Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/02/18

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Subject: [Leica] Waves II (BIG)
From: Donal Philby <>
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 1998 17:51:30 -0800


Well, following my other story about sailing and the frustration
oftrying to get pix that showed how big the waves were from deck of
boat, here's a second hand story.

One of my studio mates, Aaron Chang,  is one of the premier surfing
photographers in the world and he just returned from shooting in Hawaii
during storm, jumped on plane to get here, raced down to Ensenada,
Mexico, about a two hour drive south.  He went out on boat with a bunch
of world'class surfers to the Todos Santos Islands that protect the bay.

He has Canons and custom built housings that form fit the bodies and
have negative buoyancy so he can swim under the breaking waves with a
body in one hand, no strap.

They got near the surf line with the boat and sat out in 20 foot swells
and jumped off the boat and swam into the surf.  

He said the face of some of the waves were 50 feet high.  He said they
were higher than anything he has seen anywhere in the world, even the
worst North Shore giants.  Surfers were skipping like thrown rocks down
the faces when they would fall.  

He showed me 15 frames, marginally sharp (movement in dark weather) even
with Canon AF, of surfer a small figure on frame filling, white topped
giant wave, riding into the tube that he said were sometimes as big as
the studio.  Awesome in the true deep sense of the word.  

Not a place to worry about the magnification of the viewfinder, or
suffer 1.5 fps winders, I'm afraid.

He went back today, when the waves were supposed to be even higher and
they just sat on the boat for two hours and nobody would go in.

- -- 
Donal Philby
San Diego