Editor’s Note: Our new series, All-Time, showcases images that stop us in our tracks, from sessions we’d all like to have experienced. Only on rare occasions do nature’s infinite variables align. It’s even more unusual that photos capture the essence of that moment. If you’re sitting on an image (or two) from surf or snow that you think fits the description above and you’d like to be featured, shoot your photo with a few sentences about the day to firstname.lastname@example.org
This installment of All-Time is all about the magic of fleeting moments. Granted, most of surfing is about hanging onto the joy found in an experience that’s gone as fast as it comes, but two images we received from photographer Sebastian Picaud speak volumes about the idea.
Picaud was the only person strolling the beach with a camera this mid-January morning in Hossegor. In summer months this is the area’s nightlife hub. But France is still treading through COVID-19-forced lockdowns, and combined with the winter chill, its typical energy and excitement is all gone. There are waves, though.
“The place is empty,” Sebastian explains. “I am the only one present except three or four early birds just entering the water.”
There is morning light but the sun hasn’t shown itself yet. And there is a thick mist hanging just above the surface of the water. The few people who are here, including Picaud, have been waiting for this exact swell for days. And it’s delivered. But they didn’t predict it’d match up with this picturesque backdrop.
“This moment, I know, will not last,” Sebastian recalls. “I know that as soon as the sun is stronger over the pine forests that surround the city, all this magic will disappear.”