The book Incredible Waves is subtitled “An Appreciation of Perfect Surf” but I think they’ve sold themselves short with that label. It is more than an appreciation. This is a Swiss army knife of inspiration that gets you thinking about waves – and surf photography – in new ways. The book starts out with fresh angles and achingly perfect line-ups, interspersed with quotes from some of surfing’s most dedicated devotees. But instead of leaving the reader hanging with gratuitous images of saline perfection it guides him or her through the actual process of capturing perfect wave images themselves. It’s a toolkit cleverly disguised as a coffee table book, so beautifully presented that you never even realise you’re learning something along the way.
Inside you’ll find sections like “The Physics of Sick Waves” which explains wave motion almost as well as that part in Kelly’s Slater’s Ultimate Wave Tahiti movie. This then leads you through page after page of surfing ecstasy until you reach the conversation between the author and five of the surfing’s best photographers: Chris Burkard, Russell Ord, Alan Van Gysen, Mickey Smith and Brian Bielmann. And just when you were about to go grab your camera you hit page 128 which steps you through techniques and equipment required for everything from line-up shots through to shooting from helicopters and from the water.
What you’ll find is that this book is made with a lot of love. Love for surfing, for capturing those moments that embody the surfing experience and a passion for rendering our pursuit of perfect waves in timeless stills.
Chris Power has done an excellent job in authoring a book that will take pride of place on your coffee table while also making an awesome travel companion and rough guide for the photography enthusiast. Look at the photos and read this book once, then look at the photos and read it again. Get it for your favourite grom and buy them an old SLR camera.