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. 

Groundswells, Proximity and Movie Nights by craig levers

This Is Not Today

Last week we had one of the most stacked ground swells I've seen push into the west coast.

It was too big to paddle around these parts, but there would have been places and surfers revelling in the power. It was one of those swells where it could have been crazy good around here but it was just a foot or two too strong. Nevertheless it was amazing to watch and document at the peak of its power. 

Will Bailey  and I teamed up, geeked out and had a Piha Camera Club morning. Will was armed with a Hasselblad and an IQ280 Phase back, I stuck with DSLRs...but regretting not busting out the 617 Pano. 

Goosing and geeking out, watching the Tasman alive with energy is not a shabby way to spend a morning... content, I'm creating content... it is work related right? Truth be told there were images gained that are going to used in the book projects being worked on currently. There was a certain amount of professionalism, amongst the 'Holey shit did you see THAT one spit its guts out!' and 'farrrrk that was definitely rideable' calls.

There were absolutely very very ridable waves. You just had to be able to get to them and then get on them.

Swell lines stacked and dwarfing houses

There were places for sure... ^^^

Dave Wood and Jamie Piggins reckon they had their best step off session on the ski yet.

Proximity  
 

The premier of Taylor Steele's new movie Proximity was on Monday night, didn't hear about it? I'm not surprised, it wasn't pushed much through the local surf network at all. Taylor Steele was in attendance and after the showing held a Q&A session. I have to say it was really good, and great to see the man that created The Momentum generation, that changed the way surf movies were made is still a very grounded, humble person. I fan boyed out, I got to meet him after. Here's the trailer

Is it good? Is it the next Momentum, Slipping Jetsreams or Good Times...no way. It is quite a departure from the formula we all grew up on. Taylor, yeah we're on first name terms [not!] stated during the Q&A that it was an evolution from his last projects. And that makes total sense, if you sat down and omnibused his movies from start to finish you'd see a clear maturing and development of style. I accept that creative forces like Taylor Steele can't keep rolling out the same formula decade after decade.

Proximity isn't really a surf movie, although Steph Gilmore's surfing shines out. But it isn't a documentary either, the narratives that are there are small sound bites alluding to bigger insights, I was left wanting more surfing and more insight. There's quite a few soft focus and water dropped shots; this surprised me. I'm roasting it, I don't mean to roast it. It's a great movie, and you're going to be watching it at some stage. 

 

The Aotearoa Surf Film Festival

 

The ASFF is winding up for this year, the fellas have been on the road showing the selection for the last 3 months. Friday Night is the final showing- the Grand Finale. And what better place than the classic Crystal Palace in Mount Eden. The movie theatre that was THE place to go see new surf movies in the '70's, 80's and 90's. Come join us all. Come see Russell Ord's new Feature One Shot and meet the man himself. It's going to be a fun night. 

Get your tickets HERE

 

From The Galleries

Summer sucked, but Autumn... what an Autumn! Man we got waves. This image is fast becoming the new star on the website. 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. 

When A Plan Comes Together by craig levers


...or sometimes it just lands on your lap. Who would ever have thought there'd be a PhotoCPL photo of a wave on a New Zealand stamp? Not me! But here we are, it has happened. Pre-orders are now on sale for the first ever New Zealand Surf Breaks stamp issue. It has been so hard keeping hush about this project, it is a big honour.

The collab with NZ Post expanded, it was kind of like, 'Yessss another email from NZ Post- more work!' The job expanded to writing the text and all stamp descriptions, then supplying the extra images for the Presentation Pack.  

There are five stamps in the collection, I got bragging rites with the $1.00 one [which is the most commonly used denomination] Jwan Milek got his Raglan shot on the $2.20. Daisy Day  the $230, Wazza Hawke the $2.70 and ol Sea Lice... Silas Hansen rounded out the set with the $3.30. 

Pre orders have just gone live on the NZ Post website, you can view all the stamps and presentation options HERE



The OLA Giveaway Won!

Wow, best ever comp on Photo CPL ! But still only 120 entires, so every one of those 120 had a real good odds of winning compared to Lotto ... Madi Haydon won. All the new subscribers and existing subscribers that entered the draw were tallied up, that 120 being put into Random.org's random number generator...Madi's number came up! 

From The Galleries

Here is one of the images that NZ Post chose as the background shot. It has actually been a bit of a good undercover seller on the website 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. 

