OK so I took this selfie yesterday. Or as I am fond of saying, "Selfie By Ralphie". And as I started to look at my older self here, I realized that I look like a cross between Al Pacino and Henry Winkler. (As they look today.) Truth be told I have always heard that crap my whole adult life. "Man you look like Al Pacinio in the GODFATHER. Or, "Hey has anyone ever told you that you look like Fonzie?" To which I'd answer, "No you're the first, unless of course you count the other million times I've heard that." I've also heard the "Dustin Hoffman" comparison. The year the Graduate came out in 1968? All I ever heard was "You look like Dustin Hoffman." Yeah, I've heard that before.
There were a couple of other actors who I apparently kind of look like. Scott Bakula is one. I guess I have that familiar look. Most of them have that prominent big nose (which I have). And I'm sure you all have someone that you look like. I guess we all do.
But these two comparisons? I've heard it a hundred times over.
So much so, that after seeing this pic of me, I googled those two and this is what I found. Nothing here is photoshopped. It's all real. Painfully real. The Henry Winkler image is frighteningly close. I mean Good Lord look at him! We could pass for brothers. So...I cut my hair, and the goatee is next. I can't be walking around town and the beaches looking these guys.
This is another reason why I forbid my siblings and my kids from doing one of those ancestry.com DNA searches. Because right now, I can without question boast that I am 100% Italian. I grew up believing that and I'll go to my grave believing that. Once you start monkeying around with that DNA ancestry crap, all kinds of shit could potentially come out. Next thing you know, you're not the purebred you thought you were. I say "leave well enough alone."
Will I ever grow my hair out and beard back? Maybe. Maybe not. Who cares?
So last week we had five straight days of waves. And not just waves but tropical storm waves. And typically when we get these tropical storm swells we also get the warm water that is associated with these storms. Man it was so warm, and the waves really had some push to them. It started on Saturday and then the swell jumped up, and we had big messy surf on Sunday, and Monday, with it finally cleaning up on Tuesday. We had waves on Wednesday as well, but the best day by far was on Tuesday August 18th, 2020.
That was the day that I decided I would swim out and get some water footage.
The water was so warm, and the waves were so perfect and hollow, that I knew I had to put myself out in the line-up, and shoot those waves in the water. There's something about being in the water when all the elements come together, and Tuesday 8-18-20 was one of those days. I was pretty excited about swimming out. In fact, I decided that I would only wear my trunks and a rash guard. I would not wear a wetsuit. Why? Well with the water temps in the high 60's, and the sun beating down on us all, I figured I didn't need one.
So I swam out and shot for two hours without a wetsuit.
I was fine the first hour and a half. No problems at all. Except on one particular wave I was shoorting, something happened to me that I've never experienced before. This big left kind of swung towards me and started to throw out and grind it's way right to where I was treading water. The wave actually was wider than it was high.
The open barrel was roaring straight towards me. I was getting giddy waiting for the most crucial part of the wave to open up in front of my lens. I hung in there until the last possible second, when I dove under the pitching lip.
As I dove deep, my left foot was sticking up out of the wave face, when the lip hit my foot and literally ripped my fin off. (I wear swim fins) I couldn't believe it. And I couldn't believe that damn thing sank out there. So I dove for it trying to locate it while dealing with the rest of the set. The bottom was too cloudy from the sand churning up and whitewater bubbles. My heart sank. "Shit...I just bought those fins last winter." I have the same fins that the Lifeguards on Hawaii's North Shore use.
I couldn't believe that wave ripped it off my foot.
I dove and dove down into the mayhem, trying to find it, when I figured that it was gone. So I decided to swim in. Can't really have just one fin on. It kind of defeats the purpose of wearing them. And just as I was getting closer to the beach, a wave broke behind me, and I felt something hit me in the butt. I quickly reached behind me and lo and behold, it was my fin! I couldn't believe my luck. I mean what are the chances?
