Perhaps best outlining my growth as a photographer, Rip Curl, taken on the Leeward Coast of Oahu, Hawaii, is the last image taken in this series of 35. Using everything I’ve learned up to this point, this image, while seemingly simple in colour and content, is relatively complex in its composition.
Here, in early April, I wanted to capture a single wave, but not just any wave. My hope was that the resulting image would look somewhat like a painting. My objective here was to quickly capture a single wave in perfect focus, while simultaneously blurring its surroundings.
First, I visualized what I wanted the image to look like. Then I sourced the location. And, finally to capture something clear and crisp, I purchased new gear which included a lens that had a much longer focal length so I could get as close to the wave as possible while standing back on the shore.
The colours of the ocean in Hawaii are outstanding. Panning the ocean before me this day, I could see the colours of the water from a very vibrant aqua colour to royal blue. Important to me in this photograph was my ability to incorporate a wide range of colours helping to showcase the tropical nature of the water.
For most images, it’s crucial my camera (most often sitting on a tripod) lacks any vibration. Movement of any kind easily ruins most photographs. But, capturing the perfect detail of a moving wave works a little differently. With my camera on my tripod, I horizontally panned the camera, working to match the speed of the wave while keeping the cresting wave in perfect focus. With consistent focus on the wave, the balance of the image was left blurred, appearing like horizontal painted lines. If I’m honest, this technique stretched the boundaries of my comfort zone.
In 2018, Rip Curl, was awarded with 2018 Bronze Award at Epson International Pano Awards. Subsequently, it also received a 2018 MPI (Master Photographers International) Award of Distinction. Making it the very first image in my collection to achieve two seperate international awards.