22nd November Batu Bolong

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12th October Airport Left
Great Light
Shit Waves
Batu Bolong
Bali, Indonesia
Oct 12th, 2020
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Baby Barrels, Bingin Beach

If you are only interested to see the pictures you will find them all in the slider above or below. You are welcome to use these images in your social media especially if you could take a second to add link to my Instagram account @_supersharp and maybe like and comment on a few pictures 🙂

I am such a dick sometimes. I didn’t know anything about the wave at Bingin other than it barrels when the conditions are right. Marko told me he doesn’t like it. Why would you go there when there is a world class barreling wave at Padang Padang? He kind of gave me the impression that this was a trifling thing and that I shouldn’t bother. The guy I met in Legian on Tuesday and agreed to meet there said it was easy, you can just sit in the channel. When it came to meeting up he decided it wasn’t working and headed off to Uluwatu. 

It’s a bit of a mission getting there as Bingin is at the bottom of a cliff but its all well developed with proper steps all the way down. I sat in a bar for about half an hour and watched how to get in the water. Thats also a mission, you have to navigate the very shallow reef – but I made a friend on the way out so that was also cool.

I was there on my own and I didn’t know anyone other than the guy I met on the walk across the reef so I took up a position 25 or 30 meters down the wave. I was quite happy for the first 20 minutes or so. It wasn’t quite barreling but I was in the right spot and getting some really nice pictures of the surfers coming straight down the wave. If there was any chance of a barrel they scooped themselves up and went for it. I was right on the shoulder of the wave just before it broke – I was nailing it. Having an absolute blast.

Then the ocean did what the ocean does, it kicked the shit out of me, twice. What seems to happen is that every 5th or 6th set has three absolute monsters at the back of it. I didn’t know that. These monsters are much wider than the regular waves so when the first one came it was a total surprise, I’d been there for 20 minutes already and this hadn’t been happening. The wave has a kind of curve to it, so if you want to be looking down the barrel you need to be where it breaks. So you get drawn in, and you get excited, and you think everything is cool and then, BOOM motherfucker 🙂

Because the wave is so much wider, you aren’t on the shoulder anymore, you are in it, as it breaks, where the power is. Barreling waves, and this is only my second experience so I am no expert, but they go straight up, and over – hence the barrel. If you are in it you go straight up and over and that isn’t pleasant. What’s worse is that it gets really shallow, really fast and the bottom is reef, and reef is hard and sharp. So after the first time this happened, I will be totally honest with you – I was shitting myself. Then some time passes, and you haven’t seen a monster set for a bit so you start to get a bit braver and get a bit closer and then you get smashed to fuck again.

I was in the water for about an hour and this happened twice. The second time I gave up and the sea spat me out – just a few reef scratches. By the time I got out I was completely broken, again.  

What Did I Learn ABOUT Shooting Surfers In Barrels.

I was all happy on the way there thinking this was going to a breeze. Marko had given me the impression that this was too easy and Dani had told me that I could just sit in the channel. What I know now is that if a wave is barreling its because its strong and hitting shallow ground. Even though the wave wasn’t quite working I got some nice shots and a couple that could almost pass for barrel shots.

If this one had been in focus it would have qualified, I think.

Same wave, same guy – he looks like he is crawling out of a small hole. Is this a barrel shot?

This is the guy I met on the reef on the way out and I think its my favourite shot of the day.

This guy must have been the best surfer there, most of the shots were of him.

So what I have learn’t is that shooting surfers in barrels isn’t easy. Maybe if you have a 200mm lens and you are another 30 metres away its easier, maybe.

Being in the water is never easy and not paying attention gets you fucked up.

Bingin works best, from what the guys that were there told me, on a mid to low tide, that’s when the tide is on it’s way in. I have read since, don’t ask me why I didn’t research this before, that it is at its gnarliest at low tide.

It’s is forecast to be pumping next Thursday, Friday and Saturday so I will be there then for sure.

The technical bit.

My mask didn’t work again and I don’t really know what to do about it. I am sure I would have fared better at ducking the waves if I had it on, but I didn’t.