That my friends was pure luck. I quickly pulled the fin
back on, went back out.
I shot for another half hour or so before I went in and pulled on my 1mil wetsuit sleeves. One mill is like having a thin layer of neoprene skin.
Just enough to take away the chill. So back out I went, and continued to shoot the action.
This is Ryan McGill on the inside section.
When using these little GoPro cameras you need to be pretty tight on your subject. I use the wide angle setting for the open barrels. But if the surfer is too far away, you almost lose them. But when they do get in range, the
pictures are perfect. This is Matt Colby coming quickly into frame.
I also like the intimacy you get with other surfers when you shoot in the water. You essentially become part of the line-up. Even though you MUST position yourself in the impact zone. If you want to get that shot, you gotta sit your ass where all the action happens. You can't sit too far out, and you can't sit too far inside. You need to put yourself right where all the action happens.
The only time you get to talk with other surfers is when they paddle by you.
Like Becca Speak here. She just got a nice wave and chatted with me on her way back out. You don't get that interaction when you stand on the beaches or on the rocks when you shoot from the land. Don't get me wrong, I do talk with a lot of the surfers before they enter the water and when they come out. But when you're in the water, you become part of the whole scene.
This is Becca Speak taking off on a nice hollow right hander.
And this shot? These are the ones I love to capture. As you can see here the lip is already pitching over my head, and I am sitting inside the barrel looking out. Every surfer wants to get inside the barrel. That's the one common thread that all surfers share from the early 60's to today. They all want to get inside the wave. It is one of the timeless positions that surfers can relate to. And it is the most sought after view in surfing in general. Getting those hollow barrel shots. I personally love them. whether i shot them or not. I love seeing them.
Case in point. This is my future son-in-law Pete Rizzo. It was his birthday on Friday August 21st, 2020. So I made this card for him. It's really Kelly Slater with Pete's head photoshopped on top of him. He got a kick out of it. We all did. One of my missions this year is to get a decent pic of Pete surfing. I've gotten a few of him but nothing great yet. But I will. And that's a promise.
I may not get a water shot of you Pete, but I will get a decent pic of you.
And speaking of birthdays, young Kainalu Nichols is turning 21 on August 24th! Wait what? How on earth did that happen? Kai is 21? Damn, now I'm really feeling old. Twenty one is a big year. It's like the official end of being a child, teenager, and the beginning of REAL manhood. Wow.
This is Kai during the 2019 Regionals. Photo by Mez. I guess they are going to run the Easterns on Cape Hatteras in September! I think that's great! Go For it! SURFING is SAFE From the BC (Boogieman Covid). Unless there are 90 year old surfers with compromising health conditions, I say RUN those damn contests! Let the kids surf. Enough is enough!
"Surfing Heals All Wounds."
This week's Ed's corner is from the TS Hanna swell during the summer of 2008. The surfer is Erik Cannon. He looks pretty focused on that lip up ahead.
Photo by Ed O'Connell
*Click the photo above to see a larger version of Ed's Pic.
Now for Some Local and National News
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris marching out with their masks on
at the convention last week. OK, so there's something inherently wrong with this pic. How can they go from being maskless in public, and in other situations, to wearing these masks at this time? Then I read today that if Joe gets elected, he will Mandate that EVERYONE Nationally must wear a mask. Joe, you horny old man, if you are serious about that? I won't vote for you. As much as I despise 45, I could never vote for you if you try and pull that shit off. Sorry Joe and Kamala. Mandate Masks Nationally?
There are two kinds of people out there today. Those who wear (and believe in wearing masks), and those who don't. I am one of the latter. I live on the Seacoast of NH and there's no reason to wear a mask all the time. Certain places yes. All the time? No. I see people driving in their vehicles alone wearing a mask? WTF is that? I think it's a combination of hysteria and political agendas. And it's not because I think it's my right to not wear the mask, I personally don't feel comfortable wearing one. I ONLY wear it when I absolutely have to. There have been ZERO deaths here in our little community. You want to make us all wear masks all the time? Good luck with that Joe.
