I find shooting standard San Diego barrel shots fun, but they are not unique. Because I’ve surfed all my life, standard barrel shots are not especially difficult to capture. I usually end up with 20 decent keepers from each session that sit on my hard drive and never get used. It’s rare to get clean water and big enough surf in San Diego to capture standard barrel shots that can even hold a flame to those that come from The Wedge, Pipeline, or Teahupoo, anyway.
I’ve dedicated recent water sessions to capturing more artistic, unique images of waves. Photos that emphasize parts of water that are often overlooked. I’ve always been mesmerized by fractions of light and segments of moving water that last a fraction of a second and will never be cloned, and have found shooting them very difficult. The challenge is exciting and very rewarding.
Even though I’ve only recently begun shooting artistic images in the water, I have already noticed a shift in those who are interested them. I haven’t taken any surveys or statistics, but it seems that surfers who drool over perfect wave images (wave porn), still prefer a daily dose of standard barrel shots over the artistic images. While the unique work also appeals to many surfers, I have noticed a growing interest from cultures outside of surfing.
This style of shooting waves is a new and interesting direction in water photography for me, and a step closer to finding a voice in the saturated water photography market.