Big OLA Give Away, Big Installations and Big Fails by craig levers

Milky Way Fails 


Over the last few months the PhotoCpl web log and mail has become really surf centric. That's ok, it is that time of the year, and anyway who are we kidding- it's what I love to do! But there's also a huge other side of photography, the beach-scapes and pano's. There's a real passion for panoramic photography, the 1 to 3 ratio of a pano, of shooting in a format that matches most people's peripheral view.

The Fotoman 617 Pano Camera- you sexy beast

The Fotoman 617 Pano Camera- you sexy beast

There's not been much done lately, except for a couple of exciting commercial commissions. They were technically demanding jobs and in a way they kicked in the Pano passion again. I reckon just after a book release, you're in a bit of a creative flux, besides which, it is is the time to present the finished works. The latest book The Big Little Beach Book featured panos taken with the Fotoman heavily like this one...

And it's the Pano work which has landed all the international awards like this one above, again a film shot, taken on Kodak T-Max 100- love that film stock! 

So how do you get proficient at something? Easy, make mistakes. I make lots of mistakes, in fact I make more mistakes than getting it right. To be brutally honest when I start getting it right I get bored and wanna move onto the next thing. I'm thinking this is not a great trait to be writing about in an post huh? But making mistakes and then debriefing and learning from them is good. Here's this week's clanger of a pano...

Yep that there is a WTF moment for sure. How to make a Milky Way digital pano resemble a map of Oz. It should look like this a bit more...

The shooting star is cool, the balance of moon light on the Lion is about right, but to correct the 'Oz map' factor the file had too be pushed waaaay too far. The goal is always to get it right in camera at the time of shooting, any post work is should be minor. Debrief, wait for the next clear sky night for another play. I did like this shot from the same night though...

The Big Install

One of the key reasons for shooting film panos is this right here. MASSIVE installations. The confidence that a client can get an image as big as they dare go. You couldn't shoot this as a digital stitch pano because there are waves moving through the scene. Gareth from Blank Canvas Sign Co and Shane from Upfront Graphics managed this installation for Ola Products- it's a whopping 4.65 metres wide.

And there's that sexy beast 617 camera in place on the session the above pano was taken

And there's that sexy beast 617 camera in place on the session the above pano was taken

The OLA Giveaway

OLA Products are the proud Kiwi distributors of premium products such as Sex Wax, Phix Doctor ding repair kits and the exceptional Otis Eyewear ... glass lenses, not plastic. OLA have given me this $300.00 pack of goodies to give to YOU. 

It's that easy. Non subscribers will have to subscribe HERE to be eligible. Only one entry counts, draw will be done using random.org's randomiser at 5pm 10 May 2017. ... that's next Wednesday.

I'll give you a heads up too, you'd be surprised how few subscribers enter Giveaway Draws- it's $300.00 of essentials you NEED!  

From The Galleries

By Popular Demand.. over 600 people [across social media] liked this image. So keeping instep with that, it is now available via the Wave Gallery.  If you wanna see it larger, or BUY IT, Or LIKE it, just click on the image

Forget Summer, How Good Is Autumn!!! by craig levers

How Good Have The Last Four Weeks Been! 

Seriously. What a run of waves on all coasts. This past week the East has continued to have swell while the West has been consistent too. There's some surfed out school holidayers that is for sure. I stayed home, battling rips, mistiming tides and generally freaking out that I was going to snap the brand new board without actually standing on the deck.

6'1" Jam Model by Hayden Chamberlain ... Need a new board of world class quality, that's made for YOU? Go see Hayden at HC HERE


Surf Photog's Curse was in full effect this week too. What's that? Well it is a very real documented anomaly. The gist of it is, if you have the camera ready, guaranteed it will cloud over, a sea breeze will kick in, or everyone will randomly paddle in. Fact; tripods are actually cloud diviners, set them up and sure enough the only cloud in the sky will zoom over to you. Need rain? Organise a photoshoot. Just ask any veteran Surf Photog about it and you'll see them physically twist and twitch, then mutter, 'we do not talk of such things'.  

There was a little beating of the curse though... 

Love this swim out

Love this swim out

So close to the shoot talked about in the Photo CPL blog HERE

So close to the shoot talked about in the Photo CPL blog HERE

Variation #73... again close, but not quite

Variation #73... again close, but not quite

Molten glass wall

Molten glass wall

Green lit goodness

Green lit goodness

Evening glass off

Evening glass off

You can see the theme huh? 

