D. Hobgood 2
Vans Pier Classic - Huntington Beach
Additional images of the Vans Pier Classic can be viewed here.
I'm very fortunate to live in Southern California and be able to photograph several surf contests per year with some of the world's best surfers. Yes, I realize it isn't the North Shore Hawaii or Fiji but it's still pretty good. When you take into account all the other outdoor activities including gardens and events, this truly is a great place to live. It's no wonder it's so crowded.
I photographed the contest from the beach, south of the pier, for 3 days. The surf was only 2 to 3 feet with occasionally larger sets. The weather was mostly overcast. I only shoot 7 or 8 heats before my attention deficit sets in. I will shoot up to 1,400 images per day and feel lucky if I can get at least a dozen images per day. There have been days when I got hundreds of "pretty good" shots, but that wasn't during this contest.
My primary focus the last couple years been in post processing of my surf images. There are lots of new programs and electronic devices on which to process images but I cling to my 4 year old XP Pro PC with older versions of Photo Mechanic and Photoshop. It gets to the point where you have to get off the relentless merry-go-round of software upgrades and just really focus on processing images. I still look for new Photoshop plugins that would significantly improve the quality of my images or make my post processing more efficient. I still use the old dodge and burn techniques which simply aren't possible on a lot of new software where only global changes can be made.
Image shot with a 300-800 F5.6 lens on cropped frame DSLR mounted on aluminum tripod with gimbal head.