Surf Photography: Life on the Edge

Photographing surfers is a true labor of love. As Zak Noyle describes in the following mini-documentary, to become one of the great surf photographers, you put your life on the line every time you step into the water. Noyle, a well known photographer among the surfer crowd, proves his dedication to both, the sport and photography, by swimming out into some of the largest waves in the world, camera in tow. Check out some of the incredible footage of typical day in the life of a water photographer.

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As if finding the photo and getting the proper exposure wasn’t difficult enough, surf photographers are also challenged with being able to do so while swimming, often times amid thick packs of surfers blazing by on hard surfboards that wield razor sharp fins. The especially brave photographers face 20’+ waves, wipe-outs, and where there’s good waves, there is usually a jagged reef below, which will do a number on a person as they are being slammed into it by the impossible force of the ocean.

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“In the back of every surf photographers mind when he’s in the lineup, especially a heavy one like Pipeline, his eyes are going two different directions. One is in the pit on the barrell looking at the surfers and the other is keeping an eye on the horizon and the rest of the pack, what they’re doing, dodging a set, and what have you.”

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