The naturally surreal aesthetic of Ireland’s Cliffs of Moher make the landscape seem like the backdrop of a Tolkien novel. The emerald colored water and the dramatic cliffs that jut 700 ft above the sea are a blatant reminder that, photogenically speaking, not all surf spots were created equal. With a near-perfect reef slab at the foot of the cliffs that’s capable of holding XL sizes, Aileens is a break that not only adds to the fantasy vibes of the locale, but makes it a sought after destination for photographers and big wave surfers alike.
In this episode of “Behind the Photo,” SURFER staff photographer Ryan “Chachi” Craig explains how he captured both the Cliffs of Moher and Aileens in all their glory in a single image. Streaking across the slab near the bottom righthand corner of the photo is an ant-sized Greg Long, dwarfed by the sheer height of the cliffs and the monster wave.