I love these types of days! When the ocean shows us just how small we are. I’ll let the pictures dictate the size of the day and assure you it always seems bigger when you are swimming in it.
I went surfing before I brought my camera out, I needed to know I could get in and out safely and that there were quality surfers in the water worth the swim (you really can’t tell from the beach). Big Thanks to Zack Howard (http://www.zackhowardsurf.com). I had to ask him to stay out for at least an hour (he was one of the only shortboards killing it outside), here is a guy I’ve never met before and I’m asking him for favors…
I used my 70-200MM Lens for the first time today, it was a little weird not using a wide angle lens and sitting 20-30 feet away from the surfers. But it was the right call to make on a day this sized. Not going to say I mastered it on the first day but I can see a lot of potential adding this lens to my arsenal.
You needed power, speed, and commitment just to drop in on these waves. It was so hard not getting hung up on the lip, the wind coming off the face of the wave was intense.
Believe it or not, this guy was not caught inside. The wave was just imploding on the shallow reef behind him…
I actually had some issues with being too close at 70mm and I would get this blurred out foreground if I didn’t hold the lens away from water…
I couldn’t believe how clear this lens is… I don’t use a full frame camera in the ocean (Nikon d300s) but I bought this lens (70-200MM F/2.8 ED VR II) with the hopes of upgrading and seeing this is making my pockets shake…
I have few more shots from the day, if you didn’t see yours, Email me at email@example.com… Sorry I don’t mass post pictures, it’s an art not a sport to me.
This type of surf photography would never be possible without a friend that goes the extra mile to help. My buddy Neal loves to surf and every time I’m in NY there are waves, Neal always says yes. Maybe the waves weren’t fantastic but we were having a blast before the sun came up and I had an opportunity try some new shots.
After the sun creeped of the horizon, I switched to a low appature and bumped up the F/stop to create a speed blur effect. It’s really hard to get a semi clear photo while bobbing up and down in the water, It’s hard to accomplish with a tripod…
I love using a flash pre-dawn, it’s so hard to find someone that will surf in the dark but it makes for amazing photos every time
The flash doesn’t really work more then 10 feet away you can still get some fun shot via post editing
You can see the flash in the lower corner
I know “blow out” photos are desired effect and would not be an acceptable if a client was paying for photos but Neal doesn’t pay so I can go as weird as I want lol
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
The days of warm water and pretty sunsets are gone, bring on the nasty funky Fall power. It was grey today, the ocean, the sky and the people but who cares? There were waves and that’s all that matters. I’m going back down to the beach in a few hours so I will save a verbose blog post and rely on photogenic magic.
Representing Long Beach, NY @ Lincoln Blvd
Here’s Drew, the best photo of the day because he has enough Balls to get down to the beach before sunrise and kill it in the dark, where were you? Sleeping, that’s why Drew Rocks!
Didn’t matter if you were shooting towards the sun or away it was all muted greys
Here’s Drew’s Buddy, he rocks too but he fell on this wave and it made me laugh, sorry drew’s buddy, email me and I will give you all your photos for free.
Here’s Drew dropping in on his buddy, but it’s totally ok because my business card is in his mouth and he held on to it. So sorry Drew’s Buddy you got dogged twice today. That also makes me laugh, sorry just being honest.
Here’s a guy named Dan, That’s my name too. “Rock on” Dan’s of the world
Yeah we are happy to be in weather like this if it means we get waves.
I didn’t get the memo, it’s bootie season now, 3 hours of shooting, I could barely feel my feet, please dress according from now on, but if you wear Gloves until I say it’s cool, you are a kook and I will make fun of you too, that go for removable hoods also, grow a pair it NY
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
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
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
Sorry It’s been over a month since my last post. On September 7th I had a leak in my water housing due to user error, I lost about $4000 worth of equipment and honestly it was so hard for me to even look at this blog since. I just surfed and re-evaluated everything I had learn over the last year, while I figured out if I could afford getting back into a hobby that means so much to me.
I got a new used camera body and considerably cheaper 50 mm lens and got back in the water yesterday to push myself creatively. The lens wasn’t as quick to focus into the light as my old one and instead of letting that hurt me I decided to use that to my advantage. I got in the water at 6:20am (about 40 minute before the sunrise) and I wanted to represent the softness and pureness of the morning light. The color was intense!!! And with my new lens it remind me of looking into a cellophane hard candy wrapper.
Thank you for your continued support, it makes the struggles of living creatively worth it. Aloha
First light creeped over the horizon at 6:30 water temperature was high 50’s and air was low 50’s but my buddy Neal still suited up and helped me get back in the water.
Sometimes you just need to take a second and appreciate the sunrise
Focusing was hard while the ocean was rushing and my buddy was floating over the lip but the softness captures the essence of surfing at it’s purest form. Getting up sooo early so you enjoy your passion before you have to run to work stoked and salty
As the sun broke it released these wonderful purple and red hues that engulfed the sky. I don’t really eat candy but this was a huge sugar rush for me
Contrast the sky against the sun blaring thru the brownish/greenish (really dirty) water and there was an explosion of color.
