Rocky Point

Re-Education

Here is my Re-Edit of December 7 2011.

I was so fixated on “surfers” when I first got to the North Shore of Oahu. Every Professional surfer around the planet comes to a 7 mile strip of beach to surf for 2 months. These are people I have looked up to my whole life, I was letting my excitement dictate which pictures I posted on my site. I’m a fan but I need to let the photography speak for its self.

Here is the original post from 12/7/11 (https://thesurfingphotog.com/2011/12/07/where-i-should-be/) (that barrel by Gavin Gillette is still awesome!!!)

These pictures show the raw power of “Rocky Point” surf break and the chargers that own that spot.

Pipeline is less then a 1/2 mile down the beach but somedays it’s so much heavier here

Rocky Point sometimes has a double break (Lefts and Right) and Un-fortunately some times they crash into each other. Today both were going off. Which lead me to grow eyes in the back of my head.

Backdoor Pipeline? NOPE! This is Rocky Point going off

Here is an underwater barrel shot of Gavin Gillette wave from the original post

I’d like to say they were all clean that day but most of the time I’m swimming thru a football sized field of white water haha


Best of the Winter

Winter is over time to make room for spring so in no particular order here are my top 10 favorite moments from the best winter of life…so far

#1 This is a picture of Kamalei Alexander at backdoor Pipeline (the most famous/deadliest wave in the world). It’s unedited (no photoshop, no crop)  This was the first time I didn’t sit in the “Channel” and I ventured out into the line-up. I was so scared and really pushing the boundaries of my physical abilities. But this day I proved to myself that all my training and hard worked paid off.

From the Post (https://thesurfingphotog.com/2011/12/16/backdoor-barrels/)

#2 This is a picture of a surfing Icon Randy Rarick, I met him on 2-4 foot day out at Sunset Beach. I was training on a small day and learning the contour of the reef. I knew the more I learned about the surf breaks on the North Shore the better I was prepared to leave alive. Randy introduced himself to me because he was intrigued (Established surf photographers don’t swim out to sunset on 4 foot days to “practice”). This chance encounter turned out to be the most influential day of my winter

From the post (https://thesurfingphotog.com/2011/11/18/meeting-my-icons/)

#3 Jadson Andre at Rocky Point. He purposely threw this air right in front of me, He wanted me to get this shot. I realized at that point that people though I was a professional because my abilities to maintain position in the line up and my demeanor in and out of the water. I sent him a copy of this picture and he Re-Tweeted (He is in top 20 in the world of pro surfing)

From the post (https://thesurfingphotog.com/2011/11/21/finally-some-swell/)

#4 This is just a random accident shot, wasn’t trying to get it… just following some no-name surfer on the wave. Magic moments are always there and anybody can have to wave of the day. Pro-surf photographers only take pictures of pro-surfers or huge waves… I take pictures of everybody because it isn’t a job… Its fun

From the post (https://thesurfingphotog.com/2011/11/16/got-to-love-art-shots/)

#5 Waterproof Long exposure… I have been a photo dork for a long exposures and night time pictures are my favorite non-sports related type of photography. To get this picture I swam out to the reef at 10pm, set my tripod (I got a custom tripod mount for my water housing) used a flash light in a ziplock bag to illuminate the ocean. It was a 30sec exposure at an f stop of 11 ISO 800

From the Post (https://thesurfingphotog.com/2011/12/13/waterproof-long-exposure-2/)

#6 I had permission to swim out to the Eddie Aikau Big wave invitational. Nobody besides invitees and a few photographers are allowed to participate in the opening ceremony paddle out. This is not televised and it is one of the greatest honors in surfing. With great humility and pride did I share those moments. December 1 2011 was the day I realized the true meaning of Aloha

From the posts (https://thesurfingphotog.com/2011/12/02/eddie-paddle-out-ceremony/)(https://thesurfingphotog.com/2011/12/02/brotherhood-respect-unity/)

