Story Behind the Wave

Photographer Ben Thouard captures a unique underwater perspective of surfer Anthony Walsh at Teahupoo
By Ben Thouard

Teahupoo is know for its surf break - a glassy and heavy wave with a lip that detonates across a shallow reef. Some of the best surfers in the world travel to Teahupoo (located on Tahiti in French Polynesia) to prove their big wave skills in the clear water, and naturally, surf photographers follow them there.

Shooting photos of surfers from the water at Teahupoo can be a challenge, as you want to be close to the action while remaining safe in ever-changing conditions, since finding yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time can have serious repercussions. Photographers who also surf have the advantage, as it allows them to swim into the best spot to shoot, using long-time experience with waves to capture perspectives that look great from the water. Shooting surfers and waves underwater goes beyond this.

We are very lucky to have some crystal clear water in Tahiti, and I took advantage of this many times to create some amazing images of surfers at Teahupoo... shot from below.



For this shot of Anthony Walsh at Teahupoo I used a Canon EOS 1DX with a 8-15mm fisheye lens inside an Aquatech 1D Delphin Housing with a medium fish eye dome. Aquatech housings are the best for surf and wave photography as they are light, functional and allow you to move fast compared to dive housings. They also have a trigger grip that allows you to shoot with one arm extended.


Additional Photos Behind the Scenes





Be sure to check out the rest of our surf and wave photography tutorials. And of course, having comfortable and flexible surf swimwear can really enhance the your photographic experience.



I’m Ben Thouard, a watersport photographer based in Tahiti for 8 years. I mostly shoot surfing, however I love spending time in the ocean shooting a bunch of different things. I now dedicate a lot of my time to shooting empty waves because I love it - it’s fascinating. All the waves are different and the light you can capture reflecting on the surface of the ocean is amazing. Check out more of my work here:


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