This site has limited support for your browser. We recommend switching to Edge, Chrome, Safari, or Firefox.


Huntington Beach Surfer

Max Hall


Behind the Shot

Max visited Huntington Beach in Southern California for an early meeting followed by some surfing. "It was an overcast day, and I didn't have my camera nearby. Throughout the meeting I was watching the light come in and out through the haze and low clouds. I was distracted by the light.

"The light was really unique. There was not much wind, but the clouds were really cruising and they were low. I knew that I wanted to shoot at least a frame of this day, because everything was unique. I finally decided to run to my car and get my camera. I was still in my wetsuit. I quickly dried off my hands, grabbed my camera, and then ran back down to the spot. But now there was a guy standing in the scene. I don't know if he was a beginner or what, but he was just looking at the surf for a long time. He just stayed there. I was moving in and out, trying to recompose and adjust how to shoot it. He was there for, like, five minutes, not moving. I decided to incorporate him into the shot. This dude was really just looking at the surf. Huntington Beach normally is really crowded. Having only one person standing there was really unique-just a couple of birds and the surfer."

Max doesn't let weather stop him from taking photographs. "It's easy to shoot a crystal-clear sunset. Everybody does it. Sometimes the best shots happen on the days that nobody else is out shooting because it's not, by most standards, a beautiful day. Seeing the way everything lined up, the surfer standing there so perfectly-it just tells a great story. It worked."