Safety With Size
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 firstname.lastname@example.org… Sorry I don’t mass post pictures, it’s an art not a sport to me.
I Get Wet!
I’m not sure if there is some other meaning for Andrew WK’s song “I Get Wet” but it excites me and I’m not ashamed.
Ho’okipa Beach park on the North Shore of Maui is the closest thing to my home break, Not saying I’m a local, but I have spent more days here than any other beach in the world in the last few years. Personally I like it a little bigger but if people are ripping I’m going to go out with my camera.
I haven’t been in Maui since the winter of 2013 but when I swim out with my camera it feels familiar. I know the reef, how the spots break on different swells and how to get in and out of the ocean safely. Maybe I should have been more cautious, It been a few month since I’ve seen good surf but that didn’t stop me. I swam out full steam and got a close as I could with a 17-50mm lens… Maybe too close.
All the shots today were at Pavils (It’s short for Pavilions, but I was assured multiple times no one uses that name but feel free to shorten an abbreviation to an abbreviation and call it P-Vil), there was a PWA (professional windsurfing association) event today so all the surfers were forced to the most eastern section of Ho’okipa.
This is the “Picture of the Day”, It’s clean, crisp and logo free (well except for mine, but I’m not corporate)
I guess I was excited to be back because I took more close-up than anything else, maybe I should have used my Fisheye Lens
I was only scared once today when this 58 year (it was his birthday on Saturday, I talked to him on the walk to my truck) came wobbling towards me, Not saying he wasn’t charging but on this wave I thought I was getting a rail to the face.
It was a surprise to swim out and see another Photog, Raja (http://www.travelingkameleon.com/)… You don’t get a lot of interest in the small-medium surf on a Thursday morning, but it was nice talking to someone that knew what they were doing.
Raja was mostly communicating one surfer (Lucas), when you go out to capture pictures with a photographer, you try to throw maneuvers in front of him so I didn’t connect with Lucas that much because our timing was not in sync. Luckily Raja missed a few sections down the line because he was shooting Fisheye and Lucas came screaming down the line.
Looking For Some Style
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
These photos are me just getting weird with it, I hope you enjoy. mahalo for viewing
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
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
Winter is Coming
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.
Doom and Gloom
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
Before Dawn Patrol
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.
Doing What I Do Best
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
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
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 @: email@example.com 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.
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
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?
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 Many Waves
When there are waves you surf until you are sore, bleeding and on the verge of passing out. Why? Because tomorrow their might not be any more. This was my first session this morning, I’m going back for a sunset session tonight so maybe my next post will be more verbose. Aloha
I was shooting 50-mm and I have to say the prime zone for that lens is 20-35 feet away, when your subject starts flying at you, your options are duck or get hit. I sunk half way and kept my arm above water, unfortunately I kind of cropped the wave. Still a cool shot and I really happy with the clarity of the lens
I was stoked to see lefts and rights breaking, the right was a hard race down the line but was walling up nicely
Best move of the morning, like to tell you he rode out of it but sadly no. But thats why Photography is great we don’t show the frames of him falling
I have a bunch of these and I post them every once and awhile. This is what I like to call the “O-SHIT-FACE”. People freeze when they see me or think they are going to run me over and stop like a deer in headlights.
the BIG apple
NY surf comes alive during the fall, the beach empties out, we dust of our wetsuits and we charge. Waves here are few and far between and on a good swell you can tell that half the guys in the water have called in sick. That type of hunger represents NY SURF, paddling until your shoulders are burning and saying 1 more wave, 30 times. I surfed until my arms were tired then shot till my legs were burning then did it again.
I love surfing… maybe too much?
People where getting annoyed this guy was catching too many waves (those people sucked at surfing), this guy was killing it all day. So much style and form… take as many waves as you want, I got your back
The wave would jack up right above the jetty, I couldn’t understand why everyone wasn’t lined up there? Me and this guy shared the peak the whole time I was surfing there. (rock jetty you can notice in the bottom corner)
This dude told me he was 40 years old! I really wish I can still hack like this at 40.
There were some barrels to be found but you had to ride them into the jetty. Mostly close outs but in NY we are not afraid to go for it.
The amount of people started to shrink as the day got closer too noon, maybe people took a half day or just maybe they got tired from surfing amazing lefts all morning.
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 went to the crowed spot in New York today, Lincoln Blvd, It was the home of the Quiksilver Pro New York last year and is always full of surfers of all kinds. I actually enjoy surfing their despite the amount of people, usually it’s just the bro hang out. Good Vibes, cool people and a lot of hooting and heckling. I’ve surfed everywhere in the US but these mushy brown waves is where I will always call home.
I gave out a crazy amount of business cards (actually ran out for the first time) so I have to say “sorry NO BRO” cause I do not post everyones photos and yes I WILL CHARGE YOU but I did take close to 1000 photos today so message me if you want your photos (read the contact section to help me out). If you didn’t think I was working out their today, you don’t deserve your photos haha. That being said thanks for checking out the site and I’m really a nice guy… most days.
Seriously if NY didn’t start getting some size I was getting on a plane asap. Thank you hurricane season
Literally 3 people told me to watch this guy, thanks for the suggestion, how about you worry about you and I’ll do me (no one has ever told me to shoot someone else). He could rip but he was a master of the the “one big punt” and it’s hard to shoot guys that pump down the line looking for one killer move… never know where they are going to throw it?
Was stoked to see women in the line up, this girl ripped harder then most guys today. She was the only one that intelligently commented on my water housing set up… Maybe has something to do with the logo on her board. Try harder guys
Take another lesson boys, she was out longer then everyone… Except me haha
Always giving credit to the stoked old guys, maybe cause I’m 28 and I hang out with 16 years in the water most of the time?
This dude wins the award for best wave selections of the day, didn’t ride the most maybe not the biggest but every long workable wave this guy was all over.
And if you want to see your photos make my blog, surfer harder! Aloha
The Places We Call Home
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
My Favorite shot of the day! There is so much style in this photo its crazy