What did you decide to shoot with your camera for this project?
This was the hardest part for me. 27 precious frames. Damn, I had so many different ideas and I really didn’t want to waste a shot. In the end, I knew I was going to be in Hawaii through the holidays so I thought there might be something fun to do there. When I heard that the Vans Triple Crown was going to run the Pipe contest I thought, huh, well there’s a really unique way to use this camera – basically, it is the last camera you would ever want (wide angle, manual advance, single shot film camera with no focus control or f-stop) at a modern surf contest. I think 95% of the photographers on the beach were shooting digital, long lens, rapid fire frames-per-second. Don’t miss a moment professor, Pipe is cracking and Lance Burkhart might win! But hey, why not flip the script and try something different – so that was my goal… Let’s see what we can get with the opposite format I’d normally choose for this particular event.
Did you have any interesting experiences along the way?
I really enjoyed having to frame up, what I thought might be a great shot, and waiting, waiting, waiting for that little window of CLICK. Especially at Pipe. There were so many good waves that day, but I really tried to wait for what looked like a photographic moment. I also told myself, no multiples of the same setup. So I tried my best to change up every frame. I missed one epic shot. There was this young kid playing in the shore break with deep red trunks. He stopped right in front of me and watched a really good wave in the background. I shoulda pulled the trigger – moment missed. Bummer.
What was the biggest challenge (if any) you had with the project?
I found it funny how stressed I got about actually “covering” the story of the event – I kept thinking, oh, I got him going to his heat, now I need a wave. Oh dang, if he advances, I should stay and follow the story. I’m pathetic that way – let it go idiot – shoot some frames and have fun! I have issues. In the end, I’m happy with the framing, but had some technical issue with the camera – multiple frames came back blurry. Being that I was shooting static on a full sun day, I’m guessing this was some kind of registration issue on the low-fi, plastic camera. I’ve had so many rolls of super 16mm come back with heart-breaking flaws, it definitely makes you consider the benefits of digital and chimping your shots, making those in-the-moment adjustments, shooting more until you nail it, but where’s the magic in that? I’ll just call the blur artistic and make a day of it.