Tahiti Through The Lens Of Todd Glaser: The Photographer's Top 10 Favorite Shots From A Trip To Remember

Tahiti Through The Lens Of Todd Glaser: The Photographer's Top 10 Favorite Shots From A Trip To Remember

Posted Jun 13, 2024

There's no better way to pay homage to surfing than through the lens of legendary photographer, close friend of the brand, and Kelly Slater's primary photographer, Todd Glaser.

Todd's documentary approach played a pivotal role in Outerknown's earliest days. From traveling to Japan and Slovenia with the brand to shooting the launch of our S.E.A. JEANS program on Kelly and local North Shore lifeguards, he has immersed himself in the brand's narrative, visually chronicling its genesis before a single piece of furniture filled our office.

Todd and Kelly traveled to Tahiti over the last month, scoring plenty of swell in and out of competition and we've been lucky enough to be on the receiving end of some epic shots throughout.

We asked Todd to choose some of his favorite shots with his personal notes about each moment captured. Join us in this rare opportunity to get the photographer's unique perspective on his ten favorite images as we celebrate International Surfing Day through the eye of Todd Glaser and the style of Kelly Slater.

"While the Tahiti contest was the catalyst for us all to fly down to Tahiti in hopes of clean South swell and the crystal clear water the South Pacific is known for, the moments in between the heats can be and usually are the most impactful. As a photographer, I am always striving to capture even a sliver of that energy onto film (or, in this case, digitally) to share with the world. Below are a small sample of some of my favorite moments from last May in Raimana’s World." -Todd Glaser

Kelly up close and personal. We’d paddled way up the reef to a small crack in the reef that Kelly had been eyeing from the channel when, out of nowhere, the new swell started to fill in, which caught us both off guard.

All morning long, the surf had been pumping, and the local crowd was all over it since the contest had just ended a few days before. Kelly took his time, knowing there would be an open window. For an hour and a half, Kelly was in the water with three other surfers and myself, swimming around and shooting photos while wave after wave barreled down the reef. During that time, he rode countless waves and even had time to watch a few from the channel, too. His smile says it all!

One of those waves from the previous photo's session!!

The Teahupoo contest is one of those events where, when the swell is right, the potential not only to get the score but the ride of your life is oh-so-real. I’m not saying this is the ride of Kelly’s life, but it sure celebrates his passion for not only making a great wave but his competitive side, too. Jersey or no jersey, the stoke is real.

Teahupoo is unique in the sense that it’s one of the only places I’ve been when it’s on, no matter the size of the swell, there is always one or two waves that come in throughout the day that are almost double the size of anything else. This was one of those waves that caught the lineup off guard and was too beautiful not to capture. Some waves are meant to ride, while others make us dream.

While Teahupoo is known predominately as a left, with enough West in the swell, a rare right will form. This is one of those rare rights that no one else saw in the lineup but Kelly. Double barrel to kick off onto almost dry reef.

This is another right, not Teahupoo this time, but a little further down the reef. While all eyes were on Teahupoo, Kelly, Shane, and I snuck around the corner and had a solo session this evening.

Wolfgang Bloch inspired framing by Tahiti’s natural beauty. Just before the storm came in, the sun popped out of the clouds for a quick couple of minutes. I sat on the dock of our friend's house while having an afternoon coffee, watching these waves peel down the reef we’d surfed a few days prior. As soon as the sun broke through, I ran inside, got my camera, and made this image. The ever-changing natural beauty of Tahiti leaves me in awe constantly. I probably shot way more photos than I should have, but with views like this, it’s hard not to!!

Kelly on his last wave of an 8-hour surf session. While Kelly is constantly evolving his approach to riding waves and the equipment he rides, I am doing the same with the way we create and capture images. It was dark, real dark, but I slowed the shutter way down to let in as much light as I could while still being able to freeze Kelly in action. Kelly dancing on the foamball on his way to the boat.

Dinner time. After surfing until the last moments of light, we raced in, anchored the ski, and walked back to our house. Thank you, Kelly, thank you, Tahiti, and thank you, Outerknown, for sharing all your beauty and energy with us!

Shop the trunks Kelly wore in Tahiti

Posted Jun 13, 2024