BIG shout out to my shaper Mike Hall at http://www.Blackfernsurfboards.com… I gave him 3 days notice to make me a board before I came to Portland, OR for work. He not only delivered, he surpassed all expectations… He took my input and tweaked his “Bean V2” model (skate inspired concave deck with volume in all the right places) I asked for bit more rocker in the nose (I rock the late take offs) and a little less volume then the standard size model…
Check out those lines!!! the concave deck makes for radical turns and less need to grab rail during heavy turns or foam ball barrels
Thanks to my wonderful girl friend Miss Wille Kennedy for all the surfing photos (especially on those not so nice PNW cloudy day) I got a new toy and need to Shred the Gnar hahaha
So I mentioned in my last post that I only took my camera out once during my 2 months in New Zealand. There were surfers at some of the surf breaks but (this might sound mean…) they weren’t worth the effort. Mediocre surfers make for mediocre pictures and I would be forcing lower quality pictures. That being said here are the Tawharu’s…
I love stylish surfers, in my option style will always be more important then size of waves or radical maneuvers. I was surfing at Whales Bay in Raglan (the iconic left handed point break in Endless Summer) when 3 surfers all paddled out together (father and his two kids). The youngest caught an inside wave that everyone else in the line up passed on and destroyed it. I was so excited, I had been in New Zealand a month and I finally had a reason to get my camera. I might have come on a little strong following his kids so the father came over to introduce himself. Luckily he was just as excited as I was and let me take all the photos I wanted.
Instantly I realize his son was not only comfortable with my camera but was pumping the wave just to make sections in front of me. Insert Jonas Tawharu… One of New Zealands Up and coming Groms
I feel a little bad because his sister could rip too but I really could not connect with her on photos. The break had a lot of take off points and I think if she sat next to Jonas, I’m not sure she would have gotten a lot of waves… Introducing Elin Tawharu
The sun came out of nowhere and blew out 10 frames before I could adjust the for the light, I feel really bad because she killed this wave and I missed 90% of it (I still had to make it B&W because the exposure of light destroyed the color)
And last but not least John Tawharu, he keep taking off on the inside and pretty much surfed clean up (I guess you have to when both of your kids can surf circles around everyone in the line up). He would come over after every wave and say something nice about his kids or questions about me. Super nice
Ok now that we gave the rest of the family some attention, we will give Jonas the spotlight he deserves, starting with the sequence from the first picture in this post (I felt like such a beginner, loosing sight of the horizon and just following the surfer)
It really wasn’t even that good of a day but he made the most out of every section and close out, charging like he was in a 35 minute elimination round
Super stoked on every wave, little did he know he made such an impact on my trip…
I sent the father all of these photos and he invited me on every surf trip they had in New Zealand that summer. Sorry it took so long to thank you publicly but I guess I was a little bummed that this was my only day shooting in New Zealand
So If you were an avid follower of the “The Surfing Photog” you would notice I seriously dropped the ball. The winter of 2014-2015 I went to New Zealand and had one of the most epic surf adventures I have ever had! That being said 80% of the beaches I surfed I was the only surfer to be found (With the exception of New Plymouth, Raglan and Gisborne). 20-30% of my travel backpack was filled with heavy camera equipment that never got used (except one day in Ragland… I’ll post that after this post).
Maybe I should have set up my camera and gone in to take pictures of pretty empty waves, glorifying the wonderful empty breaks across New Zealand’s North Island but thats not my style. Firstly I don’t want to spoil anywhere in the world that has waves with no people, thats why all the cell phone pictures I post here will not be labeled. Secondly I take pictures of the sport of surfing, If you want pretty desktop picture of breathtaking geography… I’m probably not your guy.
I’m BACK on Maui for at least a few weeks and I promise I will generate content for you, so let the trade winds be kind and swells abundant. Mahalo for waiting, I do miss all the wonderful support I get from my online community.
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 Kennedyto 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
I never claimed to be a local in Hawaii, even though I call this place home. I realize there are just some places in this world where I always be a Haole. I surf with respect and humility and try to remain thankful for any waves I get to enjoy. Honolua Bay is one of those magical places that I’m happy just to be at and if a catch a few waves, even better. January 5th, I was more then happy just to take pictures because there was so much talent I was able to get front row to all the action, Even got to body surf a few waves that the crowd missed.
I saw this guy pumping just staring at me all the way down the line, I was really really happy he didn’t smash his board into my face, that last second before he caught air, I wasn’t sure about anything. Man what a rush…
This guy is always sitting deeper and shallower then anyone else, which translate into him catching speeding closeout where he can just keep throwing airs. Which is totally crazy because it’s only in 3 feet of water with exposed reef in all directions.
The barrel sections were a little sketchy but if you were willing to stall you could get deep… Not sure if you’d make the next section but who cares, some one would drop in on you either way lol
This is the off the lip section of this post !!!
Looks fun but point breaks are always like swimming a marathon thru white water. Just keep swimming, just keep swimming!!!
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
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