Having Soggy Toes and Getting Deals by craig levers

Soggy Toes 

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It could be the best name for a surf zine ever. Seriously, when you think about it; it's symptomatic of the surfing condition and not deadly serious and earnest. It is clever. The Bay of Plenty's Guy Thompson is the creative behind Soggy Toes Zine. Issue 4 is out, only 200 are made of each issue thus far. Each of the four issues are 44 pages of visual stimulation.

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Thanks Guy! 

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Sickest log shot I've seen in a long time! 

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Noddy!

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Very accurate

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I like Soggy Toes, I like that Guy is getting his work out there. I love Zines and the DIY ethos. They are the spawning ground.  If you want to get a copy of issue 4, you can order it HERE


LUKE UPDATE!!! 

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Last week's post was about my old, very very old, mate Luke being selected to represent NZ at the ISA Adaptive Surf Champs in California. He's the first Kiwi to ever do so. The bigger picture being that it will open the door for other Adaptive Kiwi surfers to follow suit in the LA Paralympics. 

Luke needs to raise 4G for flights and accomodation so in conjunction with Surfing New Zealand a Give A Little page was set up to get Luke to Cali. WELL, the funding page has gone unreal! The total is just $600 shy of the target.  I've given, can you? Here's the link to the Give A Little page

https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/adaptivesurfingchamps2017 
 

In Other News 

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NZ Surf; The Collection Vol 1   continues its rise and it looks like there won't be too many left by the other side of Christmas at this rate aye! Last week it featured on the cover of Christchurch's Bay Harbour News, backing that up, this week it featured in The Pegasus Post. 


Deal Time 

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Yep, until the end of November this is the deal. Order your copy of The South Seas Revised Edition via PhotoCPL and you'll get a set of 10 NZ Wave Prints worth $29.95 FREE. No conditions... like while stocks last... just buy your South Seas book before month's end. All deals off in December! 

From The Galleries

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The key image from this sequence features in The South Seas. It's also fast becoming one of the most popular ones in the Galleries on PhotoCPL. I've got a good story to share with you about it next week. But in the meantime if you want to view the key image instead of an annoying animation, check it out HERE

Giving Is Good  by craig levers

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Luke is one of my best mates. We've known each other since 1993, when the 20 year blagged his way into the position as NZ Surfing's new graphic designer. To be honest he aced the interview process. It was exciting times, printing magazines was not the digital ease it is now. Pages were typeset, bromides were made, film was stripped in, cut and paste was actually cutting and pasting with wax rollers.

Luke made and makes my website. Luke made 09 Magazine with me. He's my go to guy. He's more than that, we've shared life's significant events; family deaths, births of children, relationship dissolutions, marriages.  

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Luke was born with an underdeveloped left hand. To be really honest, I always forget about his dodgey left, he doesn't let it stop him from doing anything.

Ok scene set, why am I extolling Luke?

Well he's just been selected to represent NZ at the ISA Adaptive Surf Champs in California. That's kind of a big deal, he'll be the first Kiwi to ever do so. The bigger picture being that it will open the door for other Adaptive Kiwi surfers to follow suit in the LA Paralympics. 

Luke's not a high roller, dear old Luke is a cruiser, he doesn't have the coin to get to California, at the moment he doesn't even have a good steamer or short board. Well O'Neill NZ [thanks Jason!] and Steve Morris SM Surfboards [thanks Steve!] have generously, no second thought, sorted that. But Luke needs to raise 4G for flights and accomodation, thanks to his Give A Little champaign he's already 25% there.

I've given, can you? Here's the link to the Give A Little page

https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/adaptivesurfingchamps2017 
 

In Other News 


NZ Surf; The Collection Vol 1   is going super, super well. The limited edition book has sold through 2/3's of the print run already. Looks like there won't be too many left by the other side of Christmas at this rate aye! This week it featured on the cover of Christchurch's Bay Harbour News... right next to the Freedom Campers ignoring fines.  

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Last week's final shindig at The New Brighton Club went off too, again, thank you all for coming along, Waz and I were stoked to fill that big room. [and bloody stoked on how many books were bought!] 

From The Galleries

Big is best! This week a couple of 1200mm wide prints got commissioned, above is Piha Storm and below is Piha Bar Pano. Of course it's nice 'cos it's more money, but that's not the primary reason. The whole way I shoot is so the images can go at least this big and it being just were the fine detail only starts to pop. I froth out every time is see these printed big and am reminded of how sharp and detailed they are - photo nerding out.   

lick on the images if you wanna know more about them...or even how to get your very own. 

WOW... or... Waves Out West by craig levers

Waves Out West

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We're having a pretty good run of it, 5 days of offshore winds and groomed swells moving in. It's the sort of week where West coast residents feel like surfers again. You're trying to fit your work around the tides. It feels good. To be honest not much work was done and the camera hasn't been getting punished much either. Mental health days.

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Options starting to show as the banks get groomed up. 

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Happy times for one paddler, not so much for the fella far right

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Move fast

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and then set for the speed run

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Post surf sun observations 


Mainland Bound

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We're celebrating NZ SURF- the collection Vol 1 next week. If you're in Christchurch come along! All welcome, get to see the book in reality and even chat with the makers. We'll even shout you a sausie roll and a couple of cheese'n'pineapple sticks. Because of Licensing laws we need your name to put on the door. So email me back with a YES, even if you only think you might attend, so we can at least add your name to the VIP list. Love to see you there.


But Wait There's More! 

Wanna hear Wazza's dulcet tones on the airwaves? Well tune in tonight to Radio Live at 9.30, Warren will be chatting with Mitch Harris about NZ Surf- the collection Vol 1 

And we want to say thanks to Hydro Surf for giving the books fair and fine reviews on their site HERE

From The Bookstore

Don't Forget about the South Seas though! It's in most surf and book stores now. You can check out the preview just by clicking on the image... and of course buy direct and avoid the hassle of going to the shops. 

Cross fit? Nah Bro... Cross Step! by craig levers

Walking The Plank

Aussie logger Kai Ellis-Flint at the Logger Heads comp Waitangi Weekend... the Logger Heads is back on for 2018 too!

Aussie logger Kai Ellis-Flint at the Logger Heads comp Waitangi Weekend... the Logger Heads is back on for 2018 too!

