Friday, February 5, 2010

Big Waves In Coogee

Fantastic stuff! It is not very often the really big waves hit Coogee, indeed it is not very often that you can even claim that it is worth surfing around Coogee - the waves are simply just not good enough. This late January day, however, things were different.

[Notice the surfer to the right taking on this monster!]

I had finally decided to do what I should have done from the very beginning; put the new lens on and keep it there till I felt comfortable with it! That is how all new lenses should be treated! At work I had heard that it was looking like it would be "good" surf conditions along most of the coast, so why not take advantage and go for a little surf watching - photo walk combo.

Standing watching these gigantic waves coming in was absolutely gob smacking and when a group of 5 surfers started paddling towards them it attracted a crowd of probably up towards a few hundred people standing there watching the battle.

In about 1 hour all in all we saw one(!) single surfer actually being able to make it out to behind the point where the waves started breaking, probably ca. 500 meters from the beach. After a few minutes of resting he received an epic cheer from the crowd when aligning his board and catching one of the monsters of the day - fantastic stuff! First of all making it out there was only achieved by him - his 4 mates were still struggling in the foamy waters closer to the coast - but someone actually taking on and riding on of these waves was everything you could have hoped for as a spectator ... I would seriously have loved bringing the Bigma, but for keeping the wave in the shot I must admit the macro was probably better suited - exactly the purpose of exploring what you can do with your new lens! ;-)

After his ride, he had been pushed back probably around 100 meters and it was like the water had been infuriated by him conquering a wave and a set of 4 to 5 even larger monsters were rolling in, pushing everyone even further back - at some stage it started looking slightly dangerous since the pounding waves gave very little time for recovery. It broke the spirit of most of the surfers and as we left it looked unlikely that anyone else would be able to ride the waves.

It is weird only having 150mm - at that distance it becomes quite a significant task to "zoom with your feet". At first I was considering running home to pick up the bigma for the surfer pictures, but in reality I should probably be happier with what came out of the prime. With the zoom I would probably have made a close up of the surfer as he plunged down the slope of the wave, but would have lost the shear magnitude of the wave. Being forced to include the wave might indeed have made it a more interesting picture. :-)


Aleisha and Simon Iremonger said...

Looks pretty impressive. I assume there was no snorkeling that day.

AGL said...

Nah, snorkeling was off :-D The bay was one big mess of white water - the good waves were all the way out around Wedding Cake Island and despite of the Snorkeling gang being a daring bunch of lads I do not think many would have signed up for a swim out there :-D