and was able to catch a few keepers. You’ll notice that it’s hard to get a clear focus but on some photos it actually adds to the action.
The Surfing Photog will continue to travel and seek out new spots if you keep looking, Mahalo
Delawho!!!! Delahere!!!! DELAWARE!!!!
Had a fantastic session at Indian River Inlet, DE. Delaware is not really on any major surfing radar but it gets solid beach break shoulder high surf. I’ve been working in Baltimore, MD and had a few days off so I hit the beach and washed off the big city blues with a little friendly town charm.
Nothing to say but positive words about the wonderful surfers and people in the state of Delaware, I’ve rolled thru this part of the country a few times and have always been greeted with smiles. So I passed out a few business cards at the beach and if anybody would like copies, email me @: firstname.lastname@example.org and I’d be more then happy to pass along the ALOHA I have been shown.
Liquid Aloha (Needs a little touch of heat though haha)
Killer beach break barrels, this guy entered with no fear… actually he had a smile on his face the whole time
In a place where you would think everyone would be rocking the long plank… this was the only longboarder in the line up
A First on thesurfingphotog.com!!!! a mofoing KneeBoarder, they still exist. “When you are on your knees ever thing is HEAD high ;)”
I even had a Talented women with a warm blanket waiting for me, days off don’t get much better, Mahalo Delaware
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.
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.
So Lake Worth is where my Grandma lives, she is here alone so I come here whenever I can. I go to the Lake Worth Pier because it’s the closest spot, I could drive up and down the coast looking for other waves but I don’t. I’ve met a few awesome locals and they say hi and explain the tides and the currents and generally look out for my bobbing head in the water. For a guy who travels at least 8 months a year feeling like a local is something I miss.
That being said I usually only get to take close outs because I’m a kook and should stick to taking photos haha. But there where some RAD barrels today and even thought I spent most of the day fighting a super strong Rip Current, I managed to squeeze out a few good shots.
Not sure who this guy was or if he made this wave but it’s fantastic to be in warm water with barrels again.
Not only was it warm but super clear, the locals will argue this with me because they think the water is murky but they don’t have a bunch of raw sewage that just leaked in Long Beach, NY that I will be going back to in a week.
At the Pier there was this strong rip current (which was making it barrel so hard) but it wore me out in 40 minutes so I floated down the next break called “Bonsai”. There were some larger waves over their but they weren’t barreling so shooting with a fisheye I was a little out of range. Plus I wasn’t sure where to sit because it was a mushy A-frame.
Devin enjoying the spray off the rights. For some reason I’m always two feet behind this guy, I’ll be here a week, I promise to get a shot of this guy ripping.
So I surfed for 2 hours, shot for another 1.5 while constantly swimming to beat the current, But I haven’t been shooting in over a month so despite the fact I was super tired, It was still barreling and I had to go back out.
This guy was killing it, he was in the right spot every time and charging
On his next wave… He learned when you go hard, you take hard knocks, swam over to me after to ask me if the cut on his head was bad. Just a little gash but he kept charging. If you don’t know already most surfers on good days will stay out with an injury unless its life threatening.
Stoked to be back in the water and I look forward to more waves all this week. If you live in Florida come to the pier but don’t expect to be a local on your first day. Aloha
I went surfing all day today, it feels so good to be able to say that since it’s been flat for weeks on the East Coast. I met up with a guy I randomly met in Hawaii this winter that ended up living 3 miles away from my childhood house. When we met neither of us knew when we would go back but it’s nice to reminisce about the small details about the places we called home. He lifeguards at Robert Moses State Park and I was excited to see a semi clean sand bar at a beach I never went to while I lived here. Hidden gems I guess.
When we surfed in Hawaii we only rode shortboards so I was stoked to see that Neal had skills on a longboard