I love shooting long-boarding. It's harder than you think. It's harder than short-boarding to capture. With short-boarding it's all about big manoeuvres, you can anticipate the big move coming. Not so much logging. It's all about the subtle foot work and quick reactions on the board. 

When I landed the gig as the Hyundai Longboard Tour shooter in 2009, I didn't know what the hell I was doing. Sure I had the gear and knew how to punch out the timely afternoon deliverables for media. And sure I'd been shooting surfing professionally for nearly 20 years at that stage, but I hadn't shot much long-boarding; I knew I didn't get the nuances. I had a trick up my sleeve, I got my good mate Daryn McBryde to spot me and tutor me. Daryn, if you don't know, is a multiple long boarding champ and dominated the scene for years. I couldn't have scammed a better teacher.  Hyundai would never find out their new contracter had no idea what he was doing! 

It must of worked, I ended up being the Hyundai Long Board Tour shooter until it's sad demise in 2014. I absolutely loved those 6 seasons of traveling the country in a brand new Hyundai documenting the tour. It was such a contrast to the short boarding comps, I love shooting those too, but the long boarding comps had such a good vibe around them.  

This week I was supposed to be shooting some of New Zealand's best exponents of the log for Barkers Menswear. The east coast swell bump we eyed up just didn't do what we hoped, we are in a holding pattern. 

Simultaneously I've been asked to be a part of a photo exhibition in December. So the prep begins, what to use? Well,I have a fascination with cross steps and the foot work involved in good logging. It's really hard to do. This is what I'm working on... 

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So what do you think? [Again not a rhetorical question- I really want to know] Do these stoke you too, could you see them sitting as a huge print on your wall?  Hit me back with your critique.    

In Other News...

Plans are a foot [hahah get it.. foot] for The Collection Vol 1 book launch nights. Warren Hawke and I are going to host three evenings in the Mainland. The big one will be Wednesday Novemebr 8 at The New Brighton's Mens Working Club. Last time we did something there it got huge, so if you can, come along!

What!? You know nothing of what this 'Collection' is? Well I've made you a video... 

From The Bookstore

Don't Forget about the South Seas though! It's in most surf and book stores now. You can check out the preview just by clicking on the image... and of course buy direct and avoid the hassle of going to the shops. 

The Collection Is Here, now by craig levers

And So It Starts All Over 


Yesterday NZ Surf- The Collection Vol.1 arrived. Three really big, laden pallets of beautifully inked and bound paper; it is a beautiful thing. It's also a little daunting; there's only one fella that's going to bag and tag the pre orders and the surf store orders. And sell the book, get the book into those surf stores. There's a lot to do.

Our National Champ Ella earlier this week, and she's super stoked on her feature.

Billy stoking on his feature this morning too! 

Billy stoking on his feature this morning too! 

The Pre Orders have gone unreal, and because of that we're going to keep the offer of free Postage and Packaging going until after Labour Weekend. You can order your book HERE

The Collection is a hardcover, A4 landscape book. It is 194 pages with over 500 images and a hefty word count of 60,000+. This is one information packed volume. Warren Hawke has curated the content, and he's done an amazing task. To be really honest I think he's worked too hard, when you pick up the book and start flicking through it from cover to cover it just keeps going and going... and going. There's so much content.

All aspects of our NZ Surf community are covered, guys, gals, shred dogging to log cruising, groms to godfathers, North to South. But that's what Warren set out to do; produce a mass of content that reflects the deep diversity of our Kiwi surfing culture.   


Inversely and ludicrously, all of Warren's work is not reflected in the cover price. It is only $59.95. This is very intentional, we want the book to be on your coffee table. We want the limited edition of 1500 to sell through.   

This is part of the fore-word Warren has written that sums up what the book is about....

 "For ‘The Collection’ I wanted a variety of shots that would help add to the stories being told and other shots which might create some ideas of their own in the minds of the reader. I also wanted to get as many different surfers in the book as possible. This decision played havoc with Josh’s design philosophy at times and made his work much more difficult than it should have been.

‘The Collection’ is about the variety of riches linked into our Kiwi surfing culture it therefore includes stories about surfers, surfing, festivals, the arts and the ocean. There’s purposely an absence of hype, advertorial and corporate bullshit. I see ‘The Collection’ as something fresh and new which hopefully in some ways brings out and also gets to the soul of Kiwi surfing."

From The Bookstore

Don't Forget about the South Seas though! It's in most surf and book stores now. You can check out the preview just by clicking on the image... and of course buy direct and avoid the hassle of going to the shops. 

Finally Waves! by craig levers

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North swells are the best swells for us Westies. They generally strike at such an oblique angle that all the beaches from the far North to Whanganui turn into right hand point breaks. Well maybe not point breaks, but series of hollow running rights. These swells are few are far between. They are absolute treats. At the start of this week we had one of the best north swells in years, not the biggest, but it pulsed for three days. Lots of surfers got lots of barrels, boards were snapped and the stoke banks were filled to the brim. 

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Not a swim for the timid, especially at feeding times

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The early 

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The goal

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Nat Barron paddling into a freight train

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Former National Junior Champ, builder, husband and father of two, Nat, in the happy place

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Dune Kennings settling into the fold

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The lefts off the back of the right running peaks are good too, and Kye Bedford in a very unenviable position

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Dune eyeing up the next section

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James McAlpine in the bowels of a beast 

 

From The Bookstore


Pre Orders for The Collection have gone nuts-thanks fellas!!! There are books going all around the world.  All Pre Sales get free postage and packaging and will be sent out in that first week of landing. The full shipment is on its way with an ETA of October 18. So after the 18th they won't be Pre Orders and standard P&P will apply.  You can check out more detail, LIKE it- SHARE it and of course Pre Order by clicking through on the image to it's web page. 


The South Seas Revised Edition  is going pretty sweet too, last week it got called the Rolls Royce of NZ Surf books! Most surf stores and books stores have stock now, but if you can't find it in a shop, you can always buy it direct right here right now just by clicking through on the image. We've decided to keep free P&P worldwide going until the end of October. 

On The Road. Your Chance To Win... and clearly it's still onshore by craig levers

On The Road 

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Ngaruguru Estuary last night 

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Hundertwasser/Chuppa chups inspired installation?  

