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EDWIN MORALES By Shannon Reporting
Iconic Mexican photographer Edwin Morales has made a career of shooting water and land photography at his home surf spot. It doesn’t hurt that Puerto Escondido holds some of the biggest and heaviest barrels on the Pacific Coast of Mainland Mex. Playa Zicatela is both feared and celebrated for its unforgiving beach break, which means that in order to snap a good water shot here, you have to earn it. Local knowledge of the various peaks and strategy when sucked out in a powerful rip current all come into play. For Morales, it’s just another days’ work in paradise. We caught up with the man himself for this Pau Hana feature, highlighting his successful photography career at one of the world’s most phenomenal waves, in addition to gathering tips
and tricks on the unwritten rules of surfing and shooting at the Mexican Pipeline. Current camera gear and housing: Edwin Morales: These days, I’m shooting with a Canon 5D MK4 and 7D MK2. For my 5D, I’m using a CMT housing and for my 7D I’m using a SPL. I love the full frame, but I also love the faster shooting of the 7D. How were you introduced to photography? Morales: I was first introduced to photography by my oldest brother, Abisai Morales. He was studying architecture and taking photography courses in university. He taught me the basics of photography, like aperture, shutter speed, etc. He even had his own dark room,
so I would help him develop and print his favorite images. That was when I fell in love with the magic of photography—a whole new world of fun. I started helping him with the new techniques he learned in school and was absorbing all that information. Every weekend, I would borrow my brother’s camera and go shooting with my friends at Punta Colorada. Without even knowing it, I became thrilled with the results and wanted to know more. I bought photography books and started learning more and more on my own. What draws you to Playa Zicatela every season? The main reason is the big waves: there's something about the energy that a big swell brings to town that we all love. The whole
town comes alive! When it’s big, you see a lot of people on the beach watching those huge waves who don't normally come on a regular basis. So, I would say that the big barrels are the most exciting for us to watch, and especially to document every single swell, every single ride, because it's part of the history of our sport. I feel blessed for having the chance to freeze moments in time of all those incredible rides. What role does tourism play in Mexico? Mexico needs tourism, as it’s one of the main sources of income for the country. We are rich in culture and have lots of biodiversity. It only makes sense to promote all these destinations and have people around the world visit and get to know more of Mexico.