WELCOME TO THE BEATING HEART OF YOUR ADDICTION
WE ARE THE SPIT
THE TRADE WINDS
THE HOWLING GALE
WE ARE BACKWASH
Early season Hawaii is upon us and while the competitive scene might not be everyone's cup of tea, there's a reason the majority of the world's best surfers and photographers converge on the North Shore. Tyler Walker has been there capturing moments between the madness. With his foot firmly in the South African corner (being a Springbok himself) he’s sent through this selection of sublime and an insight into the season so far. Enjoy.
This was the first time I swam out on my second voyage to the warm, tropical, powerful waters of Oahu. I had been shooting on land for a couple of days and I had to get out there. Mikey February was heading out and I followed suit joined by Travis Logie (fellow Saffa and commissioner on WSL). As I got out there the nasty trade winds started pushing the clouds over the last hour of sunlight left for the day. It's amazing here in Hawaii, when you shoot at sunset you get the darkest skies in the background with this golden light - it's magical and my absolute favorite type of light; dark with fragments of the ocean being lit up. Anyways, this was the last shot of sunlight we got for the rest of that hour. Was worth it even for that one, golden image.
Just before the image above, fellow Saffa and WSL commissioner paddled on this little gem. It may look small but this left bowl ,right in front of the Quik house near Sunset, was dredging very shallow to a mix of sand and reef. Allowing surfers to have such a rippable fun time as exercised here by Trav.
Once again, the same bowl, as stylishly caressed here by M-Feb (Mikey February). We had just lost the golden light and it was time to fine tune my favorite type of art; slow-shutter photography. It's quite difficult to try get these types of images in the ocean; a ton of powerful Hawaiian water moving up, down, side ways, in your face, in your eyes and up your nose. Mikey has such a beautiful style and it fits really well with the flow of slow-shutter work in the ocean. It made shooting a lot easier to perform this art (that I feel is a constant practice for me) and helluva fun!
Here we are again, a little different however, slow-shutter work shooting from land. I tend to want to shoot more in water than land but there are times when you know it's better to just stay out of the water for that session. This was one of them. I took a cycle down from my spot in Sharks Cove and met up with some buddies by the Pipeline Beach Park. Sunlight had just hit golden hour and I pitched camp (just my monopod really) and captured all 1.5hrs worth of it.
There were these fun lefts and rights catered for attacking turns and airs. Pictured here is Costa Rican, Tomas King. Tomas is on the QS and staying with a buddy of mine who I am working with here, fellow Costa Rican, Noe Mar McGonagle. This shot removes all types of smoothness or finesse as I was mentioning earlier and shows the aggressive, power and attack - I love that.
M-Feb, pre bluebottle sting under the very vest he's holding. How you may ask? Well, that's still a mystery we haven't solved as yet. Off to that sweet little left bowl in front of their place.
I could be horribly mistaken, but I think this is Tanner Gudauskas. I happened to be shooting at Off The Wall and looked over into the piercing golden hour sun (seems as if I only shoot then...) and saw Log Cabins going off. There were a bunch of aerial shows going down and man oh man it was spectacular.
This was quite a ferral day out at Sunset. Most of the contest surfers had/have been out there preparing for the next comp being held as leg II of the Vans Triple Crown. DvZ/ David van Zyl, fellow Saffa and all round down to earth, nice dude somehow found this thing. On that day, truly a diamond found in the rough. Yeah, he may not be that deep but when you understand that there weren't many, if any, barrels around that day you'll realize how much finding this beauty was worth.
This, now this is what I love shooting. I seriously haven't figured out why it makes me so happy.
For more from Tyler visit: www.bigredphotography.co.za
Backwash Issue Two is a surf anthology featuring Japan, the photography of Chris Burkard and Sergio Villalba, Hamish Laing and Woody Gooch. Kalani Lattanzi swims at Nazare, whilst Amy Kotch surfs barrels whilst pregnant and John Peck knee paddles out as he has done since 1958.Purchase