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Don't get views like this by sitting at home. 

I'm on the road selling books, I won't lie, it is my happy place. I definitely over romanticise the whole process; away in the Chevy Camper, loaded up with stock, cameras and surfboards. I love visiting the surf stores and the owners. The catchups, the gossip and the thrill of the sale. The job is not necessarily to get as many units as possible into each store, it's to get the distribution spread far and wide. To make the books be available. It would probably make more financial sense to sit on the blower and sell, but there's no fun in that. Plus I think when the store owners actually hold the books, feel the weight and see the quality they get it better. It's fun to watch the conversation tail off as their attention is taken by the pages, you know you've hooked them. No hard sell, just let the books speak for themselves. 


We're Doing A Giveaway

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To celebrate the South Seas being available now we're going to share the love. The South Seas Revised Edition has 228 pages of images from every corner of New Zealand. Post your best lineup from your local region to the South Seas Facebook page HERE and be in to win a signed copy... and please, no spot naming, keep us and them guessing :) 


Last Week

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Jackson! 

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Glams 

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My best side

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The prints

Thank you all for coming along last Thursday, you packed out the Sustainable Coastlines Flagship. What we didn't tell you was that The South Seas Launch was the very first time the Flagship had been used for an event like this. Nerves of no shows were very quickly shut down. The highlight... let's be honest, selling a shit ton of books! But in ever so close second, over $2500.00 was raised for Sustainable Coastlines via the print auction. Thank you fellas, that's bloody awesome. In the end we decided instead of just profit, 100% of the print sales went to SC. 

Again Corona NZ have to be thanked for supporting the event, as do the staff at SC, Andrew Howson, Jodi Pretscherer and Camden Howlet who stayed and helped out on the night. 

You missed out on the book launch? You don't want post a line-up on stalk book to win one? You just want to get it done and have the book show up on your doorstep with free P&P? Well, you can do that HERE

From The Bookstore



Pre Orders for The Collection have gone nuts-thanks fellas!!! There are books going all around the world.  All Pre Sales get free postage and packaging and will be sent out in that first week of landing. The full shipment is on its way with an ETA of October 18. So after the 18th they won't be Pre Orders and standard P&P will apply.  You can check out more detail, LIKE it- SHARE it and of course Pre Order by clicking through on the image to it's web page. 

The Collection... your preview by craig levers

But Wait There's More 

Yesterday the advance copies of NZ Surf- The Collection Vol.1 arrived. You'd probably assume a battle hardened maker of printed material, a fella that has made over 90 magazine issues and 8 hard cover books, would be all like- meh, yeah, ok. Nup, I still smell the fresh ink, leaf through the pages with glee. There is nothing quite like holding the fruition of a project you've been apart of, and being quietly confident it's something good. 

The Collection is not my book. It's the hard yards of Warren Hawke. I'm just the chump that's going the sell it, well, maybe a couple of features hacked together too. We have been planning The Collection for a few years now, but it's Warren that has kept the inertia and the passion going. He's the editor, the chief of this one. 

This is part of the fore-word Warren has written that sums up what the book is about....

 "For ‘The Collection’ I wanted a variety of shots that would help add to the stories being told and other shots which might create some ideas of their own in the minds of the reader. I also wanted to get as many different surfers in the book as possible. This decision played havoc with Josh’s design philosophy at times and made his work much more difficult than it should have been.

‘The Collection’ is about the variety of riches linked into our Kiwi surfing culture it therefore includes stories about surfers, surfing, festivals, the arts and the ocean. There’s purposely an absence of hype, advertorial and corporate bullshit. I see ‘The Collection’ as something fresh and new which hopefully in some ways brings out and also gets to the soul of Kiwi surfing."

The Collection is a hardcover, A4 landscape book. It is 194 pages with over 500 images and a hefty word count of 60,000+. This is one information packed volume. Inversely and ludicrously, all of Warren's work is not reflected in the cover price. It is only $59.95. This is very intentional, we want the book to be on your coffee table. We want the limited edition of 1500 to sell through.   

The full shipment arrives mid October but pre sales are open now- free shipping worldwide- until October 13. Book your book HERE  

Come Join Us

We really really want to shout you a few beersies and pizza aye... come join us September 28th ... yes 28th... I've got it right this time. Just click on the invite for the Facebook event. 

From The Bookstore

Pre Orders for the South Seas Revised Edition are done! There are books about to be sent all around the world.  All Pre Sales got free postage and packaging [plus some extra free goodies]. The shipment is here is getting into stores now. Don't want to go to a shop to get yours??? Buy it by clicking through on the image to it's web page. 

You're Officially Invited by craig levers

If you click on the invitation above it links through to the Facebook event page. But you don't have to do that, I'm about the explain the night away; 

It's a big space to fill so you better bloody turn up, The Sustainable Coastlines Flagship is down by the Silos in the Wynyard Quarter, you know that big Wilson's Carpark where the Laneways main stage is placed, beside the Auckland Fishmarkets? That's where the Flagship is. We've gone for a Thursday evening and early, 6pm, so you can just come along after work- it's casual, it's informal, We just want you to have relaxed fun. 

We're going to feed and water you, thanks to our partners Corona, Yealands Wines, Phoenix Organic drinks and Toto Pizza.... they are the guys that make the metre long slabs of pizza. We'll have veggo and meat lover's options. 

There will be a lot of books to have a perv' at, you shouldn't feel obligated to buy one, we just wanna celebrate the end of a long journey. But you can buy one and get it inscribed if you want- we've got special white wax pencils for the black pages :)

Oh, as a sidenote, I'm writing in plural not because I'm a gemini, the 'we' is Brent Courtney and I, plus all the photographers and writers involved, this is no one man band- it's a team effort.  

The Exhibition/ Auction: There will be 16 750mm x 450mm large prints on the panels around the Flagship's walls. They are unframed prints, so you can do your own framing [or none] later. The prints are key images from the book. There is no set price on the prints, we're doing a tender/silent auction thingy. There will be a ballot box and slips of paper that you can put your contact details on and the price you want to pay for the print you want. All the profits of the auction go to Sustainable Coastlines.

With past publications we've donated books to Sustainable Coastlines, this time around we're trying something different.   