The pictures were all shot at f8, 1000th of a second and an ISO of 320. It seems to be ok except some of the images at the end of the run aren’t quite in focus, annoyingly. This could because the subjects were too close; what I saw in the YouTube video is right and the camera isn’t continuously focussing on certain apertures or I was moving too fast – that seems less likely.F

I only took about a 120 shots, that’s a new low, which makes it much easier to select and edit. of those around 90 were in focus and free from droplets on the port, so I seem to be getting that right. Maybe I have been doing this wrong, maybe I only need to be in the water for an hour, hmmmm.

I’d really like to get my mask working again. If anyone has any tips on how to prevent a mask fogging I’d be really interested to hear from you, the overnight toothpaste isn’t cutting it.

What should you do if you found this interesting or useful?

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And say hello if you see me in the water 🙂

 

Martin henley

Martin henley

Occasional Photographer

On a mission to become more active and mindful with my photography; to leave the house more often with the intention of taking photographs; to find attractive, interesting and engaging ways to share the images, videos and solutions I discover with others.

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22nd November Batu Bolong

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Surf Photography Batu Bolong 22nd Nov 2020-1

Lots of laughter – Batu Bolong, 20th Oct 2020

Laughter, Batu Bolong, oct 20th 2020
Blame The Parents
Balangan
Bali, Indonesia
Oct 09th, 2020
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Lots Of Laughter, Batu Bolong

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If you don’t know Bali you won’t know that Canggu is where the beautiful young people hang out and that Batu Bolong is where they surf. There are other breaks close by, Berawa is less than a kilometre away, Old Mans is only a couple of hundred metres away and what I would argue are much more interesting breaks are also within a kilometre at Echo Beach.

The reason the beautiful people surf at Batu Bolong is because they all live in Canggu and Batu Bolong is a long wave perfectly suited to longboards. Longboards are the perfect opportunity for beautiful people to look beautiful. Of course it isn’t all beautiful people, there are a fair few kooks there, and absolute beginners riding the white water in front of the temple.

I used to live nearby and so my first forays in the water were at Batu Bolong but I have come to the realisation that I don’t like it. It’s not just because I am not one of the beautiful people, there are a couple of real issues. There is a lot of swimming, Batu Bolong proper is a good 300 metres from the beach. The other issue is that Batu Bolong has taken more of my stuff than any other beach. I was there the week before and lost a fin, and a fin saver trying to get in, and then my mask got smashed up in my attempts to get it back. To be fair it was probably a little big and Marko had told me to get in at the channel in front of The Lawn but it was breaking pretty big there as well, so what can you do? The other issue is that the wave is supposed to be a left but in reality it breaks both ways and sods law is that if I sit on the left they will all go right and if I sit on the right – you know the thing 🙂 People also complain that its too busy, nut that doesn’t bother me – the more surfers there are the more likely I am to get something nice. it also gets a bit dirty in the rainy season which can lead to ear infections and unpleasant encounters with floating stuff.

So that’s the negatives out of the way. What I like about Batu Bolong is the vibe. Batu Bolong is the break where I have heard the most laughter of any wave in Bali. If its an occasion – Christmas or Valentines you can rely on the Batu Bolong crowd to be marking the event. You hear a lot of funny stuff at Batu Bolong “man chill out this is Batu Bolong, its a long board wave – everyone is dropping in.” You also hear a lot of laughter, which is really cool. If you talk to Indonesians who don’t surf they call it playing surfing, they don’t say are you going for a surf or going surfing they will say are you going playing surfing. Foreigners who surf tend to take it much more seriously linking it to their mental health and drawing life and entrepreneurial lessons from the time they spend in the water and seriously competing for the waves.

The Batu Bolong crowd are pretty chilled and on this day there was a lot of laughter, which was really nice. I’ve been thinking a lot about what constitutes a good surf photo and how I select the images that I post. If it’s longboarders the best photos are when they are hanging off the nose or executing a sharp turn. For short boarders you want to catch them throwing up a lot of water on the lip of the wave, in a barrel or in the air. There wasn’t much of that going on on this particular day.

This guy was shredding it a bit and this is my favourite shot of the day.

 

And this guy was also creating some splashes.

This guy was riding the nose a lot but he was going right and by the time I gave up on the left and moved across I was out of energy and he didn’t manage it on the couple of waves that he caught whist I was there. 

20th Oct 20 Batu Bolong - Laughing_-18

I was in the water for about an hour and this happened twice. The second time I gave up and the sea spat me out – just a few reef scratches. By the time I got out I was completely broken, again.

