Category

Surf

Seven of my Favorite Images #challengeonnaturephotography

Alaska, Antarctica, Bald Eagle, California, Fiji, Hawaii, Mexico, Ocean Sunfish, Penguin, Surf, Underwater Photography

In December a Facebook “challenge” was making the rounds named #challengeonnaturephotography. One of my favorite underwater photographers, Allison Vitsky Sallmon, nominated me to give it a try, and these are the seven images I plucked from my files to share. Each bears a special place in my personal history of travel, diving and photography, even if they don’t cut any new ground photographically. If you want to connect you can find me on Facebook and Instagram. Cheers, and thanks for looking!

Ocean sunfish recruiting fish near drift kelp to clean parasites, open ocean, Baja California, Mola mola

Ocean sunfish recruiting fish near drift kelp to clean parasites, open ocean, Baja California.
Image ID: 03267
Species: Ocean sunfish, Mola mola

Sunrise breaking wave, dawn surf, The Wedge, Newport Beach, California

Sunrise breaking wave, dawn surf.
Image ID: 27978
Location: The Wedge, Newport Beach, California, USA

Dendronephthya soft corals and schooling Anthias fishes, feeding on plankton in strong ocean currents over a pristine coral reef. Fiji is known as the soft coral capitlal of the world, Dendronephthya, Pseudanthias, Gau Island, Lomaiviti Archipelago

Dendronephthya soft corals and schooling Anthias fishes, feeding on plankton in strong ocean currents over a pristine coral reef. Fiji is known as the soft coral capitlal of the world.
Image ID: 31378
Species: Dendronephthya Soft Coral, Anthias, Dendronephthya, Pseudanthias
Location: Gau Island, Lomaiviti Archipelago, Fiji

Bald eagle spreads its wings to land amid a large group of bald eagles, Haliaeetus leucocephalus, Haliaeetus leucocephalus washingtoniensis, Kachemak Bay, Homer, Alaska

Bald eagle spreads its wings to land amid a large group of bald eagles.
Image ID: 22669
Species: Bald eagle, Haliaeetus leucocephalus, Haliaeetus leucocephalus washingtoniensis
Location: Kachemak Bay, Homer, Alaska, USA

A curious Adelie penguin, standing at the edge of an iceberg, looks over the photographer, Pygoscelis adeliae, Paulet Island

A curious Adelie penguin, standing at the edge of an iceberg, looks over the photographer.
Image ID: 25015
Species: Adelie Penguin, Pygoscelis adeliae
Location: Paulet Island, Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica

Aerial photo of gray whale calf and mother. This baby gray whale was born during the southern migration, far to the north of the Mexican lagoons of Baja California where most gray whale births take place, Eschrichtius robustus, San Clemente

Aerial photo of gray whale calf and mother. This baby gray whale was born during the southern migration, far to the north of the Mexican lagoons of Baja California where most gray whale births take place.
Image ID: 29029
Species: Gray whale, Eschrichtius robustus
Location: San Clemente, California, USA

Humpback whale (male) singing, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Humpback whale (male) singing.
Image ID: 02813
Species: Humpback whale, Megaptera novaeangliae
Location: Maui, Hawaii, USA

Eric’s New Board

Surf

My friend Eric had a couple of my wave photos laminated onto his custom new board. Eric brought it by this morning before he waxed it so we could get a look at how the images came out. The board looks awesome. The bottom image will end up being mostly obscured by wax, so Eric had a second image put near the nose which won’t be obscured. This way, as he puts it, even when the water is flat he will still be able to look at the image and be forever in a tube.

Surfer and Beautiful Sunrise on Hospital Point Beach, La Jolla

La Jolla, Seascapes, Surf

Each winter I try to add fresh and appealing images to my San Diego and La Jolla portfolios. I spent Thanksgiving morning on the rocks at Hospital Point. It was truly a sunrise for which to be thankful. I made two fine photographs which will look great printed at 24″ x 36″ and framed on the wall. This is the first one: while small waves appear blurred over the rocks, a lone surfer contemplates things before heading out into the water. Cheers and thanks for looking!

Sunrise Clouds and Surf, Hospital Point, La Jolla

Sunrise Clouds and Surf, Hospital Point, La Jolla
Image ID: 28830
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

Prints of this image are available here. If you like this, be sure to see my Photos of San Diego and Photos of La Jolla

Evan Slater, Brock Little, Grant Baker, Tyler Smith, Greg Long, Mavericks 2006

California, Surf

Tonight I received a request for a shot of Evan Slater at Mavericks, for use in an upcoming documentary series on big wave surfing. Looking over some of the shots I made that day, at the Mavericks Contest in 2006, I was struck by how perfect the conditions were. For a section of the California coast not known for calm seas, it sure was ideal that day: warm, sunny, almost glass calm with a heavy long period swell rolling through creating some really big waves. The morning’s sets were the biggest, and the press boat upon which I was shooting got out in position early when the light still had some of that sunrise yellow color to it. It was a great day. Here is a nice shot of Evan Slater from that day …

