Blue Hawaii – Pipeline, North Shore, Oahu – David Orias
There is probably no better wave in the U.S. for large barreling waves than “Pipe” on the North Shore of Oahu. I have seen countless images of its size and ferocity and have even surfed it before. However David’s image gives a fresh perspective to a legendary spot. To find out how he was able to simultaneously stop time and show the speed of the surfer read his great story below. Then check out his beautiful website at www.davidorias.com for more great images.
This was my first trip to the North Shore of Hawaii to photograph the Banzai Pipeline Masters contests which takes place every year in December. This event draws surf photographers from around the world due to the waves, the caliber of surfers, and the light conditions.
You can imagine that it is difficult to find a way to make your photograph stand out among the many photographers out there taking photos. I have always enjoyed looking at panned shots of sports cars and runners so I decided to try to the technique of using a relatively slow shutter speed and panning with the motion of the surfer. Unlike a race car that is usually travelling on a flat surface, a surfer may be moving horizontally or diagonally and one has to predict the motion of the surfer while the shutter is up for what seems to be an eternity. Many times, the surfer comes out too blurred. But sometimes, one gets a memorable photo. For me, I would rather miss many shots that would look rather ordinary on the chance I could take a photo that is more memorable. Needless to say, it takes practice and a good smooth tripod system to increase the likelihood of success.
Share and Enjoy