So it was pretty slim picking in terms of selecting what are traditionally good surf photos. So I moved on to the second criteria – joy. I typically leave the water with hundreds of photos and spend as much time selecting the photos to post as I do in the water. What I really enjoy is when the surfers look straight at the camera and smile. It’s reassuring that I know that I am there and it makes for a good photo. Although this guy isn’t looking the laugh sums up the mood that morning.

20th Oct 20 Batu Bolong - Laughing_-7

And these two were having a blast.

20th Oct 20 Batu Bolong - Laughing_-5

I am also really pleased when I see people who aren’t stereo typically surfers, older people and heavier people. Full respect to this dude 🙂

The Technical Bit.

There wasn’t really too much technically going on. My mask was fogging which was an issue.

The images were all taken at f9, 1,000th of a second and ISO at 320. I am really pleased with the colours and exposures.

The only other issue was with my positioning. Marko was insisting that I stay on the left but then he, like everyone else was going right. Batu Bolong is a long wave and its always difficult to be in the right place on a long wave. the current is also pretty strong, pushing you back to the shore if you are in front of the break. One thing that did work was exerting in the channel, I have know about that forever but is the first time it actually had the effect of making the swim out less difficult.

What should you do if you found this interesting or useful?

You should subscribe and you will get these images and ramblings in your inbox. You could also check out my Instagram and comment and like some of my pictures.

And say hello if you see me in the water 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Martin henley

Martin henley

Occasional Photographer

On a mission to become more active and mindful with my photography; to leave the house more often with the intention of taking photographs; to find attractive, interesting and engaging ways to share the images, videos and solutions I discover with others.

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01 PSOI - 21st October-6
03 PSOI - 21st October-2
20th Oct 20 Batu Bolong - Laughing_-18
5 Kuta Reef - 11.10.20-8
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22nd November Batu Bolong

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Baby Barrels, Bingin Beach, 22nd Oct 2020

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Bullshit Corner, 18th October 2020

Morning Surf, Batu Bolong, November 2019_-16
Laughter, Batu Bolong, oct 20th 2020
Actual Grace
Bullshit Corner
Bali, Indonesia
Oct 18th, 2020
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Bullshit Corner, 18th October 2020

If you are only interested to see the pictures you will find them all in the slider above or below. You are welcome to use these images in your social media especially if you could take a second to add a link to my Instagram account @_supersharp and maybe like and comment on a few pictures 🙂

This is a bot tricky because this is supposed to be a secret location. In fact its on one of the beaches in one of  Bali’s most populated areas so the best you could probably say is that this wave is hidden in lain site.

The sensitivity might come from the fact that members of the PSOI, Indonesia’s International surf team are training there currently. And that is tricky. Clearly the surf team need waves to train on and waves are by nature public spaces. So imagine if the England football HAD to train in a public park and you turned up with your kid and decided to have a kick about. I don’t think that would be cool, and so it’s not particularly cool if you turn up here, especially if you are not very good, and start taking waves away from professional athletes. Actually this is one of the coolest places I have been, although they are all cool, and these are some of the friendliest people that I have met in my surf photography adventure. But, you can expect a frosty reception if you turn up and get in the way.

I actually have a bit of an issue with this whole secret spot idea. People get very excited about secret spots its nice to surf where there aren’t many people and it feels lovely to think that you are accessing something exclusive. the issue is that the people here, especially in these difficult time, need all the visitors that they can get.

So my recommendation is that you seek this wave out, and go along and buy a coconut and a beer, hang out, make friends and watch the brilliant PSOI team training. You can talk as much bullshit as you like.

You might see @deniblackboys performing his magic with huge grace.       

18th Oct Bullshit Corner-3

Or like this, this is my favourite shot of the day.

And you might catch a bule on the nose.

The Technical Bit

OK, so this is where it all went to shit. It was a little bit rough getting in and I think i may have knocked the shutter speed dial. The result that these phots were all shot at 1600th of a second, with the usual f9 and auto ISO. I have come to the realisation that whilst the auto ISO is amazing in my camera is amazing I think surf photography might be the most challenging environment for it. The difficulty is that most of the time the camera is under the water, where it’s dark, and only comes out of the water to take the picture.

I’ve been thinking about this and come to the realisation that if I am in the water for 2 hours and I take 300 pictures at 1000th of a second I am actually only doing surf photos for 300 1000ths of a second, or .3 of a second. That seems grossly inefficient. There are 7,200 seconds in two hours and 7,199.7 of those are completely wasted.

