John John Does It Again
Well, it's the day after John Florence won the 2016 Hawaiian Pro, and its raining, and yucky out, so I thought I would sit down and talk a bit about yesterday.
John Florence. Wow! What can we say. He won the Eddie Aikau Quiksilver big wave event last year, he’s now the world surfing tour champ, and he wins the Reef contest yesterday in solid waves at Haleiwa beach park. He's well on his way to winning the 2016 Triple Crown of surfing, of which this is the first event. The next is the Rip Curl pro at Sunset Beach and then it finishes up at Pipeline where the surfer with the most points wins the title. A betting man would certainly go with John, but…. anything could happen.
My job is a really good job, or at least I think so. It's super competitive but also super fulfilling. Sometimes I travel to the other side of the world to shoot and then Im back in Hawaii shooting in my backyard. It really stays interesting. I was shooting off the jet ski during the big wave event last year at the Quiksilver Eddie Aikau Waimea bay event and then again last week I was on a ski at the Jaws event. It's so insane to be on the water for events like that. It's the you are there experience. You can’t get any more involved than that. Imagine if you were a photographer running around shooting in the middle of the field at a NFL game with football players tackling big football players all around you. That should give you an idea of what its like.
But sometimes because of currents or no place to safely shoot from in the water, it's better to be on the beach. yesterday was one of those days, I showed up pretty early yesterday I had my Canon 300mm with my 2x converter and my canon 1DX, a glazed donut, a breakfast sandwich, a thermos of water and my beach chair. I walked way down the beach away from the crowd and the announcer and set up camp. I watched the gladiators of surf tackle some huge waves in the morning and as the heats went on and it eventually ended up the finals with John and 3 other surfers - not exactly household names - doing battle. John eventually went on to finish as the winner.
I spent hours staring at the ocean shooting the best moments and really just enjoying the event just like the rest of the crowd. I had a homeless guy show up saying "Hey, you used to be Brian Bielmann," to which a agreed. At the moment, it didn't seem important to press the fact that I still was.
I ate my glazed donut. I've been on a meat and greens diet for a few months, so the donut was insanely delicious. I eventually ate my breakfast sandwich for lunch even though the ants were all over it, but they were small and they are protein so it was cool.
I spent about 8 hours down on the beach watching our hometown boy hero take the win again, and I felt proud. Yes, the world comes to Hawaii every year for 6 weeks and it can be intense, but yesterday was fun. Beach chairs are good. I'm sure Ill get myself into some heavy situations again soon enough, but yesterday was not one of them. I thoroughly enjoyed sitting back in the audience and shooting from a safe distance for a change.
Stay tuned for my version of things to come. Talk soon and hope you like my pics.