Stellar Surf Photography by Robbie Crawford
Huntington Beach, California-based multimedia artist Robbie Crawford captures the beautiful and exciting moments before waves come crashing back into the ocean. Using a GoPro camera that’s attached to a two to four-high foot pole, he photographs his surf scenes through the barrel of a wave. When The Roosevelts asked Crawford to give them five insider tips on how to shoot photos with his GoPro camera, he replied with tips that could pertain to any type of water photography.
1. Lighting… to me lighting is what’s most important. You get a sunset or sunrise with some high clouds illuminating the sky with vibrant colors and the shot’s going to be beautiful.
2. Wave quality… the more hallow the better… then throw in some backwash or mutation and it’s going to make for an interesting shot.
3. Water quality… the cleaner and clearer the better… brown water just isn’t that interesting unless you have a subject doing something spectacular… so if the water’s ugly make sure you’re shooting someone who rips.
4. No water spots… the secret is to lick it and dip it… and make sure there’s no sand on the port… any sand is a guaranteed water spot because water spots aren’t spots… they’re actually caused by the sheet of water on the surface of the port separating… saliva helps to keep that in tact… and sand is the worst.
5. Learn basic photo editing skills in Lightroom or Photoshop… pretty much every photo you see in a magazine has been touched up. The key is not to overdo it… a lot of people want to push the colors so much that it doesn’t even look real anymore. The goal is to get the shot to look as close to what it actually looked like with your eye as possible.