So that's it, obligation free, free beers'n'pizza on us. 

Thursday September 28, 55 Madden St... which is the corner of Madden and Beaumont streets, 6 pm kick off... our shout- bring your eftpos card

From The Bookstore

Last Call For Pre Orders and so far people are loving the offer- thanks fellas. There are books about to be sent all around the world.  All Pre Sales get free postage and packaging [plus some extra free goodies] and will be sent out in that first week. The full shipment is on its way with an ETA of September 18. So after the 18th they won't be Pre Orders and standard P&P will apply.  You can check out more detail, LIKE it- SHARE it [pleeeease] and of course buy it by clicking through on the image to it's web page. 

The Party Planner by craig levers

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The Venue- raw 

It is kind of fun organising parties. Getting all the parts of the jigsaw in place. Wait, it's not an old school Barfly or Keyhole Boardriders party I'm talking about here where you fool the venue manager into it, then spray and walk away...miss those nights, how no one didn't fall off the Kestrel ferry is a mystery. Anyway, no, this party is not a fall down drunk affair with The Warners blearing; we're all older now and far more civilised right?  Wow, the idea of a party now is a book launch, things have changed! It is the South Seas Revised Edition Book Launch that's getting done. 

There have been Photo CPL Media book launches before.

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The South Seas V1 book launch in 2012 at Sitka Newmarket.

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NZ Surf Captured By A Surf Lens Launch in 2014, New Brighton Mens Working Club

This new one is the most ambitious and therefore scary one to date. The South Seas Revised Edition book launch is to be hosted in the Sustainable Coastlines Flagship  which is in the Wynyard Quarter, downtown Auckland. It has a 200 people capacity with 96 square metres covered and then the sprawl outdoors. This is the bit where you go 'but what if nobody comes'.

Venue, beer, wine and pizza sorted. Prints... sort of sorted; There is an exhibition component of the book launch. There will be 16 large prints displayed around the walls, images from the South Seas Revised Edition kindly supplied by contributing photographers, Jerry Aubertin, Rambo Estrada, Silas Hansen, Brent Courtney and very lastly, me.

a sample of the images that could be part of the print auction... they won't have the artwork on them.

The large 750mmx 450mm prints will be auctioned on the night via Tender. All the proceeds of the auction will go to Sustainable Coastlines. And hopefully there will be actual books. 

Next week you'll be getting sent your offical invite, but in the meantime, just keep September 28 free, we wanna shout you a few bevies and a slice of pizza. 

From The Bookstore

Pre Sales are now open and so far people are loving the offer- thanks fellas!!!! The full shipment is on its way with an ETA of September 18. All Pre Sales will get free postage and packaging [plus some extra free goodies] and will be sent out in that first week.  You can check out more detail, LIKE it- SHARE it [pleeeease] and of course buy it by clicking through on the image to it's web page. 

The South Seas V2 by craig levers

The South Seas Revised Edition

The original

The original

In 2012 I was part of the team that made The South Seas- New Zealand's Best Surf. It was a Hail Mary of the book project, instead of making a book to a standard publisher's economic formula Brent Courtney and I decided to make the book we wanted to have. Instead of screwing down photo budgets, we approached the edit with the mandate of the best shots featured, f@ck the cost. We included over a dozen of NZ's top surf photogs work. It was liberating as a creator. As the bank roll it was terrifying. The book went on to become one of NZ's best selling surf books and is generally regarded as the best surf book to come out of lil' ol NZ. It sold through 2 print runs.

Exciting package!

Exciting package!

But that was 2012, five long years ago. We could have been mercenary and pumped out another print run and milked the sales. We made the call to overhaul the content with fresh eyes, take what worked, acknowledge what didn't, include more photographers, go deeper. This is what we've been drowning in for the last 8 months...




The new improved edition 2 advance copies arrived yesterday!!!! YESSSSSS

Why mess with a winning formula? Since 2012 there have been some significant swell events, those needed to be in the book. Also there are more and new surf photogs shooting some amazing stuff. We knew we could tighten up the edit to be harder hitting and we decided to add an extra16 pages of imagery. 




The Mega Swell of 2015



Fresh Angles, better angles



When we started the Revised Edition it was estimated maybe 50% of the images would be swapped out. Review everything, keep the bangers...ahhh it'll be easy. No no no, we got swamped in a sea of options. In the end probably 75-80% of the imagery is new. 

Have we made a better book? Yep, without meaning it to sound cocky, we have. Tighter, Stonger and Longer. 

From The Bookstore

Pre Sales are now open. The full shipment is on its way with an ETA of September 18. All Pre Sales will get free postage and packaging [plus some extra free goodies] and will be sent out in that first week.  You can check out more detail and buy it by clicking through on the image. 

The Milestone Reached And Bettered by craig levers

Damaged Goods- The Change Will Do You Good 

The big 20, five years in the making

The big 20, five years in the making

There is a recurring theme in these posts, my love and observations of Surf Media. It's an occupational hazard of a working life spent making some of it. New Zealand actually has a pretty awesome history of surf media.

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In April 1965 New Zealand entered the surfing mag game with “New Zealand Surfer” . Only five issues were made, until July 1966. It started a movement; since 1965 there has been a succession of NZ surf magazines. There have been some really crappy magazines made along the way, I'm allowed to write that, it was me that edited them. But through it all there were nuggets of goodness and some pretty cool heights achieved. One of the highlights was creating NZ's largest surf mag, in the early 2000's my team at the mag created a 128 page issue, with a sticker sheet on the cover and two A1 posters. At the time it matched the page count of our Aussie counterparts. It was the biggest seller too. We were always striving to make the biggest issue we could, to give the reader as much bang for their buck as possible. 

With the acknowledged down trend of surf print as in this post earlier this year  it was very much looking like that would never be achieved again. 

This week a true milestone was meet, actually a series of them. Damaged Goods Zine produced their 20th Issue and it's 144 pages thick. 

Founders and creators Jereme Aubertin and James 'Skip' Skivington quite rightly celebrating a mammoth achievement

Founders and creators Jereme Aubertin and James 'Skip' Skivington quite rightly celebrating a mammoth achievement

They have bucked the trend. Here at the bottom of the world is a surf mag thriving. Last Saturday the lads put on a shindig to mark their 5 years and 20th issue.

