Making a living as a surf photographer isn't easy these days. It's a lot of travel, a lot of tail chasing, and a lot of luck. Prior to leaving for Tahiti, West Oz-based lensman Russell Ord traversed the land Down Under in the hopes of "getting a few postage stamps" run in the magazines. The take he came away with from "Spot X" was nothing short of impressive, but Ord admits, it wasn't exactly lucrative. Several days later he jumped on a plane to Tahiti and posted up with ASP World Tour stalwart Michel Bourez and his brother. For over a week Ord's been slaving under the tropical sun with water housing in hand, watching "the talent" glide by under Teahupoo's famed curtain.
Part of what makes surf photography so challenging as a career choice is that it's so damn competitive. Thanks to the accuracy of surf forecasting these days everybody and their uncle knows when the swell and conditions are going to come together. And because of its impressive stature, and the studio-like atmosphere, shooting from the channel at Teahupoo's become a must for most photographers. But it's thankless work. "It's funny, there is something from this swell up on Surfline right now, but it looks like I have been photoshoped out of the image," notes Ord. "Never mind, there were no safety boats or other photographers in front of me." And while Ord's not going to get rich from this take, he can take solace in knowing that he got the shot.
The following collection of images were taken during the Father's Day swell earlier in the week. Laird Hamilton flew down from Maui, Fergal Smith made the jump from Ireland, and as to be expected, the local boys stood tall. Tip of the cap to Ord for all the hard work. Enjoy.