black and white crashing wave


There’s usually so much I want to say on this site when I’m conveniently stuck in a traffic jam without any option to type it up, and then I go and forget it all.

Okay. The above is some crashing water near Crab Island in County Clare, taken on the May bank holiday. It’s another of “those” photographs. It’s fairly indicative of the power, it must be said. I like it. I’m currently trying to choose one wavy photograph to print on canvas because I think the children in Lahinch are definitely up for large printing. It’s just trying to decide which wave will join them. I’m in love with some of these photographs because they’re the first ones in years that caused me to go “whoa” when I saw what was on the camera. Imagine what I could if things were really cooperating with me.

I spend a lot of time thinking about dreams lately; I am not really sure why.

If you follow me on twitter, you may be aware of this from Sharpy, if you’re not, go click on it; it’s a truly lovely surf photograph.

In the meantime, I’m aware that we’re low on kitesurfers, low on flowers, and low on bits of non-wannabee surf scenery here lately. I would like to say I’m sorry but still….Here, have another colour wave:


We live in a lovely country. I know that we’re supposed to be remembering this, and enticing tourists but I think sometimes we forget it ourselves.

Okay. Moving swiftly onwards. Stephen Holmes is not 365ing this year but he is providing a constant stream of beauty of which this is one.

Donncha has been down on another of my regular stamping grounds, Garrettstown Beach.

Philippe Plisson (still a love affair with his photographs after all these years) has been in Arcachon, a place I love.

Milou’s Buttermere Dawn.

Frankly, lots of nice and beautiful things.

Anyway, back to the dreaming stuff I mentioned above. If you’re interested in surf photography and want to minimise the learning curve, Roger Sharp has a useful collection of pages here. I feel sort of groupyish about this but I thought there was some interesting stuff in there and if you’re the type of person sitting at home thinking you could just make it as a surf photographer, that’s not a bad place to start. An additional place to bear in mind is this from Duranbah, taken last week.

I’m not going to say surf photography never interested me – oh wait – that’s exactly what I am going to say. I always got with waves, spray, white water plus other colours. If there was some dude on a surf board – which, I gotta be frank, there generally wasn’t, I didn’t care too much. Surf photographers seem to own the waves, however so at some stage, when I got bored of freestyling kitesurfers, and started chasing waves again, particularly proper, curling waves, such as seemed to either have surfers on them, or be taken by well known surf photographers, I was going to crash into the surf photography world. It’s been quite an interesting crash. I don’t have any injuries yet. I haven’t tried all that hard though.

One of the things about kitesurfing photography when I started was that I didn’t really have any frame of reference. I didn’t know anyone else who did it, short of looking at the magazines, and I did a lot of learning through luck and fair shooting. In some respects, I’m not sure I have the luxury of all that luck and fair shooting. The competition in the surf world is massive and justifiably so. And entry to that world looks a lot easier than it did, even ten years. ago.

There’s a book on my bookshelf (there are a few actually) about big wave surfing, and in particular, some discussion about people who don’t know what they’re doing having no business looking for glory. It’s from around the time that Billabong had really big money riding on a 100 foot wave. When I look at the vast, vast number of photographers on the web, shooting surf photography, and a lot of them are really, really good (in addition to Roger Sharp I really like guys like Mickey Smith, Sean Davey, Tim McKenna to name just a couple of stand outs. And I love Michael Clark as well as Brian Bielmann – so there are all these great photographers. They make me wish I had found this path 15 years ago rather than now.

So idly I sit and dream about how I could make this happen for me instead of wishing I was born 15 years later than I actually was. I don’t know. And I know that for every one little dream I have about a magazine cover, there are maybe 1000 more people who have a better chance of doing it than me. It’s a sobering thought, and it’s the thought that might depress you if you allowed it to prey on you.

I try not to. I do, however, try to make the best photograph I can at a given point at time, and then…I try to figure out how to build fun stuff for me, instead of the stuff I can’t do.

Some day – soon -  I will make it to the North Shore.

3 comments to black and white crashing wave

  • lonely african beach is nice, but the greens in the three atlantic shots are just mesmerising. the one that’s rolling out from the sunlit background is not easily overlooked. beauty.

  • al

    very nice holiday fotos . but dont delude yourself

  • Treasa

    Al, I have friends who think that comments like yours are utterly unconstructive and could be described as spam. However, if you had a point buried under there – which I imagine is something along the lines of “You’re not as good a photographer as you think you are” then I expect some more constructive commentary as to what’s actually wrong with the photographs than just “don’t delude yourself”. After all, I never claimed to be the world’s greatest photographer; a key component of this blog is that it documents the journey I am on as a photographer. Not “Look at me I’m wonderful”. And I’ll take the word of a lot of photographers over and above the word of someone who can’t even provide evidence of his own ability via a link to his own work.

    For example, I like the two photographs above but my key complaint is that the waves weren’t actually big enough. That was a bit outside my control however.

    In the meantime, when you come back here, if you’re planning to criticise my work, I’ll expect a little more than poorly spelled smackdowns. Knocking someone down – per your style – is totally childish.

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