Just over a month left in the waiting period for the 2nd Mullaghmore tow-in surf contest, and whilst there have been some massive swells to hit the north-west of Ireland during the winter, they’ve unfortunately been accompanied by massive strong onshore winds which are the wrong kind of wind you want to be able to surf!

While we wait & hope for some favourable conditions, here is my favourite image from the 2011 session and what went into taking it. This was my first time shooting a wave like this from a boat and it was also the boat drivers first time out in big Mullaghmore surf so it took him a little while to get comfortable before taking us closer & closer to the action.

This shot is my favourite because of the light that just peeked through the clouds at the right moment, lighting up the spray from the lip of the wave, but also the spray from the cutback that Barry, the surfer, is making. The light also gives the green face of the wave a beautiful texture, where you can see every ripple…and they’re big ripples on a wave this size! Shot on the 1d mark2n camera & a 300mm F2.8L lens, there was no room for error with this composition, and I love shooting with this combo of camera & lens. The 1d mark2n is an old camera by digital standards, but it’s one that’s still at the top of the pile with a frame rate & AF that’s hard to beat. And the old 300mm F2.8L non-IS lens is still superior to the newer IS versions. It’s not easy to handhold this combo especially on a rocking boat and try to keep the composition in the viewfinder, but having to handhold 500mm lenses when I shot Formula 1 makes holding the 300mm a piece of cake!

Exif data: ISO 160, 1/3200 at F4, manual exposure.


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  • February 17, 2012 - 3:42 pm

    Daniel - WOW. Amazing photograph. I hope that someday I can drive down to Sligo and have a go…but first I need swimming lessons.

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