Not the most epic action shot but the spray of water across the foreground reminded me of crystalized sugar in bright light and it seemed more then fitting in this post.
Daniel the Surfing Photog
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
On January 20th I got an email from someone that randomly came across my blog and wanted to buy a print. It was a photo of my buddy Rez at Ho’okipa, Maui during a sunset session taken a few days earlier. He wanted to buy it for his girlfriend for her birthday. I knew he wouldn’t use it for commercial use because of the tone he had in his email so I told him I’d sell it for the price of a 6-Pack. I told him I’d love to have a picture of him and his girlfriend with the picture (a tradition of keeping pictures of mine that people have printed out). I was waiting to share that 6-pack with Rez as soon as I got that photo. 9 Months to the day he sent the picture and I couldn’t be more stoked.
Any surfer will tell you riding waves may be the act of surfing but being a surfer has many meanings. I am not the same surfer I was when I was 12 when I got my first board and I won’t die being the surfer I am today.
I’m back in NY after a lengthy North America tour and a high school friend wanted to get some surfing pictures of her and her 10 month old daughter. It was hard for me to prep myself conceptually for this photo shoot only because the elements would be greater then the surfing (lighting, angles, distance, crying babies). I decided that early morning light would be the best, an East Coast summer sunrise has this crisp almost blinding light that seems to skim across surface of the ocean and I knew it would add to the youthfulness of this shoot.
Now my friend neglected to tell me that she has never taken her daughter surfing before so my ideas of close ups, capturing joyfulness excitement of her child riding waves turned into watching the bond of a surfer/mother take the first steps into a whole new world. I realized I needed to swim further away and give less direction and not even continue our conversations. They were both justifiably nervous and both of them didn’t really know what was going to happen. I watched as their moods changed and the elements that I was so focused on faded away. I could tell my friend was realizing that a new chapter of her surfing life was starting to happen and even though she might not want to give up her old surfing life,she was ready to make this work.
The range of emotions that flew by were powerful enough for me to be stop in my tracks
You wouldn’t think paddling out on a two foot day would be challenging, until you realize that it’s the first time you’ve ever done it this way
the initial relief of making it to the outside was washed away by the realness of the moment and the striking realization that this was really happening
My favorite photo: the wave passing by with neither of the heads turning, as if it didn’t matter
and the exact opposite: the mother watching what she would love to be doing while holding her daughter tight
On this day no waves were ridden but we welcomed a new surfer into the world. Aloha
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.
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
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*
Here is Edward Kubiak (http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000814941597) Please annoy this kid. He is a cocky showboat. Don’t get me wrong I think this kid is rad but, that doesn’t mean he couldn’t use a good kick in the ass.
Fisheye Lens are a staple of surf photography. Depending on how you angle the lens you can make waves look bigger, deeper or steeper, But the down fall is you can also do the opposite. When I first got comfortable enough to get close I realized that I then had to master the fisheye. I mess up a lot of great shots due to inexperience and being too far away. But I learned from my mistakes and how to crop a photo to hide the distortion. Enjoy
Check out the original and the cropped, it’s really hard to maintain a believable horizon
Bottom angle shots will dwarf a wave size
Water droplets on a dome shaped housing ports are a way of life and an image killer
Subjects on the edges of the image get distorted
Too Far away
Ok I know I’ve been slacking, I’m starting a new Job which will put me on the road for the next 6 months straight. I will re-edit at least one day every week for the next few months so I can keep the Aloha alive. I took about 50,000 photos this winter and yeah maybe I posted the best of the best but there are a lot of unseen photos to re-discover.
Here’s a turtle… Yeah he’s slow but when you see him he’s worth the wait
It’s always a pleasure to work with beautiful talented athletes. Kate brought this calmness and elegance into the shoot that really translated to the photos. We had the opportunity to explore a lot of different ideas and different mediums (rocks, sand, waves, deep dives, pool) and the morning sun was excellent lighting. The shot took place @ Big Beach in Makena
It was a longboard day at Hookipa, small waves but some enjoyable Kona off-shore winds. This brings a lot of smiles and mellow attitudes. Everyone is out there just enjoying the ocean and the wonderful felling you get gliding along the water.
Lets get the cute girls out of the way first, then we can worry about the god vibes haha
Bust out your best shaka
Since it was small I made my friends hold hands and look cute for an underwater shot. Maybe one day I’ll take engagement shots, hahahah yeah right
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
I had the pleasure of working with my friend Val on some Fine Art shots. After her duck diving shoot (https://thesurfingphotog.com/2012/01/10/duck-diving-photo-shoot/) she put on a tight white dress and swam around. It was a lot of fun and we just ran with it, no real direction just having fun. I hope you like it as much as she did.
And here was just an outtake that I really liked. I told her to point her feet and look graceful I think I just accidentally captured her practicing