You can see the theme huh? 

Beautiful autumn evenings and the best place to end the day

Beautiful autumn evenings and the best place to end the day

Didn't better it this week. This freshly framed print is now for sale at The West Coast Gallery, Piha. The archival print is 900mm wide, then matted and in wood box framing so it's about 1300mm wide... fill that big wall. Click on the image for more details. 


ASFF Up The Ante

click on the image to check out the teaser

click on the image to check out the teaser

The Aotearoa Surf Film Festival is hitting new highs this year with the addition of Russell Ord's feature film. The W.A. charger has moved to Auckland, he's married to a Kiwi. He'll be introducing the film as part of the ASFF at the legendary Crystal Palace on May 19th. Book your tickets HERE
 

From The Galleries

Got a cool story to share with you about this pano next week. If you wanna see it larger, or BUY IT, Or LIKE it, just click on the image

The W...no wait... East Coast has been on the Cook by craig levers

Last week was all about what Cyclone Cook did on the west coast, this week we have the eastern froth

The weather savvy will point out that actually the East coast had two different swells this week. Cyclone Cook stirred things up and then as the cyclone abated a new squash zone swell kicked in. It meant the East coast had 8 days on constant waves. There's a lot of happy campers out there.

I didn't chase too much. Happy with the waves the week before. 

Chasing Rainbows

Sneaky, cheeky east coast fun on Wednesday

Still more than reasonable size

Paddle!

Paddle! And the aforementioned chasing of rainbows

The lines kept coming


There were others that did a far better job of chasing Cook

And if you aren't already following them on Insty, each image links though to their pages

Brent scored big time over Easter, he's my partner in crime in the South Seas Book as well as being the creative and graphic designer for all the

Giles is pretty new to Instagram, but he's been shooting hard around Northland for years. He went gnarly over the week, shooting every single day in different spots. He gets the MVP award for most hours put in  

Well, biased beyond belief because Dan's been a good mate for over 25 years. He scored crazy over Easter...day after day, this right only got better and better, he hasn't even posted the gold yet

You're probably already following Jerry, but he scored big time over easter too. He always keeps the gold under wraps until after the next issue of DGZ comes out

More East Swell Next Week, The Naki Is Going Nuts Right Now, West Looks Ok For The Weekend ... Get Out There

From The Galleries

This place was on the hiss over the swells too, clearly this was not from Easter, well not clearly, but it's not. And it does have a rainbow too. If you wanna see it larger, or BUY IT, Or LIKE it, just click on the image

The West Coast has been on the Cook by craig levers

It is a terrible pun of course. With Cyclone Cook bearing down on us today, there will be a lot of damage to properties. Poor Edgecumbe will probably get nailed again. But before Cook touched down with full force, the cyclone provided nearly a full week of clean waves on the west coast. Pun aside the coast has actually been cooking for days. 

Sunday was the day for the chargers. There were corners that held the size, here's a tease of what happened. 

Expectant father James Laery on one of the very very round ones. Any day now James!!!  

If there's a bit of size or roundness you can be assured Nat Barron will be sniffing around

James McAlpine put in the hours, this is one of his smaller ones [didn't get his big ones, I was going over the falls by that time in the session.]

 

In Print

Damaged Goods Zine number 19 has just hit the bookstands. You can get a sneak peak by clicking on the cover above. There's a couple of CPL's in there, it is always stoke to get your images published... by someone other than yourself! These ones were from my best session of the summer, a couple of false starts with sea breezes, a couple of dud runs in the rips a lot of treading water and it would all be done again in a heartbeat.

Outro for the issue is the piece you maybe read a few emails back about Bob's passing. I found a shot in the archive that Mike Spence had made in the early Nineties. It's Bob with Wayne Lowen, I'm pretty sure they are in Bob's garden just opposite his shaping bays. Stoked the fellas at DGZ went for this one. Go buy the mag, enjoy some well crafted reading about our NZ surfing culture and by doing so support the two creatives [Jerry and Skip] that are doing good things.  

From The Galleries

It's Easter! You just be bloody careful on those roads this weekend aye. This image of Graveyards is from Easter 5 years ago, It was a pretty epic long weekend of waves. It was used as the opening spread for the Taranaki chapter of The South Seas book. It was also featured in the English surf mag Carve as a double page spread.  To view it larger just click on the image.

