Stab in the Weekend Australian
You might’ve noticed the little flashing box on the right of our homepage, telling you that the Stab hardcover book is a collection of extravagance, beauty, silhouettes and self-indulgence. It’s true. The main shoot we did for the hardcover book took place at the Siam Park wave-pool in Tenerife. Surfers Kolohe Andino, Evan Geiselman, Julian Wilson, Bruce […]
You might’ve noticed the little flashing box on the right of our homepage, telling you that the Stab hardcover book is a collection of extravagance, beauty, silhouettes and self-indulgence. It’s true.
The main shoot we did for the hardcover book took place at the Siam Park wave-pool in Tenerife. Surfers Kolohe Andino, Evan Geiselman, Julian Wilson, Bruce Irons and Adam Melling all went big. Kai Neville was perched on a crane, filming for a segment in his new film Lost Atlas. Richie Freeman and Sergio Villalba were waist deep in water, firing off photographs.
You’ve probably seen a few of the shots floating around the site. Aren’t they cute? For fear of soliciting over-reactions, we ain’t gonna tell you that you can see the whole shoot in the hard cover book. You already know that. So instead we’ll let someone else tell you. Below is a story, written by Fred Pawle, that was run in The Weekend Australian recently.
Wave To The Camera
BEING a surf photographer used to be simple. Park your long Nikon lens on the beach near a world-class break or swim into the line-up and get as close as possible to the action, then let the autofocus and motor drive do the rest.
It was occasionally hard work, especially lugging all that heavy gear around the world, but it didn’t require immense imagination. The sport and the dramatic backdrops it enjoyed were photogenic enough. Over the years, some innovations emerged. Readers were occasionally treated to helicopter angles, underwater perspectives and images snapped from board-mounted cameras.
But none of this was imaginative enough for Sam McIntosh who, along with Derek Rielly, co-founded Stab magazine in Bondi, Sydney, in 2004. “I grew up on the beach, so I was always motivated and captivated by novelty waves that were away from the ocean,” he says.
When, soon after starting up Stab, he heard about the wave-pool at Sunway Lagoon theme park in Malaysia, he organised two photographic expeditions with pro surfers to capture images of the sport outside its natural context.
“We were after shots that weren’t clichéd,” he says. The ensuing pictorials inspired so many imitations from surfwear sponsors and other magazines that wave-pool shoots have themselves become clichéd, McIntosh says. So for his latest project, a $107,000 shoot co-funded by a sunglasses company, he took five pro surfers and a crew of six from various parts of the world to the Siam Park wave-pool in Tenerife, Canary Islands, armed with a series of images he’d seen in other magazines, none of them about surfing. One image he tried to partially recreate was the famous Life magazine image of people in a cinema wearing 3D glasses. It almost worked (above right). “But it looks more like a Qantas ad,” he says.
The proposal to have a giraffe and elephant from the nearby zoo stand in the water next to the flying surfers was declined by Siam Park on health grounds.
McIntosh’s objective was to exercise maximum control over the outcome. He used cinematic lights and 6sqm silk reflectors, and hired photographers with experience beyond the rudimentary action genre. “We were chasing the exquisite detail: droplets of water on fins, splayed fingers, hair being lit up and perfectly placed limbs,” McIntosh says.
“The ocean is so difficult to control. So much wind, so much unpredictability with swell and tides and trying to make things happen. It’s more feasible to fly across the world to an unknown wave-pool than to risk the unpredictability of mother nature.”
The photos will be published in the hardcover Stab Annual, available in newsagents and bookstores in December, $19.95.
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