Cornwall

Swell time for UK surf photographers

Image copyright Alex Williams
Image caption Martin Connolly gets barrelled: "Work with good surfers so they know where to position themselves for the best shots"

As seasonal swells roll in from the Atlantic, autumn is the prime time for UK surfing photographers to take their best shots.

Mike Lacey is a professional surf photographer from Praa in Cornwall who specialises in getting right in the impact zone, where waves crash on to the beach.

Ben Pascoe from Plymouth runs a blog, Learning to Surf Photography, and Alex Williams is a professional photographer whose work has featured in surfing, windsurfing and skateboarding magazines around the world.

Image caption Alex Williams: Learn how to make the most out of your equipment

Alex Williams

Alex, from south Devon, gives some top tips for those who want to shoot the lip:

  • Research the beaches, where the best spots are and how the wind and swell change with the tides
  • Don't go shooting after storms because the water will be like pea soup
Image copyright Alex Williams
Image caption Looking down the barrel of the lens
Image copyright Alex Williams
Image caption Dropping in on a right-hander
  • Keep shooting and shooting. It used to be expensive to take loads of pictures but digital technology means you can make mistakes without breaking the bank
  • Work with good surfers who know where to position themselves for the best shots
Image copyright Alex Williams
Image caption A solid swell lights up the south coast of Devon
  • Learn how to make the most out of your equipment - a wide angle fish-eye lens is great for hollow and barrelling waves.
  • Look for the shots away from the action. Get shots of the surfing personalities on the beach - make a story out of your session.
  • Stay committed. It is hard dragging on a cold wetsuit at dawn but the hour after is the so-called "magic hour" when the light is at its best.

"Remember, surf photography is as rewarding as surfing, especially when you get great shots back," he said.

Ben Pascoe

Ben has been taking photos and shooting videos of surfing for more than 20 years.

He runs a blog to "help surf photographers like me get the right gear and improve their surf photography".

Image copyright Ben Pascoe
Image caption The west coast of France shows its power
Image copyright Ben Pascoe
Image caption Glasslike waves in the sun
Image copyright Ben Pascoe
Image caption A paddle boarder makes the most of conditions
Image copyright Ben Pascoe
Image caption Shooting the lip

Mike Lacey

Mike puts himself in the most dangerous part of a wave in search of the perfect shot.

He says: "Every time I come out of the water I feel so much more energised and focused."

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionShooting the lip: Mike Lacey on the risks of photos from inside waves
Image copyright Mike Lacey
Image caption Getting inside the barrel of a wave
Image copyright Mike Lacey
Image caption The rolling vortices of a wave
Image copyright Mike Lacey
Image caption Porthleven through the eye of a wave

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