Part of the shindig was an exhibition of images from past issues that also feature in #20, the proceeds of which go to Kasm, over $1700 was raised. 

And what of issue #20, should you get it? Yes, yes you should. It's a great issue, course, I'm biased, I wrote the lead feature Print Is Dead and interviewed the lads. 

Relax, the issue improves from there.  Issue 20 delves into some of the best moments that have made up the subsequent 19. Their interview with Al Byrne, which sadly would turn out to be one of Al's last, that alone is a must read. 

Issue 20 highlights the maturity and the depth these two creatives have gone to to make great print. It's not just 'Good for a Enzend mag, I s'pose' . They are leading the way in what surf print media needs to be to not only survive but do jolly well. Adapt, evolve and entertain the reader so they'll come back for more. 

Every image in this post links back to the DGZ site where you can view more samplings and of course order your very own copy. Do it, be entertained, support local creatives, celebrate the NZ Surfing Community. 

From The Bookstore

Under 1000 of this little bewties left! That's pretty good for under a year. Will there be a reprint, probably not. You can check out more detail, LIKE it [pleeeease] and of course buy it by clicking through on the image to it's web page. 

Dirty Deeds by craig levers

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap 

South 'Naki Treat

South 'Naki Treat

Last week the Environmental Protection Authority approved sea bed mining in the South Taranaki Bight. This goes against their own rulings twice before. The consent to mine goes to a Netherlands corporation Trans Tasman Resources. The iron extracted gets shipped directly to China for processing and steel manufacture. 

The deal sucks. There is little financial gain for Kiwis. Very few jobs [if any] for Kiwis will be created. The environmental impact is worse. But I'm going to stop here and not portray myself as a know all. If you are interested, or like me, outraged that this could happen there are things you can do. 

Here are some relevant articles: 

http://kasm.org.nz/latest/setting-the-record-straight-on-seabed-mining-decision/

http://kasm.org.nz/seabed-mining/what-is-seabed-mining/

http://kasm.org.nz/seabed-mining/impacts/

 

Five years ago when TTR were successfully halted

Five years ago when TTR were successfully halted

Writing a web log about seabed mining is not going to change a thing. I could hope that maybe a couple of you will share my feelings about this and want to do something. The easiest thing is donate to the fund for the appeal. This is what I've done HERE 

http://kasm.org.nz/shop/donation/

Walk the talk. The real killer for action groups like KASM is apathy and inertia. It's not easy to halt a multi national corporation once, but to keep fighting the appeals over and over again and keep going back to the same people for donations is hard. I'm sure corporations like TTR forecast for this human behaviour; 'Wear those lefty protestors down with multiple appeals, eventually they lose interest." Let's not let them win and steel our sand.

From The Bookstore

Under 1000 of this little bewties left! That's pretty good for under a year. Will there be a reprint, probably not. You can check out more detail, LIKE it [pleeeease] and of course buy it by clicking through on the image to it's web page. 

Full Circle by craig levers

17 years ago Lynden Kennings shaped a board for his four year old son Dune. Dune was already standing up on his dad's mal and on his own boogie board. Lynden knew it was time for Dune to have his first surfboard. 
 
I know all this because Lynden kept telling me "Ceepage, I'm giving you the exclusive. You can be the photographer that gets the first photos of Dune-Bug surfing." He shaped the board a couple of days after the Millennium at Fresh Squeezed in Shadee Lane, Piha. 

Lynden sprayed the tiny 5'4" retro orange like the Bob Davies Kneeboard that he had learnt to surf on.  Hayden Chamberlain, the Fresh Squeezed aprenti, glassed it. The board created quite a stir in 2000. Everybody wanted to ride it. Everybody that rode it wanted it. Lynden ripped on it. 
 
We planned to get the 'exclusive'. But somehow it never happened. I've got images of Dune and Lynden standing on the shore in the ditch with the board from 2000. I can't find them; to be fair the search wasn't too thorough. I remember that Lynden was proud as punch that he'd made the board well and that Dune was stoked on it. 

While I couldn't find any photos, Hayden Chamberlain did. This is Dune on the day the board was finished and given to him. Hayden you fricken legend.

A four year old Dune in barrel stance on the deck at Fresh Squeezed, Shadee Lane 2000. 

A four year old Dune in barrel stance on the deck at Fresh Squeezed, Shadee Lane 2000. 

Last week Dune and I were blundering our way... wait, Dune wasn't, I was blundering the way to a photoshoot. Finally it was going to happen, but Dune's boards were in Kai Bedford's car, which was in town. F@CK!  
 
Dune had a back up. You know where this is going... Dune had lil' Orange. I hadn't seen it in 17 years, froth overload. Flashbacks. Circles completed.  Dune ripped on it. Can you imagine getting a decent barrel on the board you've had since you were four.

Dune and Lil' Orange

Dune and Lil' Orange

This was the very first hook up we got on the photo session

This was the very first hook up we got on the photo session

Dune skimming  

Dune skimming
 

Installations

It's a part of the website that has been sorely neglected. But now it's all [relatively] up to date.
Ever wondered where all the images end up, or need a visual reference to see how an image could look on your wall? Well the idea here is that the images are real shots of real walls. They aren't the best photos, but they do show real world applications. You can click on the image to link through to the Installations section. 

From The Bookstore

Randomly, there has been a run on the Print Sets this week. You can check out the set larger, LIKE it [pleeeease] and of course buy it by clicking through on the image to it's web page. 

The End Of Eras by craig levers

This Is An End

As it turned out June and July 2017 were significant months for the NZ surfing community. Rip Curl NZ's CEO Paul Muir retired after 30 years at the helm. Wayne Parkes closed the doors on the Barry's Point Road Factory for the last time. 

Let's start with Paul. You probably don't know who he his and that is probably how Paul likes it. Paul started selling Rip Curl Wetsuits in the 1980's when AG Mitchell and Sons had the licence. This was when Rip Curl only made wetsuits. AG Mitchell And Sons were one of NZ's largest sporting goods importers and Rip Curl was one of their many lines.  

