Editor's note: These are four images captured by WSL photographer Cait Miers. After two months on the road for a record four-event leg of the Championship Tour in Australia, there were hundreds of images that capture the heart and soul of professional surfing as well as the behind-the-scenes moments that are sometimes lost in the excitement of crowning event champions. Here Miers explains why these pictures stand out from the crowd.
I kinda laugh when I look at this shot, because it shows the reality of "trying to capture the perfect photo." I guess that's what we're all striving for right? Although it never ends up like that.
Italo Ferreira skulled his Red Bull getting chaired up the beach at Newcastle, and I somehow got stuck right next to him with a phone in my view. The "scrum" or "chair" as us photogs and videographers like to call it, is a brutal place to be really. Physical strength takes over technicality, and it's literally every man and woman for themselves.
The passion is raw, and it's pretty incredible to be amongst a moment so emotionally charged for about two minutes. I always go into these moments not expecting anything, because that's when you get disappointed. I just try my best, see what happens, and know that the moments that come out of it are the moments that were meant to be documented.
Over the last four events, one of my favorite things to capture has been the love on Tour. It's a pretty special bond, and I love seeing partners supporting the women and men on tour.
These guys are the back bone of many of the athletes, and it's always so heartwarming to capture moments like this that are just pure joy, stoke and happiness!
This moment in particular there was a big circle around Conner Coffin and Sierra was right behind me and I just made some room so she could be pulled in there. I would've been like half a meter from them here!
The only four heats I shot out on the ski at Rottnest (as our land angles were much more dynamic) and Sally Fitzgibbons does this!
I literally got out there and just got into the right spot when Sally pulled into this barrel. It all happened so quickly but it immediately put me in a good mood to shoot the rest of the quarters from that angle.
It's a super rare experience to be on the ski and the vibe from the water is a completely different one to the beach. Especially when you see the athletes pull into pits like this.
Looking back, this was a pretty unique and special moment, even if I didn't really realize it at the time.
If you've ever shot in the water before, you know that it's a difficult task. On this particular afternoon, the Commissioner had just called on the Women's Quarterfinals. It was Heat 3, the sun was setting, and I jumped in the water to shoot all four heats.
There was a heap of water moving, so I found I was constantly kicking, trying to get myself in the right spot, whilst also making sure I wasn't in the way (multitasking at it's finest).
Carissa Moore took off, and I was only able to get a pump shot of her as she moved along the wave, then the wave moved passed, and something inside just urged me to follow her with the camera. It was almost like you could tell she was about to do something big.
Out of nowhere she literally flew through the air, I reacted, barely knowing if it was in focus or in frame and then I just heard the crowd erupt! Checking back the frames, I could see a sequence of about two or three photos that looked okay, but looking through a tiny screen while you're still swimming with water droplets over the cover, you can never be sure! I got back to the beach after the final Quarterfinal and had a few people say on my walk up, "Did you get it? Did you get it?"
And it was only then that I realized, hey, this might be kind of a big deal. The elation I felt when I realized I'd captured it was pretty amazing. Thank you Carissa for progressing our sport. I feel blessed to be able to have been in the right spot at the right time to capture it.