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Forgiving Pipeline

 

Hawaiian photographer Amber Mozo lost her father, Jon Mozo, to Oahu’s infamous Banzai Pipeline in 2005. Thirteen years later, she faces the wave that took his life.

From RedBull.comAmber Mozo is a 22-year-old photographer born and raised on the North Shore of Oahu. As the daughter of legendary surf photographer Jon Mozo, a former fixture in the lineups along the famed North Shore, Amber was raised with a love for both the ocean and photography.

Jon risked life and limb daily in pursuit of photographic magic — images of electric blue waves exploding with herculean force onto shallow reefs, intrepid surfers standing strong at this nexus of natural chaos. As any dedicated water photographer can attest, chasing images that put viewers right in the belly of the beast of the North Shore’s most dangerous waves means putting yourself in some of the most risky positions imaginable, submitting to the power of the ocean.

On February 9, 2005, Jon suffered a head injury while photographing Backdoor — an injury that would claim his life. He was 33 years old. Amber was only 9. Soon after her father’s passing, Amber picked up a camera for the first time and her photographic journey began.

While photography has taken Amber all around the world, shooting some of the most beautiful known surf breaks, until this winter she hadn’t yet swam out into the lineup where her father lost his life. This winter, however, under the tutelage of fellow North Shore surf photographer, Zak Noyle, Amber swam into the Pipeline lineup for the very first time during the 2018 Volcom Pipe Pro.

While Noyle is among the best photographers shooting Pipe today, his connection to Amber runs deeper than their mutual love for both photography and the ocean. At the start of Noyle’s photographic career, he bought a secondhand water housing from Jon. Upon visiting his photo studio in Haleiwa, Noyle was gifted a crash-course in water photography as Jon explained the ins and outs of the housing.

Just as Jon passed his knowledge on to Noyle, so too is Noyle passing it on to Amber, a lesson from father to daughter with an unforeseen detour.

Hit play in the video player above to join Amber as she overcomes this monumental hurdle in her career as a photographer, and witness her personal growth as she learns to forgive and accept the wave that took so much from her family 13 years ago.

 

 

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