AG Mitchell scaled down and Paul grabbed the chance to be Rip Curl's NZ man. This was a little before my time, but the stories of him and Richard Langdon touring the country are the stuff of legend. In the mid eighties you either wore a Moray wetsuit made in Devonport, a Rip Curl or an O'Neill.  Companies like Quiksilver and Billabong were a decade off joining the party. 

Paul choose this shot of Larry Fisher to be a double page spread 'The Search' Advert in 1994. At the time it he cited it was so uniquely Kiwi. The advert got raved about for months. And that's why it was included in the book PhotoCPL. Larry Fisher is still sponsored by Rip Curl now.
 
I started selling adverts in NZ Surfing Mag in 1993. Rip Curl and Billabong shared the same building in Barry’s Point Rd. Rip Curl also had Reef sandals and Billabong had Oakley. They were the two biggest advertising accounts by a country mile. It was nothing short of terrifying driving down that driveway.
 
Things were about to blow up; surfing in NZ was about to go through massive growth. Billabong and Rip Curl both expanded into their own buildings. I liked that. The magazine also benefited from this growth 94-97. But by '99 the magazine was floundering. We had turned over three editors in quick succession.  The magazine wasn't speaking to its readers. There'd be moments of glory and then we'd plunge back into mediocrity. I lost faith in what I was trying to sell. 

On a mid winter Wednesday, Paul summoned me to Rip Curl in Te Pai Place in Albany. It was late in the day, my last sales meeting before knocking off. I had some images to show him for the next issue. But he wasn't too interested, he had another plan. For the next 2.30 hours he sat with me and explained what he'd like to see in the surf mag. He wasn't pushing a Rip Curl agenda. It became real clear, real fast that he wanted the magazine to reach it's readers. He was thinking bigger picture. He wanted to see a magazine that was worth him advertising in because it had the readers satisfied.

The thing that has always stayed with me about this mentoring session was that Paul didn't have to do it. He took time after work hours to talk to me, to offer up proactive observations that were astute and informed. Instead of pointing out what was going wrong, he offered up what could be great. 

Within a year I took on the role of Editorial Director, and largely put Paul's plan into place. The magazine boomed again. We strove to meet the needs of the reader, not the wants of the industry. But by doing so made something that was worth advertising in.  

Rip Curl NZ got huge, and Paul captained the ship through that growth. Then 2008 happened, the bottom fell out of the market. Paul navigated Rip Curl through the retrenchment. It must have been horrible, getting the emails from head office in Oz as to who had to go. It would have been hard to go from a massive warehouse and sales building back to a small cubicled office space.

His retirement party in Takapuna June 30 stood testament to his mana. The bar was filled to the gunnels. Past staff members, industry captains and rivals, family and friends. 

Wayne in the pit, in Barry's Point Road... as seen in PhotoCPL

Wayne Parkes needs no introduction.  Nor am I going to attempt to allude to his massive contribution to NZ Surfing in this already too long web log/ E-Bomb. 

Last year, Wayne's close friend and glasser, Phil Jamieson passed. There has been speculation and gossip since about how much this has affected Wayne. Indeed the duo produced the most beautifully finished boards, in fact beyond world class. 

At 67 Wayne has pulled the pin on the Barry's Point Road factory. This is the end of an incredible era. There has been surfboards made on the premises for nearly 50 years. Originally Mary Davie found the building for Mike Court to set up the Auckland Bob Davies Factory. Wayne took over the lease when Mike and Bob moved on. 

Over the last month Wayne and friends have demolished the factory's partitions and bays. The stories those walls could share. The legendary Christmas parties Wayne so generously hosted. Phil's passion for our coasts and the tales told. Hell, the tales created in those rooms. From all accounts it’s going to become a courier depot.

Wayne has moved up to Waipu where he'll continue to craft the most beautiful boards.  

Yesterday Paul Oliver did this to my Piha Bar Shack  image. It was shared it on Instagram and it went nuts. Thanks Paul- Love it!  

Rewinding by craig levers

I'm frustrated. One huge book project, The South Seas- New Zealand's Best Surf Revised Edition, is finished and finally at the printers. The other one for this summer is in its last week of layout before proofing and then printing. It is a busy time, a fun time, but a bit stressy. There's always emails from the printers about file clarifications; debossing, foil separations, PMS colours verses the CMYK. 

That is not what the frustration is from. Largely these posts are about what is going on, what photoshoots have been happening and swells chased. But for the last few weeks it has all been about finalising book content. So I can't share those photos and words because it's all going in NZ Surf- The Collection Vol 1. Both books are a couple of months off release date, so it isn't the right time to be doing previews either. Don't worry, you're going to be the first to see anything. 

Dig deep... literally. Go into the archive and find some stuff that's worthy of a revisit, a rewind if you will... 
 

I don't think this shot of Lennox Heads surfer Stu Kennedy has ever been published before. Shot in 2007, it was part of a week long shoot for Rip Curl in Bali. We got so skunked, in between swells, we all worked hard to make good images in less than ideal conditions. As a photog these are the nightmare gigs. There's huge pressure to produce a silk purse out of a sow's ear. 

I did make this portrait of Stu, Oney Anwar and Ryan Hawker that I was super stoked on. The idea of the trip was that Rip Curl had brought together it's best juniors from Aussie, Indonesia and NZ; a tri nations surf camp. It's pretty cool that Stu is on the WSL tour now. Not that this week, 10 years ago, had anything to do with that. 

And then, sure enough the next week was this! G-land had been a real monkey on my back. I'd been there three times before, thinking that everything was in place for good shoots. Sure enough, the boat was broken or the driver had quit, forcing me to try and swim with the housing and a fisheye lens... G-land is not the place for a fish eye- it's just to wide a playing field. But this time everything was dialled. Boat- check... full moon check, swell check. Not only that but Miles Ratima was Camp Liaison guy for the season, so we had the best hook ups. 

Miles defo in his happy place- G-land 2007. 

Ben Kennings G-Land 2005, yeah see what I mean, not a place for a fish-eye lens. Well there's always an exception to the rule. But this trip was pretty brutal, the boat for shooting from was organised and again the boat driver mysteriously went MIA. The only way to get images was to swim out, I spent 5 hours a day treading water trying to get a roll of 36 exposures. It was a very low yield to effort ratio. But I did get a covershot, the shot in the sequence before this frame. 

