Stab in the Dark

Some tear-sheets and behind the scenes stuff from a shoot I was involved in during the West Australian summer. I was mid-way through a month long trip to Europe and had to finish shooting a book as soon as I got home.

We were already pushing it time-wise when I got a call from Stab publisher Sam McIntosh talking about a week in Yallingup with one of the best surfers in the world, working on a never-seen-before concept. Needless to say I pulled the necessary strings, bought some extra time and jumped on board.  

Anyway, everything worked out time-wise (it always seems to) and the Stab shoot ran smooth as butter. Once I committed to the trip I found out the surfer was Julian Wilson, (who you probably know from the Mick Fanning shark incident) and the concept involved Jules riding 11 blank boards in an attempt to find the world's best board & shaper. 

As with any decent sized production, there's a team of people working behind the scenes to make everything click. Our crew was Jules (surfer), Jimmy Lees, Toby Cregan & Rick Jackovich (video), Ryan MillerAndy Staley & Myself (Photo) plus Sam and Pat Towersey from Hurley on production. A group of really talented individuals who were great to spend time with. So anyway, here's some notes, images that didn't make the final cut and selects from the feature inside Stab Issue 80

Day 1: Jules between 11 mystery boards. Each board had a random number assigned, 00, 01, 03, 05, 10, 13, 16, 23, 31, 36, 99. Board #99 shaped by DHD ended up winning. 

Day 1: Jules between 11 mystery boards. Each board had a random number assigned, 00, 01, 03, 05, 10, 13, 16, 23, 31, 36, 99. Board #99 shaped by DHD ended up winning. 

Day 1: Unwrapping the cargo + stickies with shaper names. 

Day 1: Unwrapping the cargo + stickies with shaper names. 

Day 2: Redgate - my favourite beach in the world, but not the easiest place to link up a water shot when it's windy and all over the shop. Luckily Jules was tearing. Board #5 here ended up in last place. 

Day 2: Redgate - my favourite beach in the world, but not the easiest place to link up a water shot when it's windy and all over the shop. Luckily Jules was tearing. Board #5 here ended up in last place. 

Day 3: Final cover (left), cover image (top right) and the frame after (bottom right). Waves were 3-4ft, super fun and the sun was shining but the current pulling out to sea was crazy. Four hours of non-stop swimming toward shore. Rick Jacko (filming) was wearing a snorkel mask because we were getting caught inside so much. If someone told me I'd get the cover from that session I would have laughed. But, board #99 was the winner so it had to feature on page one. Shinya Dalby did a great job on the design as per usual and I'm pumped on how it turned out. 

Day 3: Final cover (left), cover image (top right) and the frame after (bottom right). Waves were 3-4ft, super fun and the sun was shining but the current pulling out to sea was crazy. Four hours of non-stop swimming toward shore. Rick Jacko (filming) was wearing a snorkel mask because we were getting caught inside so much. If someone told me I'd get the cover from that session I would have laughed. But, board #99 was the winner so it had to feature on page one. Shinya Dalby did a great job on the design as per usual and I'm pumped on how it turned out. 

Day 4: Productive cobbles session, easy swim to boot. Pretty sure Hurley used this somewhere. 

Day 4: Productive cobbles session, easy swim to boot. Pretty sure Hurley used this somewhere. 

Day 4: Jules launch from the magazine. 

Day 4: Jules launch from the magazine. 

Day 5: Jules' blue steel. There was heaps of bushfire smoke around which made for some interesting light in the mornings.

Day 5: Jules' blue steel. There was heaps of bushfire smoke around which made for some interesting light in the mornings.

Day 5: Another mag scan. This session was big, windy and kinda eerie but the light was nice and Jules did this. Maybe my favourite air shot from the trip. 

Day 5: Another mag scan. This session was big, windy and kinda eerie but the light was nice and Jules did this. Maybe my favourite air shot from the trip. 

Day 6: Third cobbles day in a row, but hard to go anywhere else when there's ramps like these. 

Day 6: Third cobbles day in a row, but hard to go anywhere else when there's ramps like these. 

Day 6 (again): One of two sessions I shot land, I borrowed Ryan's 600mm and tried to get some low down stuff. I like it when the surfer gets above the horizon line. 

Day 6 (again): One of two sessions I shot land, I borrowed Ryan's 600mm and tried to get some low down stuff. I like it when the surfer gets above the horizon line. 

Day 7: Last day of the trip and Jules put in a long session. Think he rode 3 different boards this day and got a lot of keepers. 

Day 7: Last day of the trip and Jules put in a long session. Think he rode 3 different boards this day and got a lot of keepers. 

Day 7: Finner..

Day 7: Finner..

Day 7: Reverse..

Day 7: Reverse..