Pipeline is my favorite wave to photograph in the world, especially around sunset. The colors are constantly changing as the wave is illuminated from behind with the setting sun. On this day the swell was very large and dangerous. I wanted to align myself closer than any other photographer out there, as I had a wider lens than everyone else.
I knew I could get into the barrel of the wave and reach the surfer. But I had to do it while looking through my lens to focus and compose the image I wanted. Shooting directly into the sun is a bit tricky, because you need to get the correct exposure and focus the camera at the same time.
And then this wave approached with Shinpei riding it. It was easily the best wave that day – a bit deeper than all the others. As it hit the first reef at, the wave began to barrel and throw over into the barrel. I held my ground and looked through my viewfinder at this amazing view.