Amateur Hour With Brian Bielmann

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Photo: Rodrigo Ungaro


This past December on the North Shore of Oahu we held the first ever “North Shore Surf Photography Workshop”. Michael Clark—a workshop pro and all around master action photographer—and I had talked about this for some time and decided this was the year to do it. We announced the dates of the workshop and it filled up quickly with 11 students from the mainland, Costa Rica and even one person from the Netherlands attending. We ended up with a couple days of 8-10 foot surf and a few smaller days. With daily critiques, the students learned quickly about timing, framing and all the other things that help make a good photo.

By the end of the course, they each had shots that were good enough to publish. We had a few sessions to learn lighting and shooting lifestyle photos that are all part of the surf photographers job. Michael, having written a book on Adobe Lightroom, taught post-processing and digital workflow techniques in the classroom. The last few days of the workshop we took out some water housings supplied by SPL (thanks Sean Labrie) and showed the attendees how to use them in the hotel pool before some of them braved the Hawaiian waters and did the real thing. Everyone enjoyed themselves and it’s looking good for another class next year, Hawaii or Tahiti anyone?Brian Bielmann