Welcome to Encinitas, California, where you can watch the waves pounding at Swami’s beach, have a moment of zen at the ornately decked-out Self Realization Center, and catch a glimpse of pro surfer Rob Machado paddling his way up the breezy coast from Cardiff. Cruising down Pacific Coast highway you’ll encounter surfers running across the road with 9-foot loggers in tow and hear the deep throttle of motorcycle gangs making their weekend pilgrimage south.
Southern California is full of epic surf spots known around the world, and Encinitas definitely takes its place among them with points like Swami’s, Pipes and Cardiff all within a 5-mile stretch. With an eclectic crowd from eager young shortboarders ready to rip it to old-time longboarders who glide down 6-foot waves in pure style, Swami’s offers a great beach community for beginners and pros alike.
I wanted to capture the full extent of this personality-filled crowd, so I took my Samsung NX300 on a mini beachfront field trip to the shores at Swami’s. My 200mm lens was the perfect choice to get close-up shots of surfers nabbing their next wave. Even standing at the top of a cliff overlooking the coastline, I was still able to get a good view of surfers sitting way out in the lineup.
By using the “Action Freeze” feature (one of the options under Samsung NX300’s SMART mode), it was easy to get a slew of well-timed action shots of surfers dropping in on waves, carving the face and getting some mini air off the tail end of their rides.
Every surfer has their own style, and Encinitas is full of interesting characters that make for a great day of people watching. After an afternoon of shooting surfers embrace their happy place, I had to grab my longboard and join in on the fun.