Who Shot That: A Few of Zak Noyle's Best Shots

If tropical water, heavy waves and crazy unseen angles aren’t your thing, please move along.
By Chris Binns

He's the son of a famous photographer but Zak Noyle was never pressured into following in his father's F-stops. A state champion swimmer, it was Zak's love of the water that drew him to the ocean before his first few photographic forays in the salt met with the sort of approval that encouraged him to think about taking things a little more seriously.

Since then, the life aquatic has gone from strength to strength for Noyle. These days he is somewhere near the top of the notorious Pipeline pecking order, is widely regarded as one of the most talented young shooters in the game, and has earned a staff photographer role at Surfer Magazine, the largest and most prestigious print title in surfing.

Noyle isn't prepared to rest on his laurels though, and as technology evolves he wants to be at its forefront, citing the iPhone as a prime example. "My dad always taught me the best camera you can have is the camera you have with you," says Noyle. "The iPhone is an amazing piece of technology, and I have taken the challenge to hone my skills with it as it is something I'll always have with me. It hasn't been easy, but the results make it worth pursuing."

Some of those results include posting photos online directly from the channel at Pipeline, and pleasing his enormous and ever-expanding Instagram follower base with his incredible body of work.

Covers, contracts and more frequent flyer miles than you know what to do with are all part of the ride for Zak, but for now sit back and enjoy a tour of 15 of his finest frames, narrated by the man himself, and expect to see a lot more of the Noyle name in print down the line.

