A surf photograph, above all, must explain the the humanity of the moment. Using a machine to capture a moment in the ocean reveals how rich reality is. We take surf shots to understand what our lives mean. A great surf shot is not made in the camera, but on either side of it. It’s one thing to take a picture of what a wave looks like, it’s another thing altogether to show what a wave is.

The raw materials of surf photography are light and time, life seeking light, life seeking time, one hundredth of a second at a time. A surf photographer is the instrument that teaches surfers how to see without a camera. Surf photography is life lit up. It has so little to do with a camera. The camera just sits there in the hands of a master. The surf photographs are there, you need only take them. A surf photo is the stillness of a chaos.

The real equipment surf photography takes is simply a pair of eyes. A surf shot is a breath held forever. Surf Photography is a disclosure of art. Dreaming, by both surfer and photographer, is what leads to great shots. Surf photos, just like the waves themselves, do not happen twice. Be there. Great surf photography is about a depth of feeling, not depth of field.

Surf photography is a love affair with life. What photograph is your favorite? That’s easy. The one you are going to take tomorrow.

Affirmations of a surf Photographer


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