Naval Officer/Surfer/Photographer
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Editor’s Note: “Spot Snapshot” is a series that highlights an image and explains what you’d never know by simply looking at it. As the cliché goes, “a picture is worth 1000 words.” Here, a featured photographer brings you both. See the previous installments from New Jersey (USA) here and Nantucket here.

Photo: Rich Brooks

“I took the next set wave to the head, but bounced up super stoked knowing I nailed the shot.” Photo: Rich Brooks

July 19th was the first time that Panama City Beach saw good swell in about two months. I was really excited because I had just gotten my new NIkon D3300 and Ikelite housing a few days earlier, and this was my first session out with it. There are a few decent surf spots around Panama City Beach, but when we get a good swell with favorable conditions, the County Pier is the place to be.

I went down to the County Pier, and was stoked to see some locals in the lineup who are known to shred. One of them was Rob Stalvey, a very knowledgable and talented surfer. I got out in the water, and took about a half hour getting acquainted with my new equipment and figuring out the right camera settings. After catching a couple shots of Rob and the other surfers, Rob and I talked briefly as he paddled back out to the lineup. He gave me a detailed breakdown of the conditions and the break that day. He gave me a reference point on shore where the peak was so I could get into position to capture the best angle. Now that Rob knew where I was and I knew where he was coming from, it was just a matter of holding my position in the break until the right wave came through. It took about 15 minutes until I saw a real nice wave rolling in. I watched Rob as he paddled into it, and I knew this was going to be my shot. He made his bottom turn, came back up the face and executed a perfect stall. I kicked in a little to stay with the wave, and had a perfect three shot sequence of Rob’s barrel. I took the next set wave to the head, but bounced up super stoked knowing I nailed the shot. I looked at Rob and he just smiled, I gave him a thumbs up and we both headed back out to the lineup.

See more from Rich on his website, like him on Facebook, and follow him on Instagram@RichBrooksPhotography

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