Sunrise Color at the Wedge

By August 20, 2012December 31st, 2023Surf

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!

About Phil Colla

I am a natural history photographer. I enjoy making compelling images in the ocean, on land, and in the air. I have maintained the Natural History Photography blog since 2005 and my searchable Natural History Photography Library since 1997. Here are some tear sheets and behind the scenes views. Thanks for looking!