Behind The Photo: Bruce’s Barrel

posted by / Magazine / December 3, 2013

January IssueWe knew right away it was a cover. Most photos — no matter how perfect — are diligently criticized before they find themselves on Page 1. But this photo? No scrutiny necessary. Photographer Laurent Pujol has been working on this one-of-a -kind angle for quite some time and one day, in France, it paid off. Laurent pulled into a barrel behind Bruce Irons, snapped a few frames, got flogged and emerged with the cover of SURFING Magazine’s January 2014 Issue. Now, please, do allow him to spin his tale.

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  • Kaipo Gomes

    Huge props to Lauren with his approach. With so many digital dorks shooting photos now it is refreshing to see a unique approach. Stoked that he is a real surfer and not a sponger like so many current water photos. To stand out from the crowd you have to do something different and Lauren has nailed it. The other side of that coin are all the people trying to be the next Clark Little at Ke Iki.

  • James

    COOL!!

  • steve

    great shot Laurent!!!reminds me of Larry haynes at v land or backyards in the early 90s .mahalo

  • Kenny

    Amazing pictures. That Laurent guy has no shortage of sack, what a charger!

  • Scotty B.

    Amazing shot…I really like the way the water foils off the rail of Bruce’s surfboard. His board looks really buoyant and is tracking really well. It’s a fresh look that’s really gives the surfer’s perspective. Well done to Bruce and Laurent!

  • marcus

    i already commented on this before, but how does a closeout barrel get a cover? Im pretty sure skate mags dont run shots of dudes eating shit but hey…

    and i am pretty sure john john and his bro do this on the reg at pipe and make it…

  • what

    Kaipo, you’re saying guys like Trent Mitchell, Todd Glaser and Rod Owen – all originally bodyboarders, are less talented than Laurent because they don’t pull in behind a surfer and shoot photos? To me, great photography is based around photographic, not surfing skill. Not to take anything away from these photos of Laurent’s, they’re are amazing and i agree; well done for doing something different. BUT just about anyone with good swimming abilities and balls can swim through a wave and shoot a fisheye image – as GoPro has shown. I’ll still take a well composed, longlens from water Jon Frank image anyday.

  • carlos

    marcus, it´s a still image, not a video, if you only see the cover, and nothing else, you wouldnt know it´s a closeout… you know it because they let you see the rest of the sequence… and about the skate mag cover: have you ever heard about tony hawk having to pull the stalefish 540 before the mag that already had it in the cover hitted the news stands?

  • Kaipo Gomes

    To “what” I don’t know if you surf yourself but what Lauren is doing is hard as shit to pull off. To pull in behind someone and deal with everything to just get in the tube and draw a clean line then have a clear port and framed well is much more difficult than swimming with a fisheye. Fact, plain and simple. For that he deserves props. He has to be a good surfer to pull this off. As for spongers I ask what happened to their chosen sport? Dead. So with that they shoot Surfers. It was an easy transition for spongers to keep the fins on and grab a fisheye and start shooting photos of the surfers who heckled them as spongers. Is that ironic to you? Aichner was a Professional Sponger, Flindt a sponger, Glaser a sponger and who else? Many, many more. Jon Frank is a true talent beyond your average shooter today. He is an artist. Maybe one day we will see Mike Stewart shooting photos from the water or ……?

  • marcus

    carlos, that one shot is the only one in the sequence that doesnt look like a closeout, shoulda ran the laurent shot of justine dupont…

    or maybe team up with Alana, ya i think thats a winner

  • luis

    To Kaipo. Are you seriously going with the surf/sponge argument after seeing a photo like this? I don’t know if you have ever seen Who Is JOB movie, but if you have I’m sure you remember a footage of an empty barrel at chopes (filmed from inside the barrel) where Jamie goes around the camera and makes it, that footage is actually made by an aussie bodyboarder and is the exact same angle as this photo. Hard as shit right? specially if you consider that when bodyboarding you need to use your hands to control the board (imagine taking a photo at the same time).
    Regarding Mike Stewart shooting photos from the water, that started years ago with a camera strapped to his board. All the water footage from that terrible movie with the that hot chick when to surf pipe, ate shit and then surfed pipe again and won it (blue something), was made by Mike.
    the transition is easier because of the fins, I totally agree with that but what’s also important is the fact that bodyboarders are used to surfing close outs and thus used to eating shit all the time.
    But fuck this, its sick to see Bruce get a cover again.

  • Center Line

    Great cover shot.Great clip. Looks like the quality of the photo took precedence over how well you can see the stickers on his board.

  • ItsOnlyAParkinglotWang

    I used to see Laurent surf all the time at Sebastian inlet and he flat out ripped and held his own with First Peaks best if that helps add to the discussion. On ya Laurent, outstanding, groundbreaking image ….