CultureSALT WATERComment

THROUGH THE LENS OF FRAN MILLER

CultureSALT WATERComment
THROUGH THE LENS OF FRAN MILLER
 

We were lucky enough to have the very talented Fran Miller taking over our Instagram account few months ago. For those who missed it in real time, here are the pics she published on Salt Water.

 

This is Tim and he is a local at Snapper Rocks. He is one of the smoothest surfers out there, with very classic styling. His energy always seems to flow perfectly with the ocean. The cutback is one of the most beautiful moves in surfing. As you feel yourself leaving the energy source of the wave, you carve back towards the power of the wave and it propels you again with its force. The connection between human and ocean is part of the lifeblood of surfing.

 

This shot of Leah Dawson was quite well publicised a few years back. To me, the bottom turn is the most important turn in surfing, and Leah performed this one in Canggu to a level beyond perfection. Poise, power, drive and balance. The bottom turn is the foundation of high level surfing. When I see a perfect bottom turn, I just know that whatever comes next is going to be great, whether it’s a highline trim or a big powerful carve.

 

At this secret spot, the water is warm, the wave barrels perfectly, and the crowds don’t exist...

 

Pipeline is no secret spot. It is the spot of all spots. The locals were saying this was one of the best swells in 40 years. I have never seen such a high level of surfing as I saw on this day. I find Pipeline to be a terrifying wave. It is catastrophically powerful, and not every wave breaks mechanically. As the sun set that evening, it left a soft glow of light over the darkness of the wave. It was quite an emotive moment, contrasting the gentle beauty of a sunset with the deadly cylindrical wave and the warriors that were riding it.

 

I knew this sunset was coming. The waves were quite average this afternoon. In fact, there was absolutely nobody out in the lineup before, during or after our session. I asked Fil and Nathan to come out anyway, because I could just sense it was going to be good. They looked at me quite oddly as we were getting prepared to go out because I was so excited even though the light was grey and uninspiring to start with, and it was also blistering cold. It was one of the most magnificent sunsets I have ever witnessed, and we remember it fondly still for all of the reasons above.

 

I wonder if it’s a trend but the waves were quite average in Byron Bay on this day too when Roisin Carolan and I enjoyed this sunset that we refer to as the Southern Lights. It was a fireball unlike anything we had ever seen. It burned the whole sky for 15 minutes, which is quite a long time for a sunset and there was a lot of the classic red and orange in it. I remember I had been swimming taking photos of Roisin before the sunset. Naturally, as it started to appear, I had no option but to take these photos lying down in my wet wetsuit. It would have been an entertaining sight. A mesmerizing sunset and a floundering photographer capturing it rolling around like a beached seal on the beach.

 

This is Muklis Anwar and he is one of the best surfers out of Indonesia. Sometimes I think people assume that I only shoot logging since it is a form of surfing I have committed a lot of time and energy too. But the truth is, my hand and camera has been barrelled more times than I have surfing! And I have taken a lot of lips to the head and reef kisses whilst putting myself into critical positions to capture images like this. I love this perspective. It is everything I want to see. Close to the power of the wave. A view down the line with excited expectation of what’s to come. And beautiful back light to show the colours of the water. And you just know Muklis got really, really barrelled!

 

A different day and perspective, but the same wave and person. I think this picture says it all. Muklis is A-OK.

 

Belinda Baggs is grace personified. She is humble and soft, but surfs with delicate purpose. Ivy Thomas is looking on over the shoulder as Bindy, for want of a better word, dominated this session. All eyes were on her and you can see why.

 

Feel the energy of the ocean and let it consume you. This photo of Ivy Thomas was taken on a shoot for Rhythm Girls, and it is one of my favourite pictures. The subtle morning light. The trim line. The reflection in the water. The puff of whitewater in the wind. You can’t see Ivy's face, but you know she is smiling. This is surfing.

 
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