Te Bar by craig levers

Te Piha Bar can be a fickle mistress. Consistently inconsistent and moody. 

It is easy to have a hate hate relationship with her and many do. Me? Well I have a love hate relationship, hate the crowds she attracts whenever there's a couple of sections connecting and it being called All Time Bar. Love the memories and past glories. Personal moments and accomplishments...Seeing Hawaiian Dane Kealoha smash a heavy section, whoa THAT's what power surfing is! Being totally and intentionally dominated by the older locals, as a Grom getting made well aware there is a real pecking order. And then from getting scraps to getting set waves. 

Currently the bank on Te Bar is far from classic. But it has its moments. Even with the remnants of Cyclone Debbie baring down on us, there were good waves out west. 

Local Sam Beere on a pearler

Wouldn't you be stoked to draw some lines on that canvas! 

Pretty sure this is Addison Course in the driver's seat

Pretty sections!

 A good keen man

On the other hand...

A better option than Te Bar?

Options a plenty this week
 

The Col McNeil Memorial Comp 

The 2017 Champ, Mikey Phillips. Photo Norrie Montgomery, check out more of Norrie's work from the day Here

539871_769882853175064_4049803117569938319_n.jpg

Big Bay

As part of the Auction at the prize giving this PhotoCPL image was created by Simon [that's him looking all serious] from Icon Print. Well! The auction raised $4500 for Make A Wish. You bloody legends Maori Bay Boardriders for keeping the comp running, and running so well

From The Galleries

contours.jpg

Another session from Te Bar, a moment definitely sought after, I feel real lucky to have captured what I was after with this one. When water follows land. To view it larger just click HERE

Copious Island Time by craig levers

I love what I do, which is taking photos, still mainly surf related.  Then applying them to uses, whether it is making books, selling the images via the Galleries, working for a contest organiser or the more obvious; direct contracting to a brand. Over the last few years Copious has become one of my best clients, we do a shoot a season. The founding owner of Copious, Cale, is a good mate. We've known each other for 20 years. Sometimes it is hard to figure out which part of the shoot is work and what is play. We make sure the shoots are fun, and because Copious is based in board culture what we are shooting is what we love anyway. 

We have been trying to work a season shoot around the concept of an Island mission, an old school Island day. The walk along the beach, hanging in the dunes between surfs, surfs, the trudge home. Spring didn't work out- alternate shoot, Summer, well we all know how bad summer was for waves... but Autumn...now we are getting east groundswells.. So with a nice wee swell running Saturday was the day. Team riders, Lee Ririnui, Shaun Boucher and Harper Mcbride organised, Phil Josephs very kindly providing the boat. 5am alarm set. 

Here's a visual account of the day, minus the clothing shoots, you'll have to go over to Copious.co.nz to see those. 

From L to R - Shaun, Cale, Lee and Harper pre dawn

From L to R - Shaun, Cale, Lee and Harper pre dawn

Using a speedlite flash and rear shutter sync to create a feeling of movement with Harper

Using a speedlite flash and rear shutter sync to create a feeling of movement with Harper

Same technique with Harper, Lee and Cale

Same technique with Harper, Lee and Cale

Hard to beat that dawn flare, check the boats already anchored up

Hard to beat that dawn flare, check the boats already anchored up

Fun in the sun!

Fun in the sun!

Rueben Woods framed up in pine

Rueben Woods framed up in pine

Harper showing the old boys some spray

Harper showing the old boys some spray

Probably the set wave of the day

Probably the set wave of the day

Lee

Lee

Harper

Harper

Cale showing the lads some rail work

Cale showing the lads some rail work

Lee has spent the last three years at The Raglan Surf Academy; backhand sorted

Lee has spent the last three years at The Raglan Surf Academy; backhand sorted

And forehand looking very much like Uncle Bennett's

And forehand looking very much like Uncle Bennett's

For an old bugger with a rooted back Cale probably shouldn't be putting his board there

For an old bugger with a rooted back Cale probably shouldn't be putting his board there

Not a sequence, just consistently good aye Cale

Not a sequence, just consistently good aye Cale

Terrible way to spend a Saturday working huh? 

Terrible way to spend a Saturday working huh? 

