Went out to shoot some surfing today. Not an odd thing. In fact, a fairly regular occurrence.
There was supposed to be a new swell filling in, bringing with it some decent size waves- for those reading a) not from the southern California area, or b) not surfers, it’s something we’ve been lacking so far this summer here in Orange County, CA. Combine that with many of the world’s best surfers who were in town for the US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach…well that sounded like a great mix!
Only, it wasn’t so much.
Of course everyone was going to mob Trestles. It nearly always breaks. It’s a good wave. Great wave, actually. I don’t like getting the same photo as everyone else, though. I stayed away.
If not shooting from the water, often I post up, huge zoom lens on tripod. And I’m a big guy. 6′-3″, not in the best shape of my life, but you can still tell I was an athlete- I still have a large amount of my bulk from college football. In other words, I’m not what you would call inconspicuous!
So here I am locally shooting crappy waves. I’m moving around here, take some photos there, shift down the beach this way, then back the other. Gotta find some unique angles. Eventually I resorted to a combination of laying/sitting on the sand, getting an extremely low angle towards the surf, sand in the foreground, wave/surfer peaking in the mid range, glorious SoCAL marine layer in the background.
Only now I can’t find my athletes. Black wetsuit, tall and lanky…kinda a common look in the surfing world. But I’m sitting in the shade of the lifeguard tower. My music is going. It’s all good. I’ll keep my eyes open, and if I miss a wave or two it’s not the end of the world. 5 minutes. 10 minutes. Nearing 20 minutes. Where the hell are they??
Time to send some text messages.
Me: Did you paddle in??
Almost immediate response: Yeah. I thought you left???
Me: I’m in the shadow of the lifeguard tower. You still at your car?
Surfer: No. Jesus dude I’m so sorry…. I didn’t see u anywhere.
OOPS. Shit happens. I’m not upset. But you can tell he was super embarrassed. He’s a standup guy and when I finally got him on the phone you could tell he felt really bad and wanted off the phone immediately!
Oh well. I hope there are better waves tomorrow!
Benjamin Ginsberg/Driftwood Photography Studios
Orange County, CA