Mike SmoloweCameraCanon EOS 5DLensEF24-70mm f/2.8L USMISO200F-Stopf 8,0Shutter Speed1/500About the shotA good friend of mine and I bought a van for 700 Euros in San Sebastian and we spent two months travelling through Spain, France, Portugal, and Morocco. We decided to make the drive to Mundaka, Spain for the WCT contest because we had heard such amazing things about not only the wave, but also the town itself.I had seen footage from the previous contest where Bobby Martinez got thrown off the wall in the harbor after he won and remember thinking how amazing it must look from the water. CJ won his final heat against Joel Parkinson in the waning minutes of the contest and on a whim I ran back to the van, put my housing together, and jumped in the water.Within seconds I could see something was wrong. Condensation began building in my fisheye port and I could see drops of water beginning to accumulate under the base plate of my camera. I frantically swam to the wall, climbed out, ran back to the van and quickly exchanged my fisheye lens for my 24-70mm and changed ports. Not sure if the port had even been the issue, I crossed my fingers and ran back down to the harbor, jumped in the water, and anxiously awaited CJ's arrival. Minutes later he got hoisted up and tossed in. My 35mm focal length ended up being perfect. One of those seemingly shot-ruining things that ends up creating an even better image.BiographyShooting surfing was never the plan. I grew up in Pennsylvania, 70 miles from the coast of New Jersey, and went to college to become a vet. Now I'm 24, a graduate of Brooks institute, and making my living shooting freelance action sports of everything from surfing to fashion. It's funny where life takes you and I can't think of anywhere else I'd rather be. The ocean and the creative people around me inspire me, and I wake up every morning feeling blessed to be able to live the life I live. Current and past clients of mine include surfing, surfer, and surf Europe magazines, Surfline, and GQ. Innovation keeps me determined, traveling to new places keeps me excited, and creating successful images from mere ideas keeps me looking forward to what tomorrow will bring.