Ben Marr’s Epic Surf on the Ottawa
Capturing the size and power of one of the river's biggest waves
About the Photo
John Rathwell took the photo on May 16, 2013, one day before the Ottawa XL started. The athlete Ben Marr is surfing Ruins Wave, Ottawa River in Ottawa Ontario Canada.
Rathwell always shoots a few motion blurs of big wave surfing. He loves how the slow shutter gives the viewer a better sense of the size, speed and fluidity of the wave. It is always hit or miss and a bit of luck using this technique for a photo. The shutter speed of the shot was 1/13 of a second and was hand held at 90mm. Not a particularly easy task but if you keep your elbows in and fire off a few you can make it happen.
About the Photographer
John Rathwell first picked up a camera after suffering a shoulder injury while whitewater kayaking on the Slave River in Canada’s Northwest Territories. With the shoulder injury forcing him to slow his paddling for a while, Rathwell took on photography. Rathwell called the Ottawa River home, where a majority of the world’s top big-wave kayakers migrate every spring. He has now established himself in the world of action sports photography, with his images published internationally in magazines and ad campaigns for ski resorts, Red Bull and more.
Rathwell’s passion for outdoor adventure has only gotten stronger since picking up a camera. When not on assignment, Rathwell is out kayaking on the river, mountain biking in some remote destination or snowboarding anywhere he can find good snow. His passion for the outdoors can be seen in his images with his strong connections to the athletes he works with and willingness to go anywhere to get the shot. He is based out of Ottawa, Canada but when asked, John is more likely to call his car home.
More information and photos can be found on Rathwell’s website.