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When the beach is rife with photogs, don't blow your chance to get a shot to hang above your bed. Follow these tips. Photo: Bobby Siliato

When the beach is rife with photogs, don’t blow your chance to get a shot to hang above your bed. Follow these tips. Photo: Bobby Siliato


The Inertia

Everyone wants ‘The Shot.’ If you say you are not interested in pics of yourself shredding, you’re a damn liar. This desire is undoubtedly compounded by the fact that the ocean is always moving, leaving you at the mercy of Mother Nature’s most volatile surface. Getting quality surf shots is inherently elusive, making it critical to capitalize on those occasions when you know a photog’s lens is scouring your line-up. Video leaves no place to hide. However, when surf photos are done right, any level surfer can look like a stud.

With the rise of Surfterra, an app that links surfers and photogs seamlessly, there has never been an easier time to sell, buy and share surf photos. Which means without adequate preparation, you may not be taking full advantage of how much cooler your photos could turn out with a little coaching. As a seasoned surf photo slut, I would like to bestow upon you some hacks that will increase your chances of getting The Shot in the Surfterra era.

Let’s start with the most obvious one: drawing attention to yourself. Like the lady peacocks of the wild, photographers are drawn to bright or distinguishing colors/patterns. With the white board/black wetsuit combo still being the norm, any deviation greatly increases your odds of attracting the gaze of a lens.

No one is missing this guy. Sticking out like a pink thumb. Photo: Fabio Silva

No one is missing this guy. Sticking out like a pink thumb. Photo: Fabio Silva

 

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Drawing out your bottom turn can help make waves seem like they have a bit more size. If proper maneuvers aren’t your jam, this technique may be right for you. When you get to the bottom of the wave, get as low as you can while doing your bottom turn. If shot right, this can drastically increase the perceived size of the wave.

My brother/prodigy Simon focusing on his bottom turn. Looking good! Photo: Lennart Girard

My brother/prodigy Simon focusing on his bottom turn. Looking good! Photo: Lennart Girard

Now, let’s consider what at the end of the day everyone wants a shot of: getting shacked. The truth is, being deep enough to get a sick shot of a makeable* barrel can be very difficult and depending on where you live/your skill level, can happen very infrequently. Fortunately, most of the best barrel shots come from closeouts. Therefore as your photo liaison, I advise you to find the meanest double-up close out possible… and pack it stylishly. While this is extra applicable for water shots, a well-timed land shot can make even the most egregious closeout look like a 10 at Pipe. The trick is to bite the bullet and pull in/hold your line as if it were a makeable barrel.

 

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Believe it or not, this is a straight closeout. This confident closeout packing led to the best shot of the day on the day of days. Worth it! Note: notice the bright board. This guy was leaving nothing to chance, going for a two-for-one. Photo: Luke Dawson

Believe it or not, this is a straight closeout. This confident closeout packing led to the best shot of the day on the day of days. Worth it! Note: notice the bright board. This guy was leaving nothing to chance, going for a two-for-one. Photo: Luke Dawson

Similar to the previously described barrel-packing technique, a well executed fly-away air can pocket you a great shot. While this may require a bit more skill to look convincing than packing a closeout, it is still a hell of a lot easier than actually sticking one. This technique has been used by pros since the inception of aerial surfing in the late 80’s and continues to fool people to this day. Spread your wings and fly away!

Look, you aren’t trying to make a heat, you are trying to get The Shot! Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be shamelessly blowing up your social media with sick shots from Surfterra in no time!

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