On a boat trip in Indonesia last June, our captain brought us to a relatively unknown surf break. When we pulled up, we saw perfect waves breaking like a machine down the reef, with no other people in sight. I was shooting from a dinghy in the channel and had brought my remote flash and water housing with me, knowing that, later, this would be the perfect time and place to light up the surfers with an off-camera flash, creating a studio lighting–style surf photo. I had my friend swim out with it and directed him to where I wanted the flash.
At that point, it was pretty much in Mother Nature and the surfer’s hands to make something happen. It was just my job to push the trigger at the right moment and hope for the best. Luckily, Alek Parker launched this air in the perfect place for the flash to light him and part of his board up, while the early evening ambient light created a copper tint in the background. Like any good photo, certain elements have to come together perfectly for it to come out right. I feel fortunate that I ended up with this image.
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