Taking photos of surfers from the beach generally requires a long lens and a rudimentary knowledge of the sport of surfing. You can shoot it with shorter lenses, just frame the shot like it’s a landscape photo, with surfing as a minor part of the equation. In this case the photo gear was a Sony a7R, LAEA4 A-mount adapter, and Tamron 150-600mm lens. Unfortunately 600mm on a full-frame camera wasn’t enough reach for the bigger waves at Trestles, which was the location of the shoot.
The good news was that these were professional surfers, in the 2015 Hurley Pro surf contest, so there was plenty of opportunity for getting good action photos, if the weather and the surf conditions cooperated. The bad news was that the light at this location was at a side angle at it’s best, in the morning only, and one of the two days that were shot was cloudy. That made processing the photos into anything useful rather difficult, as you’ll see. The swell was also down for the last day of the shoot; good for shorter lenses, bad for big surf action shots like getting air.