How's 2023 ?

As it has been a while since I have put together a journal entry, I've made this one a bit longer. Looking back to previous years here seems to be a pattern. The combination of preparation for the end of the year at both home and at work, coupled with various celebrations pretty much results in a reduction of opportunities, which somehow, never seems to line up with the right conditions. C'est la vie!

This year was also no exception and explains the drop off of comms and photos. In addition, from memory, conditions over the Xmas vacation period weren't that great. It's not all bad I ended up surfing more that shooting.

Anyway, by the time that January rolled around, I was pretty desperate to get into the water with my Dafins , Aquatech Water Housing and Canon Camera to shoot again. It took until early February for the conditions that I prefer to materialise, and from the forecast it looked like I could get three solid days of good conditions - in the morning at least.

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There's no shortage of beautiful vistas in Sydney

Wednesday night board training FSLC

We did plenty of laps of the boardwalk over the Xmas break

Lloyd - almost getting a tube. (well his hand did!)

Andy, laser focus on the waves

Friday 3rd Feb (Day 1)

This was a good day in the ocean. Fairly easy to get out in the rip and a nice long period swell to provide a decent gap, with a few larger sets to get under and challenge me. Sadly it was very straight and most waves were closeouts. Not many wave were ridden, despite the keen frothing crew and I didn't end up with many photos - the ones I did, I was very happy about.

It was also the day that Leo, Lloyd's brother and a surf novice, paddle for a set wave, got picked up and had a 'nice' ride over the falls. I had front row seats and saw it unfold as I started to duck below the on-coming lip in an effort to keep myself out of trouble. I really would have loved to have gotten that shot - it would have been one for the pool room, I probably would have copped a fair flogging to.

It's OK though, Leo survived, paddled back out for more punishment - as evidence below.

I opted for a slightly wider Canon 24mm 2.8 prime (which is about 40mm FF) the reason is that I could position myself closer to the subjects, and keep to the shoulder of the wave, which is where you want to be when the waves are a bit bigger. The wider angle also lends itself to those underwater shots.

Lloyd and Leo, at least Leo is still laughing !

Saturday 4th Feb (Day 2)

For most of last year, I'd been shooting in the water with the Canon 24mm 2.8 prime. I wanted to revisit the lens I started surf photography with, which was the popular 'nifty fifty' 1.8 prime (around 80mm FF). To be honest, it's a tricky lens to lock focus on, especially when both you and the subject are moving, you also need to sit further inside - and so on larger days you cop a lot of water on the head. Saturday was much smaller, and there was a well defined right hand wave peeling, and a good spot to position - pretty much perfect conditions for using that lens.

It was a typical Saturday morning, super busy - which is standard for Freshwater at the weekends, and even more so in summer.

Checking the surf / crowds

James, on the paddle back out

Light trails, or light rails - James going for the five on his ThomasSurfboards.

Andjana, surfer and artist

Mary, model, actress and surfer

James, turning and going on a steep one

It's a party wave when you drop in on your mate.

He got an empty one, after that


Stylish glide

Tommy B, on a MG stick - like a hot knife

Setting up for the float

Moments later, it looks closer than it was

Maddi, one of FLC finest surfers.

O'Donnell boards go well eh! years of craft and experience in every board

Sunday 5th March (Day 3)

I can't lie, my legs, ankles and feet were feeling the back to back days. It was a tad smaller than Saturday, and so I continued with the Canon 50mm 1.8. The weather was a repeat, warm sunshine, clear skies and beautiful still winds. The sort of summer days that you dream of as a surfer - albeit with a bit more surf.

Jake was in the car park getting an early morning dip before opening the shop, so at least I knew there would be some decent surfing, and that Oceanside board looked and went really nicely

All in all it wasn't a bad few days.

The bonzer went well

Jake x Oceanside Surf Craft

Sorry Jake, focus switched to the dudes foot - you were in the spot bro


Emma, FBI's manager of the girls division

Here are the random shots

Just some things that catch my eye on a daily basis, this year I'm spending a bit more time in the city due to new routines on the home and work front.