Benny circa 1998??? In the Makorori carpark.

I've kind of made G-land out to be terrible, it wasn't ever, this is Troy Reilly on a trip in 2002. 

Troy at Shippies 2000. 

Bit of a Troy section huh! This is another shot that I don't think has ever been run. In 2005 I got asked help trial the idea of Heli-surfing charters out of Ardmore Aerodrome. We found this random slab, Troy, Hayden Brain and Kerin Van Der Helder charged it. 

Troy is originally from Napier. So is Jeremy Evans aka the HBJama. This was shoot on a trip to the NSW South Coast, we got our tyres slashed by a local hot head even after agreeing not to shoot a certain spot. The boys were fired up for retribution, but we moved on and scored this beach every day for a week by ourselves. 

The Jama tour 2006. Sam Willis, Blair Stewart, Jezza Evans and his cousin Simon Deken Ulladulla Pub styles. 

Luke Hughes' dad Craig Hughes spent a lot of time in Ulladulla. This is not the South Coast though. It's ET's in Tonga, perhaps the best right hander in the South Pacific. We scored, it was an epic trip, 2005. 

The grommies! Luke Hughes sneaking in a cheeky westside with Skeet and Deano Amess at the favoured Tongan abode, Ha'a' tafu and the Burling clan. 

It's rights in the summer and lefts in the winter. This was a crazy fun trip with Maz Quinn, Marc Moore, Motu Mataa, Jordan Barley and co the year Maz qualified for the World Tour 1999. 

Board crunching fun aye Maz. 

It's scary to think this shot of James Fowell is a few months off being 20 years old. Mud Bay Jan 1998.

James 10 years later, 2007, tearing up a Gizzy Island right.


From The Galleries

This image features in The South Seas- New Zealand's Best Surf Revised Edition, there you go a cheeky sneak preview. You can check it out larger, LIKE it [pleeeease] and of course buy it by clicking through on the image to it's web page. 

NZ Post Stamp Collectables Giveaway by craig levers

New Zealand Surf Breaks Stamp Set 

It's a huge stoke to walk into a Post Shop and see your images on the wall and promo screens

It's a huge stoke to walk into a Post Shop and see your images on the wall and promo screens

A month ago I wrote about the NZ Post Stamp commission. [You can read about it here.] From all accounts the stamps and sets are selling really well. Phewww, as much as the job is done and the invoice is paid, you always want it to be a success for the client. Of course you don't actually have to walk into a Post Shop yourself to buy them or view them in better detail, you can do that online via HERE

NZ Post have given me 5 Presentation Packs to giveaway;

They retail for $29.90 can feature a complete set of stamps, a first day cover and a miniature sheet. As well as an amazingly worded essay crafted by one of NZ's surfing literary giants ...not! The point is, you don't even have to part with that paltry 30 bucks. All subscribers to the PhotoCPL E-Bomb  are eligible to go in the draw to win one of the 5 sets; all you have to do is email me back saying you want in. Simple aye. The five winning subscribers will be drawn Monday 10 July 2017 at 5pm.    

From The Galleries

Hmmm, was last week's new Piha Bar Barrel the best? I asked and you guys replied. [See last weeks post here]  Lots confirmed yes it was better, but there were a decent amount that didn't think so. And then to confuse matters further, I posted this image on Instagram. Although you can only just see the feet of Lion Rock, the positioning inside the barrel, the colours and texture of the wave had quite a few Insty mates claiming this was the one for sure. So why not? It is added to the Waves gallery too. You can check it out larger, LIKE it [pleeeease] and of course buy it by clicking through on the image to it's web page. 

Getting It Done by craig levers

Not a terrible way to ease back into winter surfing

Not a terrible way to ease back into winter surfing

The downside of any tropical escape is coming home [see last week's post] . I don't mean hating home or hating being home- it's that first surf back in winter waters. The expectation of not being in boardies and armoured up in full length neoprene. The dreaded ice cream headache. You've got to get over it and get it done. And what better way to do it than a 5am dawnie to Rags with Metservice predicting the Waikato's coldest night temperature of the year! It wasn't that bad. We got waves, but the whole surf was filled with conversations that inevitably concluded with the dreaded "Ya should've seen it yesterday'.

Periscope down! Heavy wave to get under

Periscope down! Heavy wave to get under

Of course a dying swell at Rags means the local beaches will start to show form. It was time to get back on the personal quest [as explained here]. There's been a lot of time and energy put into the quest. The gorgeous Ange rolls her eyes when I start explaining how Lion Rock needs to be framed just so, the taper of the wave has to be perfect to show exit, there has to be a legit bank on the Bar or locals will call it out and the light, the quality of light has to be just so. It is confounding how such a simple image of my local has been so elusive, 25 years and counting. There have been a lot of distractions.

Local surfer and plumber Jami Parkinson setting up the section

Local surfer and plumber Jami Parkinson setting up the section

That light! Those clouds!

That light! Those clouds!

The methodology is now to peg away. Go out on the marginal days as well as the great days, chip away, debrief, learn, tweak the approach. Shooting from the water is as much a physical act as it is technical. That is you are always training and learning how to get the camera into the right place.

Pretty darn close!

Pretty darn close!

Yesterday everything was planned around being on the Bar for the low tide. Book production deadline- blurred. Email queries- answered on spot. Stock deliveries- shunted. Just be there early and be ready. And Mother Nature does her favourite trick, beautiful weather and blue skies all day, and then 2pm a dirty dark cloud bank...FAARRRRK are you kidding me, again! The mantra is reset, remember, go out in the marginal times too now. 

Too deep

Too deep

defo a beer byline... from where you'd rather be

defo a beer byline... from where you'd rather be

Sand, swell and light aligning

Sand, swell and light aligning

And then, for 45 minutes, the sun started to win the race with the clouds for the horizon. The light show was on. The tide continued to drop out, it glassed up and this happened....

Available now for prints and of course if you want to see it larger just click on the image [oh and please share it!]

Available now for prints and of course if you want to see it larger just click on the image [oh and please share it!]

It is the shot I've been after, the lip line, the wall's taper, Lion Rock front and centre and that light. Does it beat this one? 

