Posts Tagged ‘photo’

When Will Eddie Go?

Saturday, February 1st, 2014

The snow in Utah has been mediocre at best this season, so last week I decided to cash in some frequent-flier miles and go to Hawaii. I heard the surf was going to be extra large on the North Shore of Oahu. The North Shore is the birthplace of big-wave riding in Waimea Bay. It also is the home of the infamous Banzai Pipeline.

Every year there’s a waiting period for the Eddie Aikau big-wave surfing contest. The waiting period goes from December 1st to February 28th. To hold the contest the waves must  reach a minimum height of 20 feet. The contest has only been held eight times in the last 29 years. I had the honor to watch it in 2009 and can’t wait to see it again. To me this is my Super Bowl. So with some luck I was hoping it would run when I was there. That wasn’t the case. The waves were large enough but not organized due to the strong onshore winds. People still caught some nice waves during that week, and here are some of my photos to share with you.


Everyone came out to see how big the swell was, 1000s of people came throughout the day to the shores just to watch waves with no one even surfing them. Here’s a rare sight of Waimea Bay completely washed out.



Looking towards Waimea Bay from Sharks Cove. All the beaches were closed to swimming due to high surf and strong currents along the North Shore.



The next day the swell dropped some and the winds died downed a bit, so the surfers took to the bay. Not Eddie size but still big.



The heavy artillery also showed up. There’s never a shortage of big lenses in Hawaii; sometimes you can’t walk more than 20 feet along the beach without seeing one. I use a 400mm 2.8 with a camera 1.4 crop sensor. With the crop it turns a 400mm into a 580mm. I found it sharper than having an extender on. I think it’s the sharpest lens I have. I can read their board sponsor logo a half-mile away.



A surfer finding some air.



Another air drop.



An air drop that leads to a multiple-person wipeout.



This is what surfers call “over the falls.”



Everything going well in this shot.



Two surfers getting it done in black and white.



This photo was taken in January of 2011 during the “Almost Eddie.” It’s a photo of Kelly Slater, Kala Alexander, Sunny Garcia, and Tom Carroll sharing the wave with some unknown surfer.



A surfer during the last Eddie in December 2009. It shows you how big the waves can get at Waimea.

On the big days at Waimea, Pipeline washes out and can’t be surfed.  The next day after I shot Waimea I went down to Pipe at sunrise. The surf cleaned up nice and was delivering perfect barrels.


Looking down at Pipeline, love the perfect glassy wave.



Going down the line, about to get barreled.






Nice early-morning light at Pipe. I would go down every day just before sunrise, the wind would be calm, and the glassy waves would be perfect.



Another perfect wave.



A Pipe traffic jam.



A foamy tube.



A Pipeline form of  ”planking.”



I could show you lots of perfect barrels without seeing the surfer that’s in them. That would be silly, so here’s only a nose of a board.



Getting the shot. I would love to have some water shots.



Bailing out.



Your Pipeline experience wouldn’t be complete without some backdoor action.



John John Florence throwing some trickery from above.


The North Shore of Oahu is the surfing mecca of the world, even the school crossings speak surf. If you love the surf culture and waves, this is the place to be.

Alice in Goblinland

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

With all the news about the dumbasses who tipped over one of the hoodoos in Goblin Valley, Utah. I figured I better go check the place out. The way things are going these days, before you know, it will be off limits to everyone. I recently purchased a Protomachines flash light. I’ve been using it on my abandoned equipment photos but it’s very subtle. Being inspired by Lost America‘s Troy Paiva, I needed to use its full psychedelic abilities, and Goblin Valley is perfect for that in more than one way.

The Protomachines light is very well made and can omit any color you want with its RGB  LEDs. They have two models. The one I have has power up to 1000 lumen, which comes in very handy when trying to focus in the dark. My only real complaint about it is that it would be nice if you could control the beam. I could write a blog about the Protomachines; maybe I’ll do that soon.

The photos below are done in camera; the colors are added during the exposure. Photoshop was only used to do standard clean-up from RAW images. I didn’t “cook” the images to get the saturation.


goblin valley hoodoos

This is what the hoodoos look like under the full moon at  145.0 sec at f/5.6. ISO 200. When painting with light it’s always nice to take a photo beforehand to see what shadows need to be filled in. It’s also good for getting your photo composition right and any unwanted elements out of the shot.


goblin valley hoodoos

The technical info for this photo is 163.0 sec at f/5.6. ISO 200. In this image I used three different colors.  I like to experiment to see what color blends the best for a more natural feel.


Goblin Valley goblins

Grace Slick would be proud of this alien landscape after eating some kind of mushroom…


goblin valley hoodoos in purple

Alice liking the purple and green landscape of the underworld.


Goblin Valley orange hoodoo's

They say psychedelic drugs can alter cognition and perception. Who needs them when you can add fire orange from your light? In this photo there is no rabbit, but I see a dog’s head and a lady with a poncho. Maybe the lady is the Virgin Mary, and now religious zealots can erect a shrine to her.


goblin Valley dog

It took me a little over 5 hours to get my 4 images. You may ask: Why so long? It takes time scouting the location to find the shot.It took numerous tries to get the light balance and blended right (as you can see above, too hot on the purple). You forget to turn off your headlamp during the exposure, but amateurs find that cool. Oh, I almost forgot about my hallucination; there’s that ghost dog again.


Early morning light.

Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

The night before this shoot, Caroline Gleich and I decided that we wanted to get some Stand Up Paddle shots on the Great Salt Lake. The next morning I woke at 5:20am and looked at the skies. The skies didn’t look too promising, but we decided to go for it anyways.  We arrived at the lake at 6:00am, and here are the results.

This photo was taken 15 minutes after the sunrise. The sky was very moody and gave us great contrast. Notice the mountains in the background aren’t lit.



Composition is always hard when you are working with an animal, but Stoli hit the spot on this one. Throwing rocks for him to chase helps :)

The morning light giving Caroline’s face a nice warm tone.

The Great Salt Lake is Utah’s unloved ocean. On this early spring morning it smelled great and there were no brine flies. I’ve been in Utah for 20 years and finally got to appreciate its beauty.