And still the sets pour in

And still the sets pour in

The long trudge home- a Kiwi surfing tradition

The long trudge home- a Kiwi surfing tradition

Check out more about Copious HERE

Check out more about Copious HERE

On The Telly

Just being a complete nerd... and squealling like a little girl- here's 800 Words take 2... The loosely Piha based TV hit airs both here and in Aussie. Last night's episode [season 2, ep 11] featured this scene, and yep that would be the CP print again. The conversation kind of went like this 'Hey we're shooting on location and we love your print on the wall, are you ok with it being in shot?" - 'Farrrk yes I AM! Go for it that would be cool as! '

Just click on the image if you want to see more detail...and of course- purchasing options

This image from another Island session was added to the waves Gallery last year... big things are happening with it, but I can't tell you until June. And yes that happens to be Cale in the foreground. Simply click on the image to view it larger and of course purchasing options 

A Real Deal Roady by craig levers

Back in the early 2000's, when I was the Editorial Director for the surf mag, it was really obvious the mag needed to get back to the roots of surfing. Reflect what Kiwi surfers do in their time off, what they daydream about doing. No prizes for guessing; it was, it still is and will always be road tripping, going on surf adventures with your mates.
I created the Primo Roady regular feature, we got Primo Milk on board as the naming sponsor.  Well, the bloody thing took off, readers loved it, it became a corner stone feature of every issue. The idea was always to keep it pretty loose, but at the very least be a genuine Roady. We'd get letters and emails with readers' own Primo Roadys. I'd have readers come up asking if we were on the Primo Roady. We had made a hit. 

The real deal, and one of my all time favourite Primo Road Trips with Skip James, Ben Young, Eli Smith, Glen and Phil Sheaf. We went trippin' round the East Cape, shot real guns, blasted punk rock and scored great waves in random places. Circa 2006 ish

The real deal, and one of my all time favourite Primo Road Trips with Skip James, Ben Young, Eli Smith, Glen and Phil Sheaf. We went trippin' round the East Cape, shot real guns, blasted punk rock and scored great waves in random places. Circa 2006 ish

The relationship with Primo lasted nearly a decade, that's a staggeringly long champaign in the fickle world of marketing. Somewhere along the way the feature got corrupted and barely paid lip service to the concept of a real deal roady, brands put the pressure on for their team riders to be on board. Highly orchestrated team photoshoots were presented as Roadys. I loathe it, each has their place, but I don't think there's a need to dress one as the other. The readers know, they aren't stupid. 

This Saturday one of my best mates gets married, Luke Darby and I have been mates since 1993. We actually met through working for the surf mag, he was our graphic designer. Oh don't worry, I've warned poor Jane, but she's determined to make the mistake anyway. I'm going to be a groomsman, I'm deeply honoured, actually even typing that out I'm grinning with happiness for the couple. 

The three stooges, the NZ Surf Mag Team 1993; L to R Luke Darby, Editor Chris Berge and some dodgey hair farmer down the back...me

The three stooges, the NZ Surf Mag Team 1993; L to R Luke Darby, Editor Chris Berge and some dodgey hair farmer down the back...me

What did Luke want for his Stag weekend? Get f@cked up and dragged through Auckland's seedier strip bars wearing a kids superman costume ...YESSSSS!!!! 

No. We are all over that crap. Been there, done that , and it was great at the time. We are wiser now [yep older ], Luke just wanted to go on a Primo Roady with his groomsmen. Get good waves, enjoy camp vibes; surf, eat, surf, drink, eat, sleep repeat... so that's what we did. 

Tomas Oki, Matt Sheales, Luke and some dodgey ex hair farmer... posing for the ironic

Tomas Oki, Matt Sheales, Luke and some dodgey ex hair farmer... posing for the ironic

Day One; four hours of this, 3 foot glassy lefts, gracious locals and mellow vibes.. 8 of us out sharing sets. Thank you guys!

Day One; four hours of this, 3 foot glassy lefts, gracious locals and mellow vibes.. 8 of us out sharing sets. Thank you guys!

