Life is full of shoulda-woulda-coulda moments. Some would say that’s the essence of surfing. “You should have been here yesterday,” and “Should have seen it an hour ago.” All-too-relatable mantras in the wave-riding world– phrases that tell us we just missed something incredible.
Meanwhile, a common surfing mantra reminds us to seize the moment, go with your instincts, and that incredible things can happen (like perfect waves).
Almost a year ago, New York-based photographer Brian Shannon sent us a handful of images from a day that could be described as nothing less than epic. He’d trekked out from the city to Lido Beach and was greeted with waves worthy of a magazine cover. Coincidentally, The Inertia’s Juan Hernandez had just balked at an opportunity to stay on the East Coast during that precise swell, expecting a mediocre day at best in exchange for a day flights and hours on a subway lugging a surfboard. When he landed back home in California, Shannon’s images were waiting to remind him what he’d missed.
The irony, and proof that seizing opportunities is paramount to success, when we reached out to Shannon to inquire about the above image we found out that Shannon himself nearly missed out on the shot: a perfect A-frame at Lido Beach as the winds died down near the end of the day with just one surfer left on the beach staring it down from the water’s edge.
“I can distinctly remember the exact moment I caught this image,” Shannon tells us today. “I was about to make the journey back to New York City when I decided to take one more look over my shoulder to the beach. Exhausted from shooting all day, salt and sand in my hair, I could see a few lines forming in the distance. I pulled out my camera one more time and snapped away. The rest is history.”
Carpe diem indeed.
Editor’s Note: Give photographer Brian Shannon a follow on Instagram. 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 email@example.com