This image was captured while surfing in a mid-morning barrel behind Scott Dennis on the South Coast of NSW, Australia. It was taken on a DSLR with a fisheye lens, to show all of the action and peripheral beauty, as well as bring out the details in the roof of the wave that are rarely captured from inside.
In the image, the surfer is trying to adjust his center of gravity to retain balance and avoid wiping out. Feeling these raw, natural instincts is what makes surfing dangerous waves attractive. The technique used to capture it is known as the 'double tow’, which is essentially when a photographer is towed into the wave by a jet ski behind the surfer, riding a surfboard themselves.
It gives a unique, dramatic and beautiful perspective on the way surfers ride the barrel. I think this way of documenting barrel-riding can be appreciated by anyone because it really engages the audience in the moment.
The magnitude and perfect shape of this Australian reef-break adds a touch of raw beauty, but at the same time, increases the consequences. To capture this image it took four months, three hospital visits and two broken boards – persistence paid off!