Surfers Underwater

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Surf’s up! Stunning underwater photos of surfers as they crash beneath the waves

By Daily Mail
Last updated at 4:14 PM on 24th June 2010

Battered by waves as they are flung beneath the surface, these are the action-packed photos of surfers when it all goes wrong.

A photographer spent months being battered by the sea as he captured the moments waves broke underwater.

Mark Tipple took the shots of swimmers and surfers emerging underwater engulfed in clouds of whitewater while being frequently rocked by the waves himself.

The 29 year old captures the split second moments off the Australian coast and regularly gets beaten in the head by his 5kg, specially adapted camera for his troubles.

Mr Tipple, from Sydney, Australia, came up with the idea of photographing waves underwater after becoming frustrated with ‘normal’ surf photography, and wanted to capture the moments from a different perspective.

The stunning shots capture swimmers and surfers emerging underwater engulfed in clouds of whitewater


Plumes of white water look like clouds as they surround a swimmer

He said: ‘During a flat spell in Sydney I shot a few small waves with people swimming off to the side.

‘The results were pretty graphic and led to people swimming becoming the focus of the series, which was against my initial intention but looked great.

‘Most of the people I photograph are just enjoying themselves at the beach and I ask them if they’d mind being in a picture.

‘I tell them what I’m doing and show them a few photos and mostly they’re amazed. Most of the time I come off worse than the people I’m shooting, generally I’m looking sidewards to track where they are in relation to where the wave is, and tend to pay more attention to them than the wave; which can rock me pretty hard.

‘I’m pretty comfortable underwater from years of surfing, and can ride out the waves breaking overhead.


A swimmer is captured at the moment they are catapulted under the water

‘Most of the credit has to be paid to the camera though, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that most of the time I hold the shutter down and point in the general direction of the people.

‘The housing is about the size of a shoebox, and weighs about 5 kilograms, heavy enough to hurt when it hits me in the head. I guess it’s transformed from a simple idea of seeing how the waves look underwater to how people adapt and what they go through when diving under waves.’

Mr Tipple has been surfing since he was a child and begun filming underwater in 2000.

He said: ‘I used to surf with a video camera strapped to my helmet that would record underwater when I was being thrashed by a wave and when I duck dove; it produced a few cool images but not to the extent that I was looking for.

‘After a few years of playing around with different cameras and camera positions I gave up surfing and turned to shooting full time.

‘By not being restricted by the physical object of a surfboard I could follow surfers underwater, and be free to roam around below and shoot what I wanted to shoot.’


A young surfer wearing a hat at Maroubra beach waves to his friend riding the wave above


A swimmer clutches the sand to avoid the wave above at Bronte beach, Sydney

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Originally posted 2011-03-29 08:00:25. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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