Pro tip: use your keyboard to jump between photos
Sandy Beach: Zak's playground
Zak Noyle Sandy Beach Empty
Sandy Beach: Zak's playground Sandy Beach is where I grew up and learned to shoot, the spot I would miss school to be at. This image was taken with an iPhone in a WaterShot housing. My dad always taught me the best camera you can have is the camera you have with you, and the iPhone is a tool and a challenge I'm keen to explore. © Zak Noyle
Stephen Koehne going large at Off The Wall
Stephen Koehne surfs Off The Wall in Hawaii in a photo by photographer by Zak Noyle.
Stephen Koehne going large at Off The Wall To me this is home, big Off The Wall, the wave next to Pipeline/ Backdoor. I love swimming out and seeing the largest tubes imaginable. This is where I try to get the most unique angles of the crazy wide barrels that come through. Stephen is not scared one little bit either, which sure helps... © Zak Noyle
Makua Rothman sliding under the curtain
Makua Rothman sliding under the curtain at Pipeline in a photo captured by Zak Noyle.
Makua Rothman sliding under the curtain I shot this using a fisheye lens, sitting way inside of the safe zone at Pipeline. I ended up getting this wave on the head, and pushed along the reef and in towards the shore, but it was definitely worth it for the image here, and the view I got moments before getting pounded. © Zak Noyle
Billy Kemper... somewhere in Hawaii
Billy Kemper rides a prefect break somewhere in Hawaii in a stunning photo by Surfer magazine staff photographer Zak Noyle
Billy Kemper... somewhere in Hawaii This photo was taken at very a special spot here at home in Hawaii. Late afternoon magic! I shot this from the shore as the line-up was shifting around so much that day, making it too difficult to swim and line the shot up. I think the land angle adds to the image though, it's a bit different. © Zak Noyle
Tyler Newton in the studio of choice
Tyler Newton rides Hawaii's Pipeline in a Zak Noyle photograph
Tyler Newton in the studio of choice Pipeline is my favourite place to shoot, and this image exemplifies why; the raw power and beauty that a wave can have. Tyler Newton is a humble guy from Kauai, he charges, and we've had a few great link ups over the years. (Last year Noyle and Newton won Surfing Magazine's Steep and Deep contest.) © Zak Noyle
Danny Fuller and friend
Danny Fuller rides a prefect barrel in Tahiti as a friend ducks the wave in the background in a Zak Noyle photo
Danny Fuller and friend This is Danny Fuller at Teahupo'o, Tahiti. I wanted to capture this split shot for for a long time, with a surfer in the barrel and a duck diver below the surface, showing the two worlds in play as a wave is ridden. I'm happy with how this came out, it's not that easy to achieve in large conditions! © Zak Noyle
Makua Rothman shows his true mettle
Makua Rothman drops in at the famous Jaws break in Hawaii in a photo by Zak Noyle
Makua Rothman shows his true mettle This is Makua Rothman on one of the biggest waves I have ever seen paddled into. I love to shoot Jaws from the water because it gives you a front row seat to the action, and you can hear from the surfers immediately after their ride. It's the best show on earth the way these guys push themselves. © Zak Noyle
Backstage with Shane Dorian
Shane Dorian drops in at Jaws in photo by Surfer magazine staff photographer Zak Noyle
Backstage with Shane Dorian This is Shane Dorian from a pretty different angle and time of the day to anything you usually see from Jaws. I shot this at sunset, from the left looking back towards the right, and it gives a really good perspective of the sheer volume of water moving as he drops into a giant wave. © Zak Noyle
Conner Coffin diving into the shallow end
Photographer Zak Noyle captures Conner Coffin riding the Teahupoo break
Conner Coffin diving into the shallow end Thanks to the split view you can see how shallow it gets at Teahupo'o, it almost looks as though this was shot in a pool. I like the viewer to be immersed in my images and instantly be transported to the moment the shot was taken. © Zak Noyle
Danny Fuller in heaven, Sean Moody in hell
Danny Fuller surfs in Puerto Escondido, Mexico, in a photo by Zak Noyle
Danny Fuller in heaven, Sean Moody in hell This is Puerto Escondido in Mexico. The sun is rising, the wave is flaring and Danny Fuller is about to get super drained as Sean Moody gets caught on the inside with nowhere to go. I love to capture all the different colours as the sun rises, and Puerto is perfect for that. © Zak Noyle
Pipeline: Theatre of dreams
A Zak Noyle photograph captures empty waves at Hawaii's Pipeline break
Pipeline: Theatre of dreams This is Pipeline throwing out. Strong trade winds create the most beautiful breaking waves at what I consider the best place on earth. I love to travel but being home on every Pipeline swell is a must, so I don't miss views like this. © Zak Noyle
Jesse Merle Jones and a glass case of emotion
Jesse Merle Jones surfs in Tahiti in this photograph by Zak Noyle
Jesse Merle Jones and a glass case of emotion The water in Tahiti is sometimes so clear that you don't even want to come up for air, you're mesmerised in your own world below the surface. © Zak Noyle
Kalani Chapman and a tropical pot of gold
Kalani Chapman Tahiti
Kalani Chapman and a tropical pot of gold I still remember this wave and afternoon as if it was yesterday, with just me and a few friends in the Teahupo'o line up. Rain formed on the horizon and as the sun burned through this gift appeared. Moving into position I was able to get this shot of my friend Kalani, one of my all time favourites. © Zak Noyle
Kelly Slater and Reef Mcintosh, 2009 Eddie Aikau
Kelly Slater Reef Mcintosh Waimea
Kelly Slater and Reef Mcintosh, 2009 Eddie Aikau Early in my career I was offered the chance to shoot the Eddie from the water. I quickly accepted, not really thinking what I was getting myself into. Swimming in those conditions was intense, but it was a session I'll never forget. It was such an honour to capture moments that will live on forever. © Zak Noyle
Jamie O'Brien in Tahitian perfection
Jamie O'Brien rides a perfect wave in Tahiti in a photo by Zak Noyle
Jamie O'Brien in Tahitian perfection This was a magical session. Only a few friends out and non-stop flawless waves. I really enjoy seeing an image several years later and instantly be back enjoying the waves and laughs with friends. Something I truly love about photography is how a single image can tell a full story. © Zak Noyle