Capturing surf action with the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III


Photography is about patience. You have to choose your moment. So you have to be patient and… You have to be prepared. Especially when you are talking ocean photography. It’s nature. You can’t predict that. And so you are trying to put all the elements in your favour. It means working with the right surfers. It means working with the right equipment. Getting the right camera to freeze these moments. I want a fast camera that is very reactive. Because it’s going to happen once and if you miss it, then you are not going to be able to make it happen again. I’m based here in Tahiti for this wave at Teahupo’o and so basically I’m waiting all year for the right conditions to happen. It’s like a window where everything happens and that’s when you have to be ready. Teahupo’o is very famous but it’s one of the heaviest waves in the world. It can be very dangerous. It’s very shallow, it’s really heavy. The whole ocean is breaking on dry reef. I’ve seen some accidents, people getting injured and all of a sudden it’s a different story. But the reward is insane. Time stops, basically, then you are into that commitment. It’s like a game, you are trying to get the action and I like that challenge. The whole process is so intense that when you have finally for the photo and you are looking at the back of the camera and you are like, “Wow.” It’s pure joy to capture these moments. I’ve been using Canon cameras for years and I’ve had all these 1DX series. But this new body, there are three major improvements. The focusing, then how many frames per second the camera is capturing but also the buffer having no limits. And I think all these factors are really important for a sport photographer because you want to be ready and you don’t want to be restricted by your camera. I’m out there, shooting photo from the water at Teahupo’o. The game is to be in the barrell for a split second with the surfer. And be as close as possible, that’s why I’m using a fish eye. So imagine now, how short that moment is, Having 20fps is a game changer. And that’s what I’ve been discovering these last few days using the 1D X Mark III When the conditions happen and it’s great and you know you are creating great images you can’t stop. That’s how sometimes you end up swimming for 8-10 hours. Just because it’s so good. I’ve shot yesterday like 4000 photos or even more, and video, and shooting Live View a lot. And the battery was still like at least 50% or more. Well because the ocean is always different, is always offering different conditions. I don’t count the time. I love being out there. And the more I live here in Tahiti, the more I realise that Teahupo’o is really unique. There is a huge potential to capture images that are not possible to capture anywhere else in the world. The new 1D X Mark III you are able to really able to capture the action as you were never able before.

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