Behind the Image: Michel Bourez - Teahupoo
Behind the image is the long story, short story or even just a few token words describing what took place behind the photo, it may be technical which I very much doubt, about the subject, what went into taking the photo, what I would do different next time, basically anything that comes to mind, scribbling notes at the time will recall the facts, talking it up or down is not out of the equation, its also open for discussion, questions, banter, jargon, requests and everything in between, ENJOY! –
Ok Ok I know, this is not the best shot of Teahupoo, actually its not even close, stock standard some would say, we have seen it before thousands of times and will no doubt see thousands more, but this is the personal story behind the image, so lets begin:
Once upon a time in a far away place, oh shit I have been reading to many books to my six year old daughter, back to reality, I get picked up late that night at the airport from Michel and his beautiful wife Vaimiti, we have never met in person only a few emails now and again planning the trip around Michel’s heavy ASP travelling work load, I am at ease in an instant they are both so welcoming, apparently my timing was perfect, Teahpoo was going to be firing, “lets get going early” no worries I don’t need to sleep I thought had plenty on the long flight over.
The drive was amazing, I love being in a place for the very first time especially this beautiful, quick stop over to pick up Kevin Bourez and all of a sudden we are on the way out to the line-up, jet lagged I am thinking a few token photos from the boat but decide a swim would be the best way to wash away the cobwebs, I thought I would ask Michel a few questions about the wave so I don’t go in totally blind or what I perceive from watching videos and webcasts. “If you go over the falls swim into the impact zone and get washed over that part of the reef, what ever you do don’t get dragged down that way,” I will remember that. I jump in the water, local photographer Domenic Mosqueira is already in the water (he is the one in the top hand corner of the photo and bloody legend bloke to boot) I base my positioning off Dom best way to get an understanding of the place, sets appear on the horizon, Michel goes the first one, I press the trigger for the very first time in Tahiti, Michel with the biggest grin standing tall, over the years there has been multiple times when the first shot of the session is one of the best ones, I love being in the water and cheers to Surfing Life Magazine for running a page 1 of this very image…
Camera Specs at the time: Shot on the Nikon D3 (actually I flooded it completely a few months before and it was still working and still is to this day) 16mm Fisheye, white balance cloudy -3 ( I read that this works well somewhere and went with it) ISO 320, Shutter 1/2000 at f/7.1, Exposure manual. Cased in an Aquatech Housing.