Just click on the image to see it bigger

Just click on the image to see it bigger

What do you think, again, not rhetorical, I actually wanna know, what is your critique? Email me at cpl@photocpl.co.nz

From The Galleries

iha Layers, again, all about the light :)  You can check it out larger, LIKE it [pleeeease] and of course buy it by clicking through on the image to it's web page. 

Fa'a Samoa by craig levers

Best cure for a midlife meltdown

Best cure for a midlife meltdown

For many there is a juncture in life where celebrating birthdays doesn't feel great. There is a realisation that more years have been than are going to be. You're past the tipping point, somehow you have become middle aged. I sit firmly in this school of thought. 

Surfing does not help in this realm. It is portrayed as youth culture. Thank gawd there is all the baby boomers grasping desperately to their former glories. Don't worry you old bastards, I'm hard on your heals! 

A screwed up back, two knee surgeries, a phantom left adductor tear, tinnitus and a host of little niggles. It is a hobble past the naughty forties and into the f@cked up fifties. Writing the word fifty spins me out; I don't feel that age even with the aches and pains. 

Mechanical fun park

Mechanical fun park

I'm immature, I run away from birthdays. I hide. This year I hid in Samoa and went surfing. 

Why can't all parking wardens be this cheerful

Why can't all parking wardens be this cheerful

There is a strong connection to the Pacific Islands. Growing up in Ponsonby in that '70's and 80's my best friends were Samoan, Tongan and Rarotongan. Sure Ponsonby was a poor, blue collar inner city suburb, but it was rich in culture. We grew up learning the Haka and the Sasa, eating Umu and Hangi as absolute treats. We were taught that Aotearoa was a part of the Polynesian Triangle, instilled with pride that Auckland was the world's largest Poly city.  

Samoan Churches big and small are amazing 

Revisiting Samoa is nostalgic even if I am a Palangi. The first terrible [but very funny] surf trip in 1994 with Big Wave Dave, the XT'Sea crew, my dear friends Luffy and Chard.  Near drownings at Boulders and Savai'i trying to take my first rolls of water photos. Being assumed by the locals that I was the group's Fa'afafine because of the long mane. Vowing never to return and then returning twice more for epic magazine photoshoots.  

Matty Scorringe cover shot for NZ Surf mag 2005 and of course featuring hard out in the book PhotoCPL

Matty Scorringe cover shot for NZ Surf mag 2005 and of course featuring hard out in the book PhotoCPL

Owen Barnes in Savai'i 2007 and also featuring the the book PhotoCPL

Owen Barnes in Savai'i 2007 and also featuring the the book PhotoCPL

For all of these reasons Samoa is high on the travel list. It didn't disappoint, it has only got easier to be there. A week before the trip Magic Seaweed forecasted the swell and wind accurately. Accommodation and boat trips were pre-booked via Facebook and Paypal. The gorgeous Ange and I knew pretty much exactly what we were walking into. There was surf everyday, 4 days were really good, one of those perfect. I surfed 8 out of a possible 10. Up at 5.30 am, at the boat at 6 am, in the line-up by 6.30 am, back for breakfast at 11 am. Nana nap then afternoon adventures. Bed by 8 pm- repeat. Awesome.

Predawn surfs under moonlight thanks to Neil from Manoa Tours

Predawn surfs under moonlight thanks to Neil from Manoa Tours

Shaka Neil! Check him out if you're surfing on Upolu

Shaka Neil! Check him out if you're surfing on Upolu

The day after the perfect day, still pretty darn great

The day after the perfect day, still pretty darn great

Pretty crap way the see a sunrise huh

Pretty crap way the see a sunrise huh

Aussie James Peak

Aussie James Peak

 Lupe's Fales all we needed

 Lupe's Fales all we needed

Winter at Lupes

Winter at Lupes

Winter version 2

Winter version 2

Afternoon photo adventures

Afternoon photo adventures

...and timer timing fails

...and timer timing fails

Beautiful cliche

Beautiful cliche

The local dairy

The local dairy

Samoan buses are reason enough to visit the island nation

The firm favourite Grace with her 5 angels and 3 Pegasus's

The firm favourite Grace with her 5 angels and 3 Pegasus's

Yessss! Hi-lux porn!!! 

Yessss! Hi-lux porn!!! 

Matai Fiti outside his church The Potter's House

Matai Fiti outside his church The Potter's House

My last wave in Samoa was fitting. A perfect little three foot taper with a quick zippy take off, I paddle hard and sure, I go to stand up, my back and adductor say ‘no, no, no old boy, you’ve had your fun this week, it’s over’ I’m forced to belly it over to the channel and the boat with the crew waiting. As I paddle through the channel the internal dialog is ‘Go doctor or physio back in Enzed? And are there any ibuprofen left in the Fale?' 

From The Galleries

And meanwhile back home there have been moments like this [although this one was last winter]  You can check it out larger, LIKE it [pleeeease] and of course buy it by clicking through on the image to it's web page. 

Perfectionism And The Need To Do Better by craig levers

 

I reckon the best photos are really worked at. Sure there are times where the photographer has timed good light with a visit to a new spot, but generally a great image is yielded by revisits. Debriefing and analysing what is good and bad in a composition. Tweaking what you did on the return visit/s. I'll let you in on a little secret, the cover shot of The Big Little Beach Book wasn't the shot I was after when I shot it, it was the back up. 

The primary shot was on film as a big pano, but I always 'back up' the shots made on film with a digital shot too. When I got the film pano scanned it just wasn't right, the composition was lacking something in the left hand side, the balance between the dark foreground and blown out sky bugged me. And that is why there is a back up made. 


It became one of the most sought after commissions, which in turn helped decide that it would be the cover shot for The Big Little Beach Book. But there's that niggle, 'I need to go get that in panoramic' even four years on. It became a Round Toit, you know, one of those things you'll get round to it. Well last night was the round to it evening, the light was right, the tide was in enough, the wind was down. To be honest I didn't expect the quality of light to be almost identical. But here you go two images made four years a part ... 

The original ^

Last night's pano

From the technical point of view, last night's is a better file, but what do you reckon, which one do you like more? 

From The Galleries

Another shot that featured in The Big Little Beach Book, love those lil Maomao with their grumpy faces!  You can check it out larger, LIKE it [pleeeease] and of course buy it by clicking through on the image to it's web page.