12-4-15 was heavy and by no means clean, I got up super early so I could shoot my buddy Mike before he had to go to work. I didn’t sleep well but I was so excited from the amazing shots I got the day before, that I got greedy for more.
Protocol on bigger days is to go surfing first for 30-60 minutes to make sure it’s safe to go shoot. You have to understand that Hawaii is an Island Chain in the middle of the Pacific Ocean Winds, Swells, Tides all drastically change from day to day. I thought because the swell size was dropping from Wednesday to Thursday that I could just swim out without studying the break. I quickly realized I made a mistake and the safest place was to get outside where the waves were breaking.
The swell from early this week was fading and a more Northerly swell was arriving. The problem with this new swell was it was closing out the channel (the safe area, just outside the breaking waves). This new pattern of churning water was also sucking me outside into the breaking waves. If I took a second to look at the water before I swam out I would have realized I shouldn’t have gone out.
The Channel is normally just past these rocks, I should have noticed that it was churning White Water but I was too busy checking my settings taking photos of my friend entering the water.
This was the first wave my friend caught or didn’t.
There was only one other surfer (Kenny?) and a bodyboarder out. Since it was such a workout trying to follow my friend it was hard to stay in position take photos of anyone else. Examples of being to far away and too close
Somehow I did manage to take a great sequence of my friend but this would be the last picture I took that day. I took a massive beating by the next wave, then tried to get in and couldn’t so I swam back outside waited for my friend and asked him if he could help get me back to the shore. I was freaked out and needed help. I’m grateful for good friends. Thanks Mike
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