But, I'll Remember that when I cast my vote.
Now this is a mask I can get behind. But only on Halloween.
I wonder how many young democrats know this truth? I bet not many. You want to make a difference? GO OUT AND VOTE on November 3rd, 2020!
I worked on this CD (designed the front and back cover), and I recorded one of Asa's songs. Click on this image (below) to read some of the reviews and find out how and where to buy one. There's some great recordings on this record by some of Boston's best musicians.
There will be a live performance of all the artists who played on this record at some point (once the Boogieman Covid leaves), and it will be a worthwhile gathering of friends and artists of the super talented Asa Brebner. Stay tuned for more info.
The family of Hayden Moulton has started this trust fund page to help his young daughter Renee in the future, and more importantly, to keep the memory of their son Hayden alive. I've only met Hayden a few times in his life, but I've known Scotty for years. So I want to help him out in any way that I can. If you can help donate to little Renee it would be greatly appreciated by the Mouton family, and the local surf community.
Local NH resident Gary Ritter is going to paddle to and from
the Isle of Shoals any day now. It's a long 14 mile paddle. To learn more of this impressive undertaking click on the image below.
FYI he's going to free paddle. In other words, NO paddle. Just his arms. Laying prone or on his knees. He started a fund raiser with charity: water. So it's a legit and worthwhile endeavor. if you can spare a few dollars help make this dream come true for Gary.
He is currently looking at Friday August 21st, 2020 as a possible launch date. I'm sure you can check in with his charity water fund raiser for details.
ESM (Eastern Surf Magazine) using a READY MAG format did the Best of Ralph's Pic. And while they couldn't possibly use everything thing I've ever done, they did manage to put up some 50 pics of mine, plus two videos. And I was truly humbled by their intro. Mez said some nice things about me. CLICK ON THE IMAGE ABOVE TO SEE THE WHOLE Spread.
KSM Photoshop of the Week
With my posting of my resemblance to Al Pacino and Henry Winkler this Blog, somehow the word got back to the Sheik, and he was asking if I'd post this this uncanny resembalnce to the late John Belushi. While there is a slight resemblance, there is NOTHING funny about KSM. He's a coward piece of shit who will rot in the fires of hell when his time comes. In other words, "He's NO John Belushi!"
And so my friends, please take advantage of this weekly photo shop of the mastermind who planned 9-11 and resulted in the deaths of 3,000 innocent civilians by KSM (Khalid Sheik Mohammed).
*Note to self -must pick up a case of ANIMAL HOUSE VHS tapes
at Home Depot this week.
REST IN PEACE Hayden Moulton 1994-2020.
REST IN PEACE Norm Brunault age 92
HAPP BIRTHDAY Julia Nichols August 19th, 2020!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Pete Rizzo August 21st, 2020!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Veda Cropper August 23rd, 2020!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Terence Kirby August 23rd, 2020!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Kainalu Nichols August 24th, 2020!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Hannah Vokey August 24th, 2020!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Duke Kahanamoku August 24th, 2020!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Johnny Fatello August 25th, 2020!
TUKKA RASK IS A CHICKEN SHIT COP OUT. Get Rid Of Him.
PLEASE Keep Mrs Berardini (Tony's 99 yr old mom) in your thoughts and prayers.
We'd all love to see her make it to her 100th Birthday in December. She's a fighter, but she could use some help. Your prayers can help. Thank you.
PLEASE Keep longtime NH Surfer Greg Smith in your Prayers.
Support ALL The photographers who contribute to
Ralph's Pic Of The Week every week for the last 16 years.
** BUY a HIGH RES Photo
from any of the weeks on RPOTW.
my friends... Surfing Heals All Wounds.
Pray for Surf. Pray for Peace. Surf For Fun.