#7 Clark Little is the most famous wave photographer in the world. Here was my first attempt to capture the amazing shore break he has made iconic with Hawaii’s powerful waves. I took about 1000 shots to get this one keeper… not easy

From the Post (https://thesurfingphotog.com/2011/11/19/clark-little-type-of-shots/)

#8 Because of my success on the North Shore of Oahu and my eye for “art” shots a mutual friend Val Frey hired me to get her the classic duck diving shot. I got paid to take pictures of a model… I repeat I got paid to take pictures of a very beautiful model

From the post (https://thesurfingphotog.com/2012/01/10/duck-diving-photo-shoot/)

#9 That duck diving shot gave me enough credit to venture into Fine Art shots.

From the post (https://thesurfingphotog.com/2012/01/29/kate/)

#10 This was the biggest meanest wave I swam out to all winter. Tom Whitaker at Honolua Bay Maui 1/4/12

From the Post (https://thesurfingphotog.com/2012/01/05/honolua-bay/)

Here is just a friend of mine saying goodbye to me at the Maui Airport… Makes me smile


Lost and Found

I had a lot of epic shots I took this winter but it’s funny how many I missed, It would be impossible to post all of them but I’m getting surf stoked all over again going thru my re-edit.


Seeing thru Fisheyes

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


Then It Clicked

Around the 3rd week in November the North Shore Lit up, It was time for me to step up or get out of the water. All the pro’s started to show up and the waves started to get heavy. If you remember the waiting period for the Haleiwa Reef Pro, 9 days without contestable swell then BANG.

I was so impressed by the talent that it made me hold position longer and try to get closer. It was the push I needed, I was getting drilled by outside sets and slammed into the reef everyday but the fear was gone. I wasn’t going to miss it, I wasn’t going home empty handed.

Adriano De Souza

I would stay out all day everyday, holding position, legs cramping, watching the never ending magic

Tanner Gudauskas


Having Fun

Once my nerves started to subside and I started having fun,my pictures got exponentially better. These are all from November 12th, my 4th day as a water photog. I stayed in the ocean for over 7 hours that day (3 sessions), it was also the first day I sold my shots to anyone. A huge mile stone and the first day I felt like things started to click.

I’m a ham and rarely serious…

I started feeling comfortable getting close, I was out of position but at least I was close haha

This one is painful to look at because it shows I had no clue how to position my body, I took many beatings to figure it out. Flynn Novak bottom turn

I went out for my last session at 5pm stayed out until 7pm trying to figure out controls for fading sun shots.


Humble Beginnings

Ok, if you haven’t been following me or new to my site, this was my effort to cover this winters surfing season in Hawaii. I had never taken a professional water angle shot before in my life and had no clue what I was getting myself into. I’m the first to admit I was way over my head, but it didn’t stop me from going for it.

This is the start of my re-edit of my photos from this winter. After reviewing my photos I’m amazed how far I came in 3 months. It just goes to show if you put your heart into something and tell yourself failure isn’t an option you can accomplish your dreams. These are my photos from the first 3 days with my water-housing (november 9,10,11). It’s not as easy as point and shoot haha.

 

How bad it this hahahahaha, it’s Gavin Gillette but It’s so blurry If it wasn’t for the logos on the board I couldn’t even identify him

I was so afraid I was going to drowned, I keep myself soooo far away from the action. Hawaii waves are more powerful then anything I have ever encountered. Humility was the best lesson I learned thins winter

Not only being too far, I didn’t understand how to frame a picture. I was unconfident in my abilities which led me not to even look thru the view finder I would just hold my arm out and hope for the best. Man I’m a kook

I must have taken 5000 photos into the sun before I figured it out. Here is my first attempt.

I’m sorry you have to look at such crappy photos but it’s important to me for you to realize how far I came. Here is a picture of my first sunset on the North Shore, (notice the lack of people and all the sand that was on the beach during the beginning of the season).