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First Belharra _ 16/12/2015

15 December 2015

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Belharra is a huge wave appearing only during winter big storms off the coast of Saint-Jean-de-Luz corniche. Sought by all the big wave riders in the world, each session on this wave is unic and very changing, depending on the weather conditions.

On this day, Antoine & Guillaume drove for 1 hour on a boat from Bayonne harbour (a little bit north) to reach the line-up in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, without being sure than the wave will be there; but they had to go see for themselves what will happen. Once arrived, they meet with good big wave riders, it is smelling good! They chose to stay out of the breaking zone of the wave to be able to stay in static mode and compose their images the way they wanted. Antoine uses a 70-200 mm f/2.8 to use wider shots, Guillaume trusts his loyal 300 mm f/2,8.

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The set waves kept coming and getting bigger progressivly to reach 30 feet, a true Belharra as they wished it will be. Conditions are perfect and the upcoming tide helps surfers paddling into waves. For a first time on this spot, they try new angles to compose with the foreground for Antoine, or with the Jaizkibel mountain, flattening plans with 300 mm for Guillaume. In the end, they spent 4 hours on the boat, moving it to help they images need, knowing that they were alone, on this day, to shoot images from a boat. Antonin de Soultrait, tired after fighting against the current and the coldness, comes to rest aboard, this is the best time to have a chat on surfer’s placement et use those informations to have better images afterwards. This kind of pictures is also a teamwork between surfers and photographers!

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Once the session finished, they have to endure big waves entering Bayonne harbour staying out of the jetty to reach the shore. They need to take their gear out of the boat, and statt emptying the moery cards. Their images will be published in many double spreads in specialized french and international magazines et will be shared on many websites. But their biggest pride was being able to had their own interpretation to this crazy wave of Belharra bringing back some new images and angles.

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