How To Get The Shot

Whether they admit it or not, getting a shot published in a surf magazine is many a surfer’s dream. To facilitate this, we’ve come up with a checklist of sorts to help you realize this goal-no matter how far-fetched it may be.

First off, you’ll never get a shot published working with a scrub photographer-your bro with a disposable water camera isn’t going to cut it. Secondly, if you don’t rip, forget it. Sorry, but the truth hurts sometimes.

The Water Shot

Generally shot with a distance-distorting “fish-eye” lens, a good water shot is hard to come by-but not impossible. Here’re a couple things to remember:

While waiting for a wave, stay within 40 feet of the photographer.

Don’t drag your hand in the barrel-water droplets can get in between you and the camera.

Don’t close your eyes, stick your tongue out, or puff your cheeks. It works for Homer Henard, but he’s an exception to the rule.

If you don’t line up with the photog, don’t force a maneuver-wait for the next opportunity.

The Land Shot

A photograph shot from the beach (or jetty, pier, etc.) is referred to as a land shot. Photographers can fire off roll after roll from land, but in order to get published, the photograph has to be extra special, because just about anyone can stand on the beach with an auto-focus setup and shoot away. Here’re a couple tips for working with a land-based photographer:

Don’t be a weakling-the more spray the better.

Five mediocre widgets are worthless-save all that energy up for one big gouge or air.

Offshore conditions are good for big turns because the wind exaggerates your spray.

Side-shore winds are perfect for doing airs because the wind makes the board stick to your feet.

What Else Can I Do?

According to Santa Cruz-based photographer Dave “Nelly” Nelson, there’re a couple things to know. “To get the shot, you gotta be willing to be at the spot half an hour before the sun comes up-midday light sucks,” says Nelson. “Bright surfboards and wetsuits create contrast-a white board in the whitewash is pretty much unusable. Also, chop hops and flyaway airs are lame-stay on top of your board and stick it!”

Good luck, see you on the next cover!