It has been a mixed bag this summer.
Things started off well enough with some good waves and fun surf sessions. (click Christmas waves to see an example of what we experienced early on)
Then it got windy!
The wind came and blew with spiteful intensity. There is nothing more frustrating than days of intense winds. The resulting ice-cold water is a close second in the annoyance race.
Tanika Hoffman, Green Point, Cape Town
Then with the New Year, came a new swell.
This was a good solid ground swell that lit up the coast of South Africa and had us scrambling up the east coast.
This last minute scramble ended up being another super fun surf trip with two good swells and lots of good times.
(for more on this mission have a click at Happy New Year)
Steven Sawyer tore into the good swell we had up the East Coast
In the couple months since the New Year mission, I have frustratingly missed out on a good few of decent swells but have scored a couple good ones myself.
Missing out on some decent swells has had the net result of me not shooting all that much this summer. Well not as much as I would have liked!
Don Wichmann, summer beachbreak fun
Some of the reasons for missing out on waves include lack of motivation to shoot the same old over and over again and surfers not keen to explore our wonderful coastline here in the Cape.
It still amazes me that some surfers will complain about crowds and small gutless waves and will then still end up surfing Longbeach in Kommetjie.
The other major issue this summer was the escalating costs involved with surfing here in the Cape.
Taryn Kyte not letting the small waves go to waste
I have shot very little Land based surf images this summer.
The only time I think I shot land with my long lens, was up the East Coast where I could not shoot water for a few days due to illness.
Shooting land in Cape Town does have its problems too.
The light is often harsh and unsuitable for eye pleasing image making. Also shooting with a big shiny lens attracts unwanted attention. Apart being a target for the criminals I also have to deal with “what are you shooting” or “I bet that camera takes nice pictures” type of questions from morons.
Shooting from the water does help to eliminate these problems.
Emma Smith smashes one
I have found shooting from the water to be fun.
It is easier to communicate with your subject and there is a lot going on in the water that keeps the interest levels up.
The major issue I have with water shooting and a big reason why I am not hitting it as hard as possible is the stupid water temperature this part of the world.
The other major issue I have to deal with is kooks riding me over!
Sadly this happens all to often and is usually some dumbass male with an oversized ego that’s causing me to take evasive action.
Sand banks down in Kommetjie had their moments
I am still very inexperienced with water shooting. I have only tried it a dozen or so times to date.
I do not surf so I am still getting used to swimming in the impact zone and reading waves. This is pretty tough when you need to swim while holding a big, heavy housing that can easily smash ones teeth out.
However, it’s pretty fun and added a new dimension to my work and I hope to get wet more and keep learning.
A big spinoff to water shooting is that my fitness is pretty decent now. One has to be pretty darn fit to take the beatings some of these waves hand out.
Dylan Wichmann smashes one , backhand
All in all it has been a fun (ish) summer. I do regret not shooting more. I do get very depressed missing out on all the epic sessions and not taking photos.
I am grateful and stoked for the opportunities I did get this summer …
off to work with Dylan Wichmann
Short gallery of images from our summer