The nightlife! Shit got crazy, drugs, strippers..running from the bouncers..oh wait... bed by 11 more like

The nightlife! Shit got crazy, drugs, strippers..running from the bouncers..oh wait... bed by 11 more like

The camp set up under the Milky Way

The camp set up under the Milky Way

Luke at the helm, Day two

Luke at the helm, Day two

Best public highway in NZ

Best public highway in NZ

Bluffing it

Bluffing it

Best $2.00 ever spent

Best $2.00 ever spent

Day Two's venue, another four hours of uncrowded fun

Day Two's venue, another four hours of uncrowded fun

All to ourselves

All to ourselves

We got hailed down by a retired couple in a big motorhome. My first thought was we were going to help them change a tire, do the good samavrtain thing- no worries- happy to help. I was wrong, they had just caught 10 5kg+ Snappers, did we want a couple? Are you kidding me! Wow, can this roady get any better?  Kiwi hospitality

We got hailed down by a retired couple in a big motorhome. My first thought was we were going to help them change a tire, do the good samavrtain thing- no worries- happy to help. I was wrong, they had just caught 10 5kg+ Snappers, did we want a couple? Are you kidding me! Wow, can this roady get any better?  Kiwi hospitality

Food comma, stag do participants in bed by 10.15pm on the saturday night

Food comma, stag do participants in bed by 10.15pm on the saturday night

Day Three's venue... the roady just got better

Day Three's venue... the roady just got better

Another few hours of uncrowded riding before hitting the road back to reality

Another few hours of uncrowded riding before hitting the road back to reality

On The Telly

Go on, admit it, you watch 800 Words on Tv One. The loosely Piha based TV hit airs both here and in Aussie. Last night's episode [season 2, ep 9] featured this little scene, and yep that would be a CP print. The conversation kind of went like this 'Hey we're shooting on location and we love your print on the wall, are you ok with it being in shot?" - 'Farrrk yes I AM! Go for it that would be cool as! '

Go on, admit it, you watch 800 Words on Tv One. The loosely Piha based TV hit airs both here and in Aussie. Last night's episode [season 2, ep 9] featured this little scene, and yep that would be a CP print. The conversation kind of went like this 'Hey we're shooting on location and we love your print on the wall, are you ok with it being in shot?" - 'Farrrk yes I AM! Go for it that would be cool as! '

Just click on the image if you want to see more detail...and of course- purchasing options

Just click on the image if you want to see more detail...and of course- purchasing options

Bad, To Good, To Exceptional by craig levers

Us surfers are a fickle bunch. Quite literally our moods will change with the wind. We can go from being grumpy malcontents to the most de-stressed happy chaps in a single surf. This summer the West coast has been terrible for surf. I've posted about this and why HERE . Things have changed. The coast has gone from bad, to ahhhh that's pretty good, to holey shit that's fricken PUMPING! 

It has been heavy, solid waves and full on rips. There has been carnage, on Monday evening Sam 'Sanga' Willis pulled into a barrel on Piha's Bar; sweet...no... He got axed, 6 broken ribs and a punctured lung. A very fast trip to ED, he's currently in Auckland Hospital on his way to recovery. There have been moments of greatness, I think I've had some of my best water photo sessions ever. Here is a sample of what has been going down.

Bevan 'Napes' Wiig has been on it every right tide, he's paid the price though; 2 snapped boards this week

Local Lad Braedyn Louie has had some serious time in the shade this week 

Whanga born'n'bred AJ Matthews pulling on his Bar training

AJ

Foamy beast with a hell of a lot of literage in its lip

Toby Dobson-Smith scratching over

Toby on a drainer

Nick Holmes, charged super hard and probably won the award for the most sea lice bites to boot

One of the most perfect waves I've ever seen

James McAlpine 

Another James, this time it's Mr. Laery 

so, so good this week 

Napes bowling it

Napes weaving hands free 

 

Bob Davie passed away last Tuesday. Aged 75 his passing has rocked the surfing community. The Surfer/Shaper was the first to do large scale production in the 60's and 70's. Allan Byrne, Rod Dahlberg and a host of top shapers were taught their craft by Bob. The term legend is bandied around too loosely, Bob was literally and actually a deadset legend. We've had a long running joke about a board he shaped me, it's a beautiful log, triple stringer, wood tail block, gloss coat. Bob has been horrified that I haven't surfed it- he made the board to be surfed, I can't bare the thought of waxing it. Bob's joke was always 'You ridden that board yet!' first thing he'd say; in fact that's how phone calls would start. Then if other people were around, he'd go for the shock line 'ahhh you're still waiting for me to die so you can put it on Trademe aren't ya!" I'd reply 'hurry up an get on with it', we'd both crack up, knowing Bob was quite chuffed he'd shocked some randoms. And that's our Bob, legend, but not invested in it, a wealth of knowledge, craftsman, prankster, father, grandfather... the man.

