20 Photos: Baby Cobra, Mike Killion

posted by / Photos / February 25, 2013

Photos and captions: Mike Killion

Mike Killion is a young photographer from Illinois who usually shoots surfing in the Great Lakes. Imagine that. But a few months ago he won SURFING Magazine’s Baby Cobra photo contest and we sent his ass to Hawaii to take pictures of some real, honest-to-goodness, salty waves. You can find his imagery in the April issue of SURFING Magazine and right here on this photo gallery. Kid did alright, didn’t he?

Baby Cobras & Carlos Motherf-king Santana scope the last moments of light at the Banzai Pipeline.

Baby Cobras & Carlos Motherf-king Santana scope the last moments of light at the Banzai Pipeline.

Tilt shift on the 2nd day of the Pipline Masters. To me, this was the best set of the day. Flynn Novak.

Tilt shift on the 2nd day of the Pipline Masters. To me, this was the best set of the day. Flynn Novak.

As my friend Kenny said on my first day here, "You'll break your neck around here brah."

As my friend Kenny told me on my first day here, "You'll break your neck around here brah."

The male and female pro surfers with the most instagram followers. Kelly and Alana at Haleiwa.

The male and female pro surfers with the most instagram followers. Kelly and Alana at Haleiwa.

A starry night out front of the Baby Cobras house near V-Land.

A starry night out front of the Baby Cobras house near V-Land.

Off The Wall was going off. I feel like I shot here the most during my trip. Kolohe Andino.

Off The Wall was going off. I feel like I shot here the most during my trip. Kolohe Andino.

The waves were pretty junky this day at Halewia. Shane Dorian reflects on his session at the end of the day.

The waves were pretty junky this day at Halewia. Shane Dorian reflects on his session at the end of the day.

Parko, parking himself right in a Backdoor tube.

Parko, parking himself right in a Backdoor tube.

I wanted to find a different way to shoot the contest scene. I felt like it was a better idea to go beyond what was happening (Adam Melling winning Sunset) and show how crazy people are for photos on the North Shore. So many people pushing and shoving to all get the same image.

I wanted to find a different way to shoot the contest scene. I felt like it was a better idea to go beyond what was happening (Adam Melling winning Sunset) and show how crazy people are for photos on the North Shore. So many people pushing and shoving to all get the same image.

This is from my first day. A perfect right came in at OTW, John John caught it, snuck into two little tubes and hucked this alley-oop. He didn't quite pull it, landing just a tad bit out the back, but this definitely set my expectations high for the rest of the trip. I wasn't let down.

This is from my first day. A perfect right came in at OTW, John John caught it, snuck into two little tubes and hucked this alley-oop. He didn't quite pull it, landing just a tad bit out the back, but this definitely set my expectations high for the rest of the trip. I wasn't let down.

Kelly being Kelly. Shot out of a massive pit at Pipe during a free surf after the first day of the Pipe Masters.

Kelly being Kelly. Shot out of a massive pit at Pipe during a free surf after the first day of the Pipe Masters.

This is the dojo that was under the Surfing Mag house. I shot it on cheap 35mm film as my last two shots on a double exposure by accident. At the end of my stay, I was leaving the house while practice was going on in the dojo. As I turned the corner, Joel Tudor was teaching or practicing there. As I walked towards my car, he bowed towards me and returned to the class. It was a moment that I'll always remember for my first time to Hawaii.

This is the dojo that was under the Surfing Mag house. I shot it on cheap 35mm film as my last two shots on a double exposure by accident. At the end of my stay, I was leaving the house while practice was going on in the dojo. As I turned the corner, Joel Tudor was teaching or practicing there. As I walked towards my car, he bowed towards me and returned to the class. It was a moment that I'll always remember for my first time to Hawaii.

I call this commercial surf photography. I don't really like to shoot this too much but I enjoyed the lines, light and color this day.

I call this commercial surf photography. I don't really like to shoot this too much but I enjoyed the lines, light and color this day.

This is above the Nu'uanu Pali lookout on the Eastsisde. I took a day to do some hiking and escape from the crowd on the North Shore. I researched some trails to see the view from the Pali Puka, but I stumbled upon this trail first and decided to just go with it. I''m glad I did. This is looking south at Nu'uanu Valley.

This is above the Nu'uanu Pali lookout on the Eastsisde. I took a day to do some hiking and escape from the crowd on the North Shore. I researched some trails to see the view from the Pali Puka, but I stumbled upon this trail first and decided to just go with it. I''m glad I did. This is looking south at Nu'uanu Valley.

Mick Fanning and an umbrella.

Mick Fanning and an umbrella.

Florence brothers splitting the peak at Pipe.

Florence brothers splitting the peak at Pipe.

Shooting with the tilt shift lens was fun. I wanted to bring a different look and approach to surf photography on the North Shore while I was there. I was inspired from Tim McKenna's tilt shift photos of Teahupoo, and although people say the miniature look is kitschy sometimes, I thought it made a great addition to the way we see an area flooded with similar imagery every year. This is Kolohe right after the switch to Hurley.

Shooting with the tilt shift lens was fun. I wanted to bring a different look and approach to surf photography on the North Shore while I was there. I was inspired from Tim McKenna's tilt shift photos of Teahupoo, and although people say the miniature look is kitschy sometimes, I thought it made a great addition to the way we see an area flooded with similar imagery every year. This is Kolohe right after the switch to Hurley.

My friend Kenny brought this frame to take some photos through around the Pipe Masters. I used it here during some of the morning heats for something different from the pack of photographers. People were soon lining up to take pictures of themselves through it. We should've started charging at one point but didn't.

My friend Kenny brought this frame to take some photos through around the Pipe Masters. I used it here during some of the morning heats for something different from the pack of photographers. People were soon lining up to take pictures of themselves through it. We should've started charging at one point but didn't.

The evening free surfing crowd after the Pipe Masters. The stormy sky really lends to the vibe that the surfers are most likely feeling, trying to get just one wave before the sun sets. I love the calm chaos about this image.

The evening free surfing crowd after the Pipe Masters. The stormy sky really lends to the vibe that the surfers are most likely feeling, trying to get just one wave before the sun sets. I love the calm chaos about this image.

Bruno Santos standing tall with style. Effortless at the most dangerous wave in the world.

Bruno Santos standing tall with style. Effortless at the most dangerous wave in the world.


 

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8 Responses to “20 Photos: Baby Cobra, Mike Killion”

  1. Scotty B. says:

    Please fix the painful typo on the caption for slide 11: Joel “Turdor.” Really? Is anyone proofreading this stuff?

    Otherwise a fine gallery!

  2. Willcox says:

    Kelly being Kelly is an impressive shot.

  3. Reggie A. Fessinden says:

    great photos

  4. mcgaff says:

    parko’s wave is so pure

  5. chris says:

    killer shots!

  6. joe a acosta says:

    I think is the most powerful stuff I have seen in a long time fuck the typeo’s this is wild stuff!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

  7. ronny stienberg says:

    Last shot – Mick Fanning and umbrella, Mick fanning and Nola ` Julian Wilsons mum `

    Tip – Keep your horizons straight, otherwise a nice gallery of photos.

  8. boner fart says:

    His horizons are pretty spot on. besides the action shots of the aerials. But then again those have crooked horizons for sake of perception.

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