The result of all of this is that the ISO tends to default to certain ISO’s within the maximum that I have set, which is 1,000. These shots are all at either 500 or 1,000 and they are all under exposed. Underexposed is bad, it’s really hard to pull anything back from the RAW photos in editing. They all look muggy. 

This is the second set of photos that I gave to my new editor and she has frankly performed a miracle, thankfully. 

Anywho, this was the day that I decided I can be managing the ISO in the water and thats what I am doing. On bright sunny days it works best at around 320 – if it’s cloudy it can go up to 800 – and I am happy with that. The other realisation is that screens are a really shit way of taking and showing photos. in the water I have the back screen on full brightness which means that the images look over exposed, so I have to factor that in when I take the photos and review them whilst I am in the water.

What should you do if you found this interesting or useful?

You should subscribe and you will get these images and ramblings in your inbox. You could also check out my Instagram and comment and like some of my pictures.

And say hello if you see me in the water 🙂

 

Martin henley

Martin henley

Occasional Photographer

On a mission to become more active and mindful with my photography; to leave the house more often with the intention of taking photographs; to find attractive, interesting and engaging ways to share the images, videos and solutions I discover with others.

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01 PSOI - 21st October-6
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Kuta Reef - 11.10.20-12
18th Oct Bullshit Corner-3
Kuta Reef - 11.10.20-12
15 Kuta Reef - 11.10.20-17

More Surf Photography On The Blog

22nd November Batu Bolong

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Glassy – Airport Left, 16th oct 2020

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Laughter, Batu Bolong, oct 20th 2020
Glassy
Airport Left
Bali, Indonesia
Oct 16th, 2020
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16th October Airport Left-1

Glassy, Airport Reef, 16th October 2020

If you are only interested to see the pictures you will find them all in the slider above or below. You are welcome to use these images in your social media especially if you could take a second to add a link to my Instagram account @_supersharp and maybe like and comment on a few pictures 🙂

What you want, if you get out of bed at sparrows fart to go surfing, and maybe especially if you go to shoot surfing, is for it to be glassy and for there to be waves.

This was a month ago as i write this so I can’t remember how big the waves were but I don’t recall being disappointed, so there must have been waves. I certainly wasn’t disappointed by the glassiness is that a word?

I think it gets glassy when there is no wind. 

Otro-Modo-surfschool.com describe glassy like this:

“Glassy refers to the surface of the water when surfing on days without wind. On these days, the water is as smooth as a mirror, no matter how small a bump in the wave disturbs the surfers when surfing. From clean waves with glassy water dreams every surfer. And every surfer who has ever experienced perfect waves with Glassy water, knows the feeling then to feel every little movement of the surfboard in the turns. Like a speed skater with freshly cut skates on a freshly prepared rink.

Glassy is the opposite of Choppy.”

The English isn’t great but it gives you a good sense of how it feels to be in the water when its glassy.

Personally I hadn’t consider that it made that much of a a difference to the surfers.

I just know that its really nice to be in the water when its glassy and the reflections really add something to the shots. There is something weird about how the waves can be throwing up so much disruption in the water but the reflection still happens. 

If I had known I would have paid more attention to this phenomena and focussed a little more on trying to capture it. 

As it is this is the only picture that really captures it:

This is probably the best shot of the set. Marko is always pleased if I manage to catch him on the nose. It would have been better if he hadn’t been looking so serious and he had his arms down, but what can I do about that?

The light was also fantastic and its nice to have some clouds in the sky, I really like this:

16th Airport Left-20

The Technical Bit

I cant tell you too much about what was going on here technically cause I’ve had a fucking nightmare with my machine which means I have lost the RAW files. 

I suspect that this might be the last time that my mask worked as I was nice and close to the surfers. I may have resolved that issue now so there is no need for any more comments supporting me on that – I actually received zero comments.

Actually, I have recovered the jpegs from the Lightroom previews including the metadata so I can tell you this happened before I started dicking around with the settings, these images were all shot at f9, at a 1000th of a second with auto ISO. 

The other thing thats happened is that I have recruited an editor to fix up the colours for me cause of the colour blindness and all. She is absolutely brilliant and I am really pleased with what she is doing. 

