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North Shore: Day…Unknown

December 15, 2006

I’m so tired here. You think you are going to relax, and suddenly become aware of your exhaustion level.
The contest is over. AI dominates again, and not against a pack of lucky losers, but against the best in the game. The likes of Slater and cool-hand-Machado.
This is the first year the contest has ended with time left in our stay. Before, we seemed to have extended periods of downtime, wind, rain, etc. This year, wham, and we are at the final day.
The swell and conditions left much to be desired, especially during the morning hours, when squall-like conditions blanketed the beach. Three to four foot swells, wind, and a “warbled” wave face were standard.
Jake Patterson and Tamayo Perry both had mind blowing late-takeoff wipeouts that had the beach waiting for the water patrol to spring into action. We are talking 15 foot freefalls into the shallow section of Pipeline.
My enormous bag of film waits to be shipped and my digital files are safe on the drives. I didn’t shoot much digital, and what I did shoot was more out of just snapping for no reason more than trying to make memorable images. There are 80 other photographers on the beach, all with digital equipment, all trying for the same pages, so why would I join that game. You shoot Plus-x in a Blad and you suddenly become one in eighty. I like those odds.
Now we sit and have a beer, catch up, get our gear cleaned. I make calls to the magazines, answer picture requests and call portrait clients that want me to shoot for them before I leave the island. I can shoot portraits here virtually anywhere. So nice compared to the concrete block that is Orange County. I know, I know, there are nature “spots” in OC, but you know what I mean. This place is “country” and the light and clouds are far different than home. And, no SMOG!

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