First week in Portugal

Now we are at Portugal, we have been here for a couple of days. Its been perfect for the two friends how never surfed before. Small waves and nice and warm weather. This week we are staying in Luz. The apartment is just a hundred meters from the beach where you can surf. Unfortunately there has only been one day of surf at this beach this week, so we have to use our car to get to other spots in the area. The cool thing with the Lagos area is that you have booth the west coast and the south coast to choose your spots from. The longest drive with your car is to Arrifana and its about 50 min. When it gets to big on the west coast, the waves starts to hit the south coast. Its actually very consistent here.

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Yesterday when we where surfing Zavial this big bird where circulating over our heads. I paddled in and got a chance to take some pictures of him/ her. I believe its a Vulture, big and majestic anyway.

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Portugal again

Time for another trip to Portugal. This time I will bring my kids and they will bring a friend each, total five persons this time. Their friends never been in Portugal and never tried surfing before, so we are hoping for nice small clean waves that suits beginners. When you try to learn someone surfing who never tried it before I always just want them to feel the same enthusiasm and love for surfing as I did the first time I tried it out. I mean, how can you not fall in love with this sport? It´s one of the most greatest thing you can do, sitting in the lineup with your kids and waiting for some waves. Talking about everything and nothing with your kids while you’re waiting for that wave. So I really hope I can show my kids friends what a nice water sport this is. Hopefully I will get back home with some happy kids and lots of new photos.

 

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Thats why I will surf today

You’ve all red it before! “You never regret that you didn’t worked more in your life when you are about to die and you are summing up your life” Most people regret they did not live the life they wanted to, they lived a life that other people expected them to live. Or that they did not spend more time with their kids. Or that they did at least a few things they always dreamed about to do. What does it take to (as we say in Sweden) “get your as out of the wagon” and start living the real life? I guess you have to understand that you’re not on this planet forever and that you eventually will die. Most people knows that they got a limited time on earth, but to really understand it usually takes some overwhelming life experience to get the message.  I not saying that I totally got the “message” but after my father past away recently and my mother nearly did too due to a  stroke (luckily I was there to get her in to the hospital in time) I’ve realized that we will die, so the process have started in my mind and I try to figure out what is important for me. So today I will leave work early and go surfing, because the waves are rolling in at my local spot. Maybe I should bring my kids, but they have to be in school, and they have to live their life as they want to not the way I want to.

It’s strange how afraid we are of dying and not be able to live and still we forget to live. That’s why I’m going surfing today.

 

Sally Fitzgibons “living the dream”? during the womens surf pro tour 2014 in Cascai.

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Jez Browning. A friend that quit his day time job and moved to Portugal and became a surfinstructor. Today he runs his own surfcompany teaching surfers all around the world how to surf.

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Step into liquid

Doing surf photography demands that you get into the water, well maybe not totally true. You can make it from the beach with a decent lens, as I have done so far. For a long time I have wanted to take the step into the sea with my But sooner or later you want to step into the sea with your camera. Last year I bought a water proof Nikon AW1 and did some shooting from the water. But that camera did not really work for me. Dont think the image quality was good enough and I had to send it back after that I got some water into the camera. I have been checking out water housings that are made for surf photography, but they are really  expensive. So I got little bit excited when I found this one. It fits my Nikon D7000 and it got all the controls I need. And the price was in my range of what I can afford.  I had to do some modification on it to get it work properly but now I’m ready to go. Going to Portugal in a couple of months and I will bring with me.

And yes I will start out in small sized waves… water photography is so much more than just shooting pictures.

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This one Emma (waiting for some waves) was shot with my Nikon AW1

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Board Shorts in late November

This photo was shot in late November on the southern part of the west coast of Portugal. Usually you need 3mm wetsuit when you surf in Portugal, special in November, but if you are lucky the ocean can get warm enough for surfing just in board shorts, even in late November. The surfer on the picture is Sam Lamiroy. He is a surf coach and a good one too. This is in the end of the day, and the sun just started to set so the colours looks warm and nice. just like the ocean. I really like the green colour in the water and that Sam is almost in silhouette. In the end of the day I had a bunch of photos like this. Its also nice to be able to shoot surfers in board shorts and not in wetsuits. I’m going back to Portugal in October to work with Sam and The Surf Experience on the Boot Camps.

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Use your teachers on You Tube

If I want my pictures to be black an white I always convert them in the post editing in Photoshop. I never change the settings in my camera to black and white. Why? I simply want the possibility to choose between colour or blank and white. There are so many different ways to convert your picture to black and white in Photoshop. If you do a search on You Tube You will find several great tutorials that will cover this topic. When ever I want to do something in Photoshop and I don’t have the knowledge how to do it, I will do a quick search on You Tube. Best teacher on the Internet. There are a lots of really bad tutorials, but you just skip them and go to the next one. I use You Tube for a lots of things actually. Lots of great guitar teachers out there giving you tips how to play for free.

This picture in two different versions, it was shoot at Fistral Beach in Newquay. I spent a weekend on Tim Nunns work shop. The pictures shows the different between colour and black and white. Its ok in colour but I think it gets more power in the black and white version. I’m always on the look to sea if my pictures will do better in black and white. Love the feeling you get in black and white pictures, most surf pictures are in colours….

