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
#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
#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
#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
I spent all day at Waimea Bay on the 1ST, the Eddie Ceremony wasn’t until 3pm and I had never swam out to the break before on a large day (it was 8-12 feet) so I had to know I could make it out there and back by myself before the Eddie Paddle out. It wasn’t really harder then any other spot I was just being cautious and safe. It did take 15 minutes non stop to get out and 20 to get back thought, so it wasn’t exactly fun, but great exercise.
First few are just some locals getting on the break before it got crowded, Waimea is a known “share wave” meaning that no one has priority and any body can take off at any time. You’ll see what I mean in a second.
I was surprised to see my buddy get a wave all to him self, This guy charges so he can make waves that most don’t take off on I guess.
The rest are from the Eddie, I wanted a picture of the guys Paddling out to the break, here is Mark Healy, Makua Rothman and Danny Fuller
This was just another great angle that didn’t fit in my first post
And this last one is a picture of all the guys taking the strings out of the Flower Leis so they wouldn’t be littering. I really love this picture but without context it’s wouldn’t make sense
It was hard to try to document the paddle out without feeling emotional about the importance of the Eddie. It’s more then just a contest, it’s a brotherhood of men and the community they represent. I wanted to show how much respect and honor this day meant to everyone, not just the participant. The North Shore is a small friendly country town, despite the circus that arrives every winter. If you treat it with respect and try to represent “aloha” while you are here, it will embrace you.
These aren’t your typical photo journalistic shots, I wanted to find the Aloha I saw today and share it with you. Mahalo for taking the time to see it
I was just in the middle of the Eddie Aikau Paddle Out Ceremony. I still have goosebumps thinking about it. Words cannot describe the love, emotions, brotherhood feeling within that circle, it was truly magical. They had the ceremony at Waimea Bay on the North shore. The day goes a followed, they come together, get inducted into the competition, say a prayer and then go paddle out to the bay for a blessing and to show respect to Eddie. The public does not paddle out as a sign of respect but they allow a few photographers to document the paddle, I was one of those lucky few. I’m truly honored by this experience, I have so much respect for these men and the waves they ride. The Aikau O’hana and the Hawaiian culture is such a loving respectful part of this surfing community and I want to thank them for all the Aloha they have shown me.
Kelly Slater 11 time world champion and former Eddie Winner
I love the fact that Tom Carroll paddled back out to catch another wave, he was also one of the last people to show up to the ceremony cause he was out surfing Waimea, 50 years old and full of stoke. I have so much respect for this man.