Friday's Foto Tip: How to capture an epic barrel shot

Shaun Payne right at home in a thick Sumatran barrel. Photo: AvG

There are few things better in life than getting barreled. Being encased inside a tube while the very ocean folds over you and sends you screaming towards the shoulder. It's the one photograph every surfer wants of themselves, and the first photograph every surf photographer strives to capture.

Although there are many angles from which to capture the barrel, this tip focusing on the prime view from the side when looking at a surfer inside the tube.

One of the best barrel shots I have in my library. Jarrad Howes in Cape Town mid-winter. Photo: AvG

Positioning and approach are the two most important foundations of any good barrel shot. I learnt this extremely valuable tip from Chris van Lennep years ago about the correct approach to any barreling wave, especially the heavy, powerful kind; "Always swim towards an on-coming wave". Not only will this put you in the prime position for the shot, but most importantly it gives you the momentum needed to penetrate through the wave, avoiding both a foamball for your surfer and an unpleasant over-the-falls situation for you and your housing.

Stanley Badger standing tall inside a rare Indonesian beach break barrel. Photo: AvG

After body position and approach, the extension of your shooting arm and the tilt of your hand and housing are the next crucial factors which will make the difference between an average and great photograph. The angle and position of your hand can also make a small wave look bigger, and visa versa. Make sure you extend your arm as straight as possible, giving you maximum reach when penetrating the wave, and always tilt the camera just slightly upward, maximising the view of the lip and size of the wave. For years I shot my barrels too horizontally, and lost out on the true beauty and power of the lip and what really makes a barrel. Thankfully years of seeing amazing water shots by other professionals cured me of that, and helped shaped my water shots to what I strive for today.

This shot of Stacey Guy in Indonesia is good, but it could have been that much better had I tilted the camera slightly up and to the right. Photo: AvG

On a technical note, if you have a camera and lens which you have control over, it is highly recommended that you shoot only on manual, giving you more accuracy and control over the end result, specifically your lens. Whatch the waves and conditions prior to swimming out, and "predict" how close you will be from the surfer majority of the time. If you are unsure of the exact setting on your lenses dial, do a quick distance test on the beach and set this by tapping it in place. You don't want the dial turning while you setup your housing, or when a big wave knocks you in the surf. Electric tape works best I find, just make sure it's not too long and gets picked up by your wide-angle.

Good luck, and lets see your results.

AvG

Views: 331

Add a Comment

You need to be a member of Shot Bru to add comments!

Join Shot Bru

Members

Forum

Cannot upload

Hey hiI am having a problem.I log in fine.. but as soon as i choose the upload option i get a red triangle in the address bar and i cannot upload images. Am told that it is ani secure sight. How can…Continue

Started by christopher Aug 29, 2019.

J Bay Point

Waves have been really good this last week at Point - not small either "LOCALS ONLY"Continue

Started by Mouse Billson Aug 24, 2019.

Camera Lens 1 Reply

Hey guys .I'm looking at getting a new lens for my camera , something ideal for quality crisp pics , but something at a reasonable price #studentlife!Any suggestions??Thanks!Continue

Started by Carla Voigt. Last reply by Geecee Jul 10, 2018.

SHOT BRU DISCLAIMER:

You are responsible for the photos and videos you submit to Shot Bru. If you didn’t take the shot yourself, or make the video, get permission from the owner first. If you’ve got your eyes on a Shot Bru prize or a spot in the pages of the main mag, please upload to Shot Bru before sending your photos on Facebook and other surfing websites cyber rounds. Fresh photos get priority for prizes and print. Finally, by loading image(s) onto Shot Bru you are granting Zigzag permission to feature your image(s) in the magazine, on the website and across our social media platforms free of charge.

Waveski, SUP, etc shots regularly get deleted due to a technical glitch. This glitch does not seem to affect surfing shots, which shotbru.co.za was designed for. We are having our developer look into the problem.

PLEASE NOTE: If you are posting a pic of a secret / semi-secret spot or a sensitive location, DO NOT say where it is. Shot Bru is for sharing photos and stoke. Not for exposing secret spots. The administrator reserves the right to change the description or nuke the shot if you don’t comply.

If you are going to upload photos of secret or very sensitive surf spots. Be vague about the location, or better yet flat out lie. We're okay with either.

Latest Activity

william veitch posted photos
yesterday
william veitch posted photos
Thursday
william veitch posted photos
Thursday
Mo posted a photo

Dave Stubbs - Old guys still have it

Dave Stubbs at his local break in Scarborough.
Thursday
Mari-Lise posted photos
Oct 25
Mari-Lise is now a member of Shot Bru
Oct 25
Rob Kenealy posted a photo
Oct 19
Tim Van Vuuren posted a photo
Oct 5

RSS

_MG_6728

by chris clarke kelly slater riding off into the sunset

2018_MG_9806 Copryright Neil Hellerle (Neil H Photography)

by Neil H Photography Dan Redman Sequence 1.

G0091734-4

by Craggi Kreations Kenny Andrews

© 2020   Created by Shot Bru Admin.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service