Today’s photography journey took me to Manly beach where I attempted to photograph waves during sunset. I have this concept in mind on what I want to do and when I get there I will shout to the heavens above and spam your social media about it haha. BUT today was more of a testing the waters type shoot where I investigated a whole bunch of components that will go into the idea’s making. I lived in Wollongong for about 7 years, a coastal town, during my postgraduate university days and whilst I wasn’t a surfer perse I did a lot of bodyboarding. I got to the level where I was surfing reef breaks like Redsands, which is an epic wave that goes either left or right. So this past week or so I’ve discussed the project with my surfing mate, Josh, and he’s helped me to catch up on my surf knowledge involving the tides, wind directions and swell. After reading that the swell was going to be +6feet out at Manly beach today I grabbed my camera gear and jumped on the Ferry from Circular Quay. It’s about a 30 minute boat ride and I ended up having to jog to the beach to get their to shoot during the golden hour. I wasn’t able to get in a position to work on my project as I arrived so late, but all research is important so what I ended up doing was shooting the 200 odd surfers that were out enjoying the BIG swell.

I was set up with my tripod on the sand just where the water will come up and recede after each wave and I happily shot away at the water. You can see below and in this spot I could swivel left or right and got this nice late afternoon composition of a surfer running up Manly Beach looking to head out for the last 30 minutes or so of good light. All surfers know this feeling when your whole body is excitedly screaming for you to be out there pulling into a wave. Some surfer’s would say that it’s better than sex, well almost anyways haha.

I love how it turned out beautifully sharp in the foreground and the apartment buildings on the ocean headland. I went for a classic warm edit to go with the theme of surfing.

Software Used:

– Adobe Creative Cloud for Photographers – Get access to Photoshop, Lightroom, Behance membership and 20GB of cloud storage for $9.99/month

Image Location

View “Manly Surfer” Print in a larger map


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Thanks Luke

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