Behind The Shot: Lance Morgan

lancemorgan_
Swellnet Dispatch

I'd been wanting to shoot fisheye out there for a while, but there's a size limit to the surf you can do it safely. With fisheye you've got to get close, real close, to the surfer and that means getting very close to the wave, and it's real dangerous getting caught in the impact zone there.

I figured a good eight foot would be the perfect size to shoot fisheye. After that there's a lot of current moving you around, pushing you into places you don't want to be.

The morning started off around eight foot so I put the fisheye on and swam out. Yet not long into the session the sets started getting bigger and bigger - ten foot, twelve foot, maybe even bigger - and it was utterly perfect. Not just big and perfect either, but consistent. There was a space there of about an hour, say between 8am and 9am where it just didn't stop.

There was a heavy crew just non-stop getting barrelled.

It was beyond what I wanted and I had to be really careful with the swell growing. I had my ski in the channel with another lens but it meant swimming there, then cleaning and drying everything down, and though it wasn't ideal it made more sense to stay and shoot what was happening right now.

That wave of Josh, it stood up and he just spun and went. He's probably about two metres away from me in the shot. It was heavy. I didn't see him afterwards, didn't see him come up or anything though I had to worry about myself. 

I spoke to him on Instagram later and he said the wave ripped off both flippers and the leash wrapped tight around his legs. He got flogged.

Later on the local boys were calling it the best it's been in seven years, as good as Mad Monday back in 2014.

If it ever happens again I'll be there and ready, next time with the right lens.

// LANCE MORGAN
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Comments

derra83's picture
derra83's picture
derra83 commented Wednesday, 27 Jan 2021 at 9:57am

Ballsy effort mate. Reckon even most fish would be puckering up in there.

lancemorgan_'s picture
lancemorgan_'s picture
lancemorgan_ commented Wednesday, 27 Jan 2021 at 10:16am

Thanks mate, probably more stupidity than anything.

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Wednesday, 27 Jan 2021 at 10:21am

fantastic shot Lance well done

simba

boxright's picture
boxright's picture
boxright commented Wednesday, 27 Jan 2021 at 10:25am

Hats off to you Lance. I shot surf and action photos through the 70s and 80s and I doubt many people will realise the proximity of the photographer when they see a good action shot taken with fisheye. Every bad trip over the falls in my career was while shooting with it.

PS: I never swam 12-15ft!

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Wednesday, 27 Jan 2021 at 1:02pm

Cheers for risking life and limb to bring us such a spectacular image.

Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout commented Wednesday, 27 Jan 2021 at 8:20pm

You're both crazy! Full size even better: https://i.imgur.com/WR1md9L.jpg
His face; it was at this moment, Josh knew he'd f*cked up.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Wednesday, 27 Jan 2021 at 3:12pm

Brilliant shot. The backlit colours and the whole intensity of the situation makes it jump out at you. Love it.

1173

sangsta's picture
sangsta's picture
sangsta commented Wednesday, 27 Jan 2021 at 4:52pm

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a ballistic booger.
A close encounter between two blokes with big gangoolies.
Awesome commitment on both sides.

Bnkref's picture
Bnkref's picture
Bnkref commented Wednesday, 27 Jan 2021 at 5:42pm

Very impressive from both sides of the lens. Sensational effort. Mind-blowing.

rogerdodger's picture
rogerdodger's picture
rogerdodger commented Wednesday, 27 Jan 2021 at 10:46pm

Wow Lance. That shot is phenomenal. To have the intuition and poise to realise Josh was committing and to commit with him in that size swell......massive nads.
Hats off fella.

mick-burnside's picture
mick-burnside's picture
mick-burnside commented Thursday, 28 Jan 2021 at 8:25am

Amazing pic Lance. Looks to me like you had the right lens. Wouldnt have got that pic without it, likewise todays WOTD pic without it. Finding your way into position is another challenge, especially on a pulsing swell. Risk VS reward, so I trust your still healthy and well. youve raised the bar, it seems, to me. well done.

mick b

Bnkref's picture
Bnkref's picture
Bnkref commented Thursday, 28 Jan 2021 at 12:09pm

Lance Morgan again today! What an amazing shot. Today's is the same spot and session as the lidder?