Bob Davie passed away last Tuesday. Aged 75 his passing has rocked the surfing community. The Surfer/Shaper was the first to do large scale production in the 60's and 70's. Allan Byrne, Rod Dahlberg and a host of top shapers were taught their craft by Bob. The term legend is bandied around too loosely, Bob was literally and actually a deadset legend.

We've had a long running joke about a board he shaped me, it's a beautiful log, triple stringer, wood tail block, gloss coat. Bob has been horrified that I haven't surfed it- he made the board to be surfed, I can't bare the thought of waxing it. Bob's joke was always 'You ridden that board yet!' first thing he'd say; in fact that's how phone calls would start. Then if other people were around, he'd go for the shock line 'ahhh you're still waiting for me to die so you can put it on Trademe aren't ya!" I'd reply 'hurry up an get on with it', we'd both crack up, knowing Bob was quite chuffed he'd shocked some randoms. And that's our Bob, legend, but not invested in it, a wealth of knowledge, craftsman, prankster, father, grandfather... the man.

The Bar And The Quest To Do Better by craig levers

The Piha Bar had waves this week. It's by no means the best the bank can be, but it's there. There have been moments of glory. There's also been entire South American soccer teams on rental boards going over the falls. 

Whenever the Bar comes alive I get excited, I've been on a mission for years to get the perfect Bar Barrel shot. 

click on the image if you want to see it larger...or even have it on your wall

click on the image if you want to see it larger...or even have it on your wall

This one has come the closest to what I've always visualised as the perfect Bar Barrel shot. It's been the most popular image on the website for sure and a lot of Piha locals have it on their walls; that's a big stoke, they are going- Yeah CP' you've nailed the Bar. The taper of the wave is perfect, you can see the exit. You can tell it's not just a one off peeler, from the white wash line of the preceding wave, this also shows this wave the biggest in the set. It was also shot when the Bar was in vintage form in the Autumn of 2014. But I want better, I know I can.

As a side note, I'm well aware that I owe a lot to The Piha Bar. Even though we all cuss and curse her fickle ways, images of the Bar have always been the most popular on PhotoCPL.co.nz

 click on the image if you want to see it larger...

 click on the image if you want to see it larger...

In 2010 the Bar did this. And the bank stayed around for months. This image took hours to make, hours of waiting, set up with the 617 Panoramic camera. Waiting for the perfect set and low evening light. It wasn't a chore waiting at all, it was fun being in the zone, just waiting for those moments of the elements coming together. This image is still running neck to neck with the Piha Bar Barrel in the popularity stakes. 

Then there is ol' faithful. 

Just click on the image for a better view

Just click on the image for a better view

Shot in 2000, this one's been in magazines, books, used by Quiksilver as a mural, by the ISA as a signature event image and of course adorns the living rooms of quite a few patrons. The Bar was in epic form, the whole beach was in fact. Long lefts off Taitomo Island to in front of the Surf Club connecting with the hollow rights breaking in front of the Lion. The beach was seriously a fun park.... 17 years ago!

So this week was really good, maybe not vintage, but I'm sure there's crew that got classic Bar rides that will be burnt into their memories. Here's some of my shots from the week that was. 

The Keyhole paddle...into the light

The Keyhole paddle...into the light

Bar Perfection? 

Bar Perfection? 

Orr Mate, so close! 

Orr Mate, so close! 

Taylor Louie setting it

Taylor Louie setting it

James Leary cutting it

James Leary cutting it

Close to the elusive perfect shot

Close to the elusive perfect shot

One of the aforementioned Bar locals with the Piha Bar Barrel image on her living room wall; team Te Ahu Boardrider Stephanie

One of the aforementioned Bar locals with the Piha Bar Barrel image on her living room wall; team Te Ahu Boardrider Stephanie

... and meanwhile elsewhere on the west coast .... 

... and meanwhile elsewhere on the west coast .... 

Napes hooking it while Jamie Piggins does the safety boat

Napes hooking it while Jamie Piggins does the safety boat

Nape's rail work on point

Nape's rail work on point

Taylor Louie chucking buckets

Taylor Louie chucking buckets

Over to the north...

