There are amazing moments happening in and around the water on a daily basis, but being there to capture them is sometimes more right-place-right-time than anything. Sure it still takes skill to capture them, but it’s hard to build a solid portfolio when your ideology is based around fluke imagery.


Show Full Text

In southern Australia, early Winter 2015, I set out to capture something unique that would accurately portray the relationship of a bunch of young local surfers with the ocean. If this doesn’t scream youthful, boldly-ambitious, testosterone-infused recklessness, with hints of appreciation and photographic sensibility thrown in, then I don’t know what does.

The flash double tow was basically an adaption to Laurent Pujol’s original double tow concept, in which a photographer is towed into the wave by a jet ski, behind the surfer, riding a surfboard themselves. The original idea was different because it gave a unique, dramatic and beautiful perspective on the way surfers ride the barrel. I think this way of documenting barrel-riding can be appreciated by anyone because it really engages the audience in the moment. My daytime version is much the same, however, the magnitude and perfect shape of the local reef-break adds a touch of raw Australian beauty. The additional flash element enabled me to light up the subject from behind and meant it would be possible to have unique natural lighting in the background at sunrise/sunset.

What I’d imagined the images to look like was reflective and glossy but I was surprised at just how much clear water absorbs artificial light rather than reflecting it. The result was an eerie image in which only turbulent water was illuminated and the surfers are either riding into the darkness or the sunrise/set.

So after 4 months, 3 hospital visits, 2 broken boards and an infinite amount of memories, I’m proud to present these images and I hope you can appreciate them.

More info: leroybelletphoto.com

There are amazing moments happening in and around the water on a daily basis

Being there to capture them is sometimes more right-place-right-time than anything

Surfer Khy Vaughan stands under a golden syrup arch

In southern Australia, early Winter 2015, I set out to capture something unique that portrays the relationship of young surfers with the ocean

I was surprised at just how much clear water absorbs artificial light rather than reflecting it

The result was an eerie image in which only turbulent water was illuminated and the surfers are either riding into the darkness or the sunrise/set

So after 4 months, 3 hospital visits, 2 broken boards and an infinite amount of memories, I’m proud to have taken these images

A lot of people I approached about this idea told me it wouldn’t work, I’d like to thank the crew at www.surfinglife.com.au www.aquatech.net & www.surfingmagazine.com for believing in my ambitions

Surfer Scott Dennis

Seventeen-year-old surfer Russell Bierke

Surfer Tim Taplin riding in ‘goofy’ stance.

Equipment

The Aquatech Elite D810 housing, strike-910 flash housing & pd-50 dome port. Nikon D810 full-frame camera, sb-910 speedlight & 16mm 2.8 fisheye. Gopro and The Pro Standard Grill Mount. The surfboards I ride are near bullet proof and shaped by Dylan Perese. Wetsuits and protective vest keep me warm and safe, thanks To O’Neill.