 

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Relaxed in the ocean

When I go surfing, usually to my local spot, I always think if I just catch one wave the whole trip is worth it. But some times when its to big or to small and you just don’t catch any thing, I sometimes think just sitting in the ocean is not a bad thing. Sitting there in the ocean on your board and feeling the motion of the sea or watching the sun set makes you feel humble, happy and relaxed. Nature makes you feel small in a good way, most of the times. I’ve read that when we enter the ocean our hart beat slows down. If we hold our breath and get our heads under the water the hart beat slows down  up to 10-25% For a skilled free diver it can slow down as much as up to 50% of its normal rhythm. Maybe that’s why we feel so relaxed and happy when we enter the ocean, I don’t know. But what I know is that it makes me feel happy. And the when you sit there feeling like a happy hippie suddenly that wave comes along. You catch it and you are flying down the line, or it feels like that any way. And when the ride is done,  you don’t give a shi.. about sunsets or hart beats, you just want to catch one more and then one more….

This picture is shoot in Newquay. Behind the cliff lays Fistral beach. I used my 150-600 mm Tamron lens. The distance between me and the people on the picture makes them look large against the sun. Its a cool effect anyway.

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From a lovley evening in Portugal, algarve not far from Lagos.

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This is also from Newquay

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Sunday Fun!

I’m back now from the Work Shop with Tim Nunn. Grate weekend, and I learned so much. The second day was meant to be spent in the water and shooting with our cameras. But when it was time to get into the water the swell had become to big for us. So we quick changed the plans from shooting from the water to shooting from land instead. During the work shop we have been talking about line-up shoots and what kind of images the surf magazines really wants. So the day went on trying to practise what we learned.

You can check out Tim Nunns work on Tim Nunn Photography He is also involved in a very important project about all the plastic that floats around in our beautiful oceans around the world. Very important project! The Plastic Project

Pictures from Fistral beach in Newquay

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The Golden Hour

I don’t know how many times I have been sitting on my surfboard in the line-up and realized that the light is getting better and better. You are entering what photographers calls the golden hour. It is the last hour before the sun sets and the light gets soft and warm and the ocean looks like its made of liquid gold. Perfect for photography with other words. And at the same time perfect sized waves rolls in and you are having so much fun surfing with your friends, but the light is so perfect. You also know that your friends and your self would love to have some photos from this moment. Nice waves with nice light that’s almost a guarantee that you will get a couple of really good shots. So what do you do? Well I usually surf as long as I think I still have some time to shot some pictures and then I paddle in grab my camera and start shooting, still wearing my wetsuit.

The golden hour is usually not only one hour it varies through the seasons. Most of the times you get more than one hour, but its the last one that you want. You also have the golden hour in the morning and then it starts from sunrise. I’ve heard that the journal  National Geographic refuses to even look at pictures not shot during those hours, when they are selecting there pictures. If its true or not I don’t know, but they do have some really amazing pictures in their magazine.

 

What do I prefer, surfing or photography? Well I love doing both but if I had to choose one of them it would  be surfing… nothing beats the feeling of surfing. But hey you can do both!

If you are having a photo session in the sunset and you don’t think the light in your picture turns out as you wish, lacking those nice sunset colours. Then you can try to underexpose them a little bit by using faster shutter speed or smaller aperture or both. That usually will do the trick. Or!!! you could just enjoy the moment and just sit there and watch the sun go down. But you are a photographer so that wont happen.

And some pictures I’ve shot after being torn apart between surfing and photography.

 

The beach of Porto de Mos cloes to Lagos, gets really stunning sunsets

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Rowan on his longboard. Rowan works as a surf instructor in Lagos. Great longboard surfer and really laid back person. Cool kid!

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This is the talented and great surfer Emma Hamilton waiting for the next set. Here I swam out to get my pictures. This is from the girls Boot camp at the Surf Experience with Sam Lamiroy.

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This is Manuel Mestres son, Ze Mestre.

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And here I got Jon Pennington running up and down the beach several times, just to get that shot. DSC_0642

 

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How it all started

2009 a decision was made to go on a surf trip to Portugal. I only tried surfing once before in 2006 and then it was in Australia. I went on a day trip with some surf school and I just loved it. The Surf instructor was a total surfer dude. No shoes, blond hair, super tanned and picking up the group in his Land rover. Do not remember his name but he was the nicest guy ever.

But in 2009 I ended up in Lagos that is located on the western part of the Algarve cost of Portugal.Staying at the surf camp The Surf Experience that´s located inside the city walls of Lagos was a total hit. Friendly people, nice and helpful staff and yes they had a couple of Land rovers they used to drive us out to the beach with. Toby and Tobe, the owners of The Surf Experience has been running their business since 1992, making it one of Algarve oldest surf schools.

On that trip I also brought my newly bought SLR-camera, a Nikon D50 equipped with the cheapest 300 mm lence I could find (100 Euro) I had never shot surfing before and it was not really my intention to take a lot of pictures, and I did not take that many 700 for the whole week. Today I can shoot more than 2000 pictures on a good and long day at the beach.

This pictures are from my first surf trip. Nikon D50 and a Tamron 150-300 mm. All shot at the same beach, located on the south-west coast. You don’t need  that expensive equipment to take a decent photo I think.

This year I will be in Portugal for 7 weeks total, for surfing and surf photography.

 

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