(June 21, 2019) Photography is an interesting aspect of surfing.
Since its relative beginnings back in the days of Tom Blake and Doc Ball, many changes have come about. The most recent would have to be going from film to digital or analog to digital.
There’s a sort of magic in the digital world adding to the already magical world of photography.
The amount of shots that can be taken is increased to an almost unbelievable level.
The size and weight of the equipment is greatly reduced. Things are lighter, more compact.
This aspect will make a big difference, especially when having to hike to get to a surf spot or getting into the water for more intimate, specialized surf shots.
Recently I noticed a guy setting up a tri-pod and camera on the beach and taking pictures of surfers riding well-formed waves out in the water.
I heard the rapid clicking of the motor drive as he was taking multiple shoots of the action going on in the water.
I made comment to him that so many shots were being taken in such quick succession.
He replied that the camera he was using was rather slow.
“Yeah, this one only takes 11 shots per second. My other camera can take 17.”
Too bad I thought, only 11 shots per second. He went on and further explained that he was concentrating on one surfer in the water who wanted a portfolio of pictures of his surfing.
He might take a thousand shots and then go through an editing process on his computer and select the best ones for his subjects’ portfolio.
Pretty cool! I was quite impressed by all of this. So much so that I felt it quite worthy of an article.
Back in the hey-day of surf magazines, photographers were as celebrated as the best surfers of the day and the magazines were where any photographer would want his or her photos to be printed.
The printed surf magazine hasn’t totally gone away, although it has been greatly reduced.
SURFER magazine has gone from 12 issues a year to eight.
SURFING magazine is no more. Eastern Surf Magazine is no longer printed but is still on the internet.
The Surfers’ Journal is printed six times a year and was formally a quarterly publication.
All of these venues are a resource for surf photography as well as the written word.
The majority of surf shots have gone to the internet at various websites.
There’s no doubt that good photos can bring the magic of surfing to the forefront and capture an instant in time to be re-lived and enjoyed again and again.
Can’t you hear it? The young Hawaiian calling out in his best pidgin, “Hey mister, take picture of surfer boy on big wave!”
— Dave Dalkiewicz is the owner of Ocean Atlantic Surf Shop in Ocean City