The night before there were a lot of indicators that it was going to get good. Still lots of swell, dying wind 3 hrs before sunrise and clear weather. I prepped the night before my gear as usual and planned a beach meeting at 630am, about 45 min before sunrise. In the dark it looked promising but always hard to tell until you get out there. Jake, Andy, my dad and I swam out. Before even reaching the sandbar, I realized my flash was not working. Immediately I swam back in and started trouble shooting. My window to those during this twilight hour is so small and realizing I was going to miss it was very disappointing. I headed back to the car and troubleshot the best I could. After about 10 min I took the flash out and tried to make it happen anyway. By this time there was almost too much light to shoot flash anyway. The red tide was still there but much better than the day before. My eyes didn’t burn but I coughed constantly the entire 2 hr session. Upped my ab workout in the surf shooting fisheye. A couple drainers were had and Jake and I linked up a couple times. Fun morning to start off a great “winter” day in Florida.
After a quick recharge with food I was back at it. This time heading to South Jetty in Venice Florida, about a mile north of where we went in the morning. The wind was still light and offshore. The swell was peaking and looked really fun. Before swimming back out I took a couple aerial images with the drone. Birds eye, looking for dolphins but didn’t find any. Tayler Brothers came in and said it had gotten fun down the beach. I suited up, in just a shorty as the water wasn’t too cold and the air was perfect. We headed down the beach into the sandbar dredgers to try and get a couple. We didn’t link up with a barrel shot but got a couple others. Red tide was still around, as it had been for almost 6 months! Since I haven’t shot in larger waves in a while (constantly kicking against a current) my feet were full of blisters on each side from my fins. Keeps you on your toes, literally.
As the tide came in and it started to get a little too high for shooting barrels, I switched my camera for my board. Really fun waves and surfed for almost two hours. It was about 1:30 and I had already had about 5hrs in the water. My back kept me from really pushing full bore on turns, it was still fun to get out there. Headed to home base for a late lunch. I also chatted with Brian from Aquatech, the company that makes my awesome housings. We struggled to figure out why the flash wasn’t syncing. I then took apart every wire and finally ended up figuring out a solution for it to work. Headed back to the South jetty about 3:30 and got another surf in while I waited for the light to get good to shoot in the evening. Another fun but very stiff session. By this time most of the locals were already burnt out from surfing the last 3 days. I always find it strange why so many surfers will hang out and talk about surfing while they could instead be out there? Hey more waves for me right? I headed back out with the flash housing just before sunset. Just as I got out there, I faced another issue. The flash was set to 1/4 and would not move. I was stuck with that and had to adjust the rest of the camera setting to hopefully make up for it. A tough problem since I shoot fully manual. So frustrating as the waves and sunset were perfect for shooting. Got a couple but not at all what I was intending. On the bright side, I was out there doing what I love and it was beautiful. A bonus to have my dad along side this whole time. So grateful.
Thanks to my awesome supporters!
www.RVCA.com – Providing the best boardshorts, clothing and wetsuits, supporting artists from around the world.
www.PacSafe.com – Providing me with the best travel bags and gear
www.TrustTheBum.com – Sun Bum – Protecting my skin in the sun!
www.Gitzo.us – Gitzo Tripods – Supporting all my dry cameras!
www.SolveSunglasses.com – Buy one pair of Solve’s and give one person clean water for life!
www.Manfrotto.us – Professional camera support gear
www.CompoundBoardshop.com – The boardshop for all your advendtures!
www.SeafarerSurfboards.com – World class surfboards made in Florida!
www.Aquatech.net – Aquatech SLR water housings
www.Proshotcase.com – Making the best Water Housings for my iPhone!
See more of my work:
Fine Art: www.BenJHicks.com