Lately I have really been getting into bodysurfing. For non-surfers out there, this is essentially riding a wave without a board. You swim yourself into the wave and glide down the face. You can get into the barrel of a wave while bodysurfing almost every time, but you almost never make it out. It’s an incredible amount of fun.
Today I got the inspired idea to put on my swim fins and bring my GoPro camera out in the water with me as well. The result is what follows: a ton of pictures from today, December 31 2009, at Noriega St at Ocean Beach, SF.
A brief note: first off, my GoPro is an awesome camera, but it is the wide angle version. As such, it has a very exaggerated fish eye. I had to get extremely close to the surfers in order to get decent shots. I literally had a buddy of mine brush my camera hand with his butt as he went by I was so close. Secondly, the timing on getting this pictures is very tricky. I had it set to a three-shot setting, but many of the shots came out all black while I was under water. And thirdly, I should add, that I got my ass kicked to get these pictures. I was sitting right in the impact zone, where the waves break, and each wave broke more or less directly on my head. I’m exhausted, but quite happy with the pictures that came out of the session.
If you click on any of these pictures, you will get to see a much bigger version of it. Enjoy!
Random Shots I like, with explanation below each photo
I like this shot a lot because the coloring came out really nice, it’s a beautifully barreling wave, and best of all, those two feet sticking out the face let you know this guy just made it through without taking it on the head.
This picture gives you a good sense of what it’s like to be out there taking shots. I am just about to get pummeled here, with the lip coming down just over my shoulder. You can see that it’s lining up to be a hollow wave, and after I got this shot I was thrown over the falls and pounded into the bottom for a little while.
This picture is hard to appreciate if you don’t surf. The spray that is coming off the wave was generated by the surfer who just took a tremendous turn off the lip. Some of the spray is even seen coming up close to my camera.
This picture needs some explaining. As I said, it’s quite easy to get into the barrel when you are bodysurfing. I wanted to try and take a picture while I was inside the barrel riding a wave. I tried about a dozen times, and this is the best one that came out. It’s very difficult to accomplish. Essentially, I was sitting wayyy inside, and just as the wave was about to break on me I’d forcefully kick straight up to basically try and put myself in the falling lip. I would fall with the lip down the face of the wave, holding my camera arm out and hitting click as I was tucked in there. This is the best one I got…my future goal is to get the perfect barrel picture.
I like this picture because first off, it’s of my buddy Jaimal Yogis, the author of Saltwater Buddha. This was a close-out, and he is smiling because he decided against taking the wave. I like how you can get a sense of how much water goes into each wave from this angle.
This is me, stoked. I originally intended on only staying out about 20 minutes, and then ditching my camera and fins and grabbing a board to surf. I had so much fun, I ended up doing this the whole session.
If you think any of these pictures are you, or want to pretend that they are you, comment on this post and I’ll send you the fullsize image so you can potentially print it up and frame it at your house.
I get the feeling that this is the first of many surf photography posts I will be sharing…