Over to the north...

defo not in the happy place!

defo not in the happy place!

Tony Fletcher screaming around the base of a bomb

Tony Fletcher screaming around the base of a bomb

Dave Woods found some good shade this week

Dave Woods found some good shade this week

see... shady Woodsy

see... shady Woodsy

Book It

The Big Little Beach Book features Piha on the cover and in the text. In fact the Piha Bar Barrel image. How could it not. Did you know that every beach in the book featured has a QR code. You can scan the code and it will open up in Google Maps. With every publication there's an attempt to provide an interactive element- go that little bit further. But you knew that 'cos you already have your copy aye? What you don't and you realise you need this book in your life- just click on the images for more info.

On the Coro And Off The Grid by craig levers

Even with this summer being pretty average it's still been about getting on the road and camping. The Cambulance is getting a work out. The latest trip was swell chasing on the east, back to the top of the Coromandel - Waikawau Bay. 

Waikawau Bay hosts one of New Zealand's most idyllic DOC camping grounds. You can stay for as little as $13.00 a night, yep $13.00. The amenities are basic, long drops, cold showers, byo drinking water. But that's all part of the charm. Back to basics, plan ahead, be prepared.

Of course camping in the Cambulance ain't really that basic. Let's be honest, it's pretty much all about the creature comforts. My brother Kent has just gone the same way; camping, but camping in style. This trip was the maiden voyage of his new toys. A new two room inflatable tent and all the fixings; new camp kitchen, sun chairs, USB LED light system. Heaps of cool stuff! 

We got skunked for surf. The whole idea of the four day escape was to go to where the waves would be good. Eat, surf, sleep- repeat. The swell was too straight. Perfect 2-3 foot groomed lines would march in, peak up and then straighten out. Perfect head high closeouts. 

The weather played ball though. Four days of camplife, walks, surfs, swims, photos, food, cards, laughs, lots of laughs. 

Sunset drinks for Lucinda and Ange

Sunset drinks for Lucinda and Ange

Observing the sea change

Observing the sea change

Watching the light show

Watching the light show

Summer tones

Summer tones

Clouds race

Clouds race

Country road...that ironically, the Cambulance is too heavy to travel down; there's a 3000 kg gross weight bridge on it. The Cambo is 4000kg

Country road...that ironically, the Cambulance is too heavy to travel down; there's a 3000 kg gross weight bridge on it. The Cambo is 4000kg

Waitakaruru, home turf for the Levers clan. The community centre and it's ramp roof has always fascinated me

Waitakaruru, home turf for the Levers clan. The community centre and it's ramp roof has always fascinated me

The Aotearoa Surf Film Festival 2017
 

The ASFF is now in it's fith year. It has been an honour and privilege to be one of the founding judges on the screening panel since 2012.  We have to watch A LOT of crap, some years over 40 hours of it. But in amongst the rubbish there's always the lil nuggets. Those short or feature films that amp you to get wet, to travel, to be aware of your footprint.  

This year's selection is nice and tight. The roadshow dates are locked in. Here's the shedule

Gisborne - Dome Cinema

Sat, Mar 4, 2017 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Napier - Globe Theatrette

Mon, Mar 6, 2017 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Raglan - Old School Arts Centre

Thu, Mar 9, 2017 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Wellington - Lighthouse Cuba

Thu, Mar 9, 2017 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Whitianga - Monkey House Theatre

Fri, Mar 10, 2017 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

New Plymouth - 4th Wall Theatre

Sat, Mar 11, 2017 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Takapuna - Free Outdoor Screening

Sat, Mar 18, 2017 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Christchurch - The Gym, Christchurch Arts Centre

Thu, Mar 23, 2017 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Mount Maunganui - Free Outdoor Screening

Sat, Mar 25, 2017 7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Nelson - NMIT

Sat, Apr 8, 2017 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Whangarei - Butter Factory

Thu, May 4, 2017 6:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Auckland - Crystal Palace - Grand Finale

Fri, May 5, 2017 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

You can book tickets straight from The ASFF website HERE

Book It

The Big Little Beach Book features Waikawau Bay. How could it not. Did you know that every beach in the book featured has a QR code. You can scan the code and it will open up in Google Maps. With every publication there's an attempt to provide an interactive element- go that little bit further. But you knew that 'cos you already have your copy aye? What you don't and you realise you need this book in your life- just click on the images for more info.