I hung on for as long as I can but tried one last time and managed to make the sky purple, my previous best was green.

I’d love to know what you think in the comments. I’d love to think that somebody might actually be reading this 🙂

What should you do if you found this interesting or useful?

You should subscribe and you will get these images and ramblings in your inbox. You could also check out my Instagram and comment and like some of my pictures.

And say hello if you see me in the water 🙂

 

Martin henley

Martin henley

Occasional Photographer

On a mission to become more active and mindful with my photography; to leave the house more often with the intention of taking photographs; to find attractive, interesting and engaging ways to share the images, videos and solutions I discover with others.

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01 PSOI - 21st October-6
03 PSOI - 21st October-2
4 Kuta Reef - 11.10.20-6
5 Kuta Reef - 11.10.20-8
7 Kuta Reef - 11.10.20-9
8 Kuta Reef - 11.10.20-10
10 Kuta Reef - 11.10.20-14
15 Kuta Reef - 11.10.20-17
Kuta Reef - 11.10.20-12
15 Kuta Reef - 11.10.20-17
Kuta Reef - 11.10.20-12
15 Kuta Reef - 11.10.20-17
Kuta Reef - 11.10.20-12
15 Kuta Reef - 11.10.20-17

More Surf Photography On The Blog

22nd November Batu Bolong

Baby Barrels, Bingin Beach If you are only interested to see the pictures you will find them all in the slider above or below. You are welcome to use these images in your social media especially if you could take a second to add link to my...

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Athlete Surfers, PSOI, Legian, Bali, 21.10.2020

Athlete Surfers, Legian, Bali - October 21St 2020 If you are only interested to see the pictures you will find them below, you are welcome to use these images in your social media especially if you could take a second to credit me and link to...

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Getting Creative, Kuta Reef Surf, 11th October 20

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Blame The Parents, Balangan, 09th October 2020

Blame The Parents, Balangan, 09th October 2020 If you are only interested to see the pictures you will find them all in the slider above or below. You are welcome to use these images in your social media especially if you could take a second...

Morning Surf Wide, Batu Bolong

If you are only interested to see the pictures you will find them below, you are welcome to use these images in your social media especially if you could take a second to link to my Instagram account @_supersharp. So having complained that...

Batu Bolong Morning Surf

If you are only interested to see the pictures you will find them below, you are welcome to use these images in your social media especially if you could take a second to link to my Instagram account @_supersharp. Getting to the beach was a bit...

Getting Creative, Kuta Reef Surf, 11th October 20

Morning Surf, Batu Bolong, November 2019_-16
Batu Bolong Morning Surf, December 01st 2019
Getting Creative
Kuta Reef
Kuta, Bali
Oct 11th, 2020

Kuta Reef, Kuta, Bali – October 11th 2020

If you are only interested to see the pictures you will find them below, you are welcome to use these images in your social media especially if you could take a second to link to my Instagram account @_supersharp.

This may very well have been my worst day so far in the water. Failing to set the settings prior to putting the camera in the housing and not checking until I wasn’t in the boat is a mistake I need to be careful not to make again. There were four things that went quite wrong, not checking the setting, mask fogging to the point that it was unusable, fin braking in a particularly strong wave and something else that I can’t remember.

If you are interested to see how I have edited these photos you can check that in the video below.

It was my first time at Kuta Reef and it is a really nice wave with incredibly friendly people, I will be back for sure and would hope to do better next time.

I have had to disguise the mistakes a little bit in the edit using black and white and filters which I wouldn’t normally want to do.

I am pleased with some of the results, this one looks nice in black and whit although I would never have done it if the focus settings were right and the image was sharp.

Kuta Reef - 11.10.20-18

And this one looks nice with an aged filter.

Kuta Reef - 11.10.20-13

I will be forever grateful to this lady surfer who left without killing me, she came close at one point 🙂

9 Kuta Reef - 11.10.20-13 

And this is probably the best shot of the day.

3 Kuta Reef - 11.10.20-5

I hope you enjoy the photos, please let me know if you have any feedback or tips for me and my surf photography 🙂

Martin henley

Martin henley

Occasional Photographer

On a mission to become more active and mindful with my photography; to leave the house more often with the intention of taking photographs; to find attractive, interesting and engaging ways to share the images, videos and solutions I discover with others.

* indicates required

#balikid #jalanjalan #ganglife #littlelegend ...

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