Corey Lopez 1
US Open of Surfing - Corey Lopez
The US Open in 2009 featured the largest waves in the event's history. This year's US Open (2010) featured 2-3 foot waves, yippee (sarcasm). The good news was that the small surf does not attract as large an audience so getting railing space on the pier was a lot easier than previous years.
Of course, it is the 35 highest rated surfers in the world that distinguishes this event with a total purse of $350,000. I am images taken over 5 days. This is a pretty low percent but well worth it. I don't count all of the other perfectly focused and exposed images that don't capture the peak of action. If I did, my success ratio would be in the high 90% range. Blame this success ratio on modern technology.
Due to the small waves, my strategy was to focus more on the surfer instead of the wave which is usually my default strategy. Being able to identify the surfer is critical. Without a face, with a few exceptions, the image would lack the primary element of composition. I still depend on wave structure, just with more emphasis on the surfer's face than with larger waves.
The image above was shot with a 300-800mm, F5.6 zoom on a cropped frame DSLR, F8 with ISO 320, mounted on tripod with Gimbal head.
Additional images of surfing can be viewed here.