Evan Slater in semifinal one, Slater would finish fifth in the finals later in the day, Mavericks surf contest, February 7, 2006, Half Moon Bay, California

Evan Slater in semifinal one, Slater would finish fifth in the finals later in the day, Mavericks surf contest, February 7, 2006.
Image ID: 15324
Location: Mavericks, Half Moon Bay, California, USA

… as well as a few other men who ride mountains: Brock Little, Grant Baker, Tyler Smith and Greg Long …

2006 Mavericks surf contest champion Grant Twiggy Baker of South Africa.  Final round, Mavericks surf contest, February 7, 2006, Half Moon Bay, California

2006 Mavericks surf contest champion Grant Twiggy Baker of South Africa. Final round, Mavericks surf contest, February 7, 2006.
Image ID: 15299
Location: Mavericks, Half Moon Bay, California, USA

Brock Little, final round, Mavericks surf contest (third place), February 7, 2006, Half Moon Bay, California

Brock Little, final round, Mavericks surf contest (third place), February 7, 2006.
Image ID: 15300
Location: Mavericks, Half Moon Bay, California, USA

Tyler Smith, final round, Mavericks surf contest (second place), February 7, 2006, Half Moon Bay, California

Tyler Smith, final round, Mavericks surf contest (second place), February 7, 2006.
Image ID: 15301
Location: Mavericks, Half Moon Bay, California, USA

Greg Long of San Clemente surfs a heat one wave at the 2006 Mavericks surf contest, February 7, 2006, Half Moon Bay, California

Greg Long of San Clemente surfs a heat one wave at the 2006 Mavericks surf contest, February 7, 2006.
Image ID: 15306
Location: Mavericks, Half Moon Bay, California, USA

Beautiful Sunrise over the Wedge and Newport Coast

California, Surf

During August I made a few trips up to the Wedge to test out a new surf photography housing. I like to be there early to give myself a chance to see what the ocean is doing between the sand and the jetty, and to warm up and wake up. One morning there was some cloud cover that lit up beautifully as soon as the sun cleared the hills to the east of Newport Beach. My camera was setup for very low light, high shutter speed photography, which means a high ISO (I think about 3200 or so). When I shot this image I figured the high ISO would kill off the colors — as my past cameras have done — but in truth the image has turned out to be one of my favorites of the year. Perhaps it is because I remember plenty of sunrises just like this, sitting on the same sand, 30-40 years ago when I grew up in Newport. I shot this with my camera inside its housing, not yet wet, with fins and wetsuit but totally dry. I hopped in the water a few seconds after this and photographed the sunrise from within the waves but this image is still my favorite of the morning.

Sunrise at the Wedge.  The Wedge, a notorious and famous shorebreak at the end of the Newport Peninsula, is seen here under a huge dawning sky and sporting a small but fun swell, Newport Beach, California

Sunrise at the Wedge. The Wedge, a notorious and famous shorebreak at the end of the Newport Peninsula, is seen here under a huge dawning sky and sporting a small but fun swell.
Image ID: 27991
Location: The Wedge, Newport Beach, California, USA

Sunrise Color at the Wedge

Surf

Today I was fortunate to meet one of the surf world’s great filmmakers: Jack McCoy. He introduced himself to me while I was standing on the sand waking up and waiting for the sun to rise before heading out in the water. A tall, quiet man with a quick smile, Jack offered me a few tips and some insight into housings and how best to keep drops off the port. Everyone who takes a camera into the water has their own way of keeping the port clean — it’s a common denominator — and I always appreciate hearing how more experienced shooters go about it. When he told me how long he had been working and how many films he has shot, I was floored but tried not to let on. Wow! We learn from and are inspired by the great ones and then we hope to pass it on in the future. Mahalo, Jack McCoy.

Here are a few more morning images. Every wave is different, unique, and so fun to try to capture. I’m testing out the limits of what my camera can handle in the way of exposure latitude, highlights and shadows. These are processed to pull out as much honest detail in the shadows as possible while allowing for a reasonable amount of blowout in highlights. It’s tough shooting directly into the sun with a digital camera — digital cameras do not handle the sun in the same graceful way that film did — but sometimes that is where the color and interest lies. Cheers and thanks for looking!

Newport Surf Photos

Icons, Surf

I tested out my latest Del Mar Surf Housing this morning. I had great light for about 20 minutes right at sunrise, then swam around for a few hours trying to photograph the set waves. I wish I was about 20 years younger, I feel pretty worked over. Thanks for looking!

Patience at Dusk

Surf

Blood Red Sunset, Surfers waiting for waves, Encinitas, California.

These guys were enjoying the last hour of light, waiting around under the deepening red dusky sky, catching a few waves. Encinitas, California.

Two surfers at sunset, blood red dusk, Encinitas

Two surfers at sunset, blood red dusk, Encinitas.
Image ID: 27976
Location: Encinitas, California, USA