I had been eagerly awaiting this winter season. Here in New England, the winter months can be rather frigid, but for those of us who don’t mind the exhaustive work of climbing into 6 mil wetsuits or ice-cream-headache cold waters, it’s the eagerly anticipated winter months that bring the biggest swells. We had snow before the New Year and water temps quickly started approaching 40°F. But in typical fashion, as soon as the long awaited winter months arrived, I was craving a break from the cold gray in favor of a warm water reprieve.
I've been wanting to shoot more portraits lately, but in combination with the surf community that I've been so involved with the past year. My good friend, Kevin Tanner, behind Soudnings Surf Co creates some gorgeous handcrafted boards. He does all his own shaping, resin work, and glassing, and I wanted to photograph some beautiful boards to highlight his craftsmanship as well as portraits of my friends who ride them. I decided to do board portraits.
A lot of us enjoy the warm weather, but a select few of us still enjoy (or perhaps tolerate) the cold weather. And nothing quite says winter like a fresh snowfall! On the rare occasion Rhode Island experiences more than one inch of snow while there's swell in the water, you can find a select few of dedicated riders on the shore eager to have a snow session.
If you talk to anyway wave hunting lately, most everyone is pretty annoyed with this season's swell. We usually expect big nor'easter storms to roll thru in the winter months, generating big waves and heavy offshore winds. Last season we were totally spoiled with head to overhead 6-8'+ days regularly occurring once a week. This season has been a little different, but perhaps that's a good thing to get me more accustomed to swimming in cold conditions.
I haven't been in the water for sunset in a while. But the opportunity finally presented itself a couple weeks ago. The sky was clear for once, there was a bump of swell in the water but apparently no one really deemed it worthwhile because the lineup was empty. Fellow photographer friend Gus Potter grabbed his board instead of a camera, and the two of us hopped in with only half an hour or so before sunset to catch a few with the one other soul already in the water. It was a little windy and wonky, and certainly cold, but it was one of my favorite sessions this month. You just can't beat that dusky light!