I don’t surf and I don’t think I should. I’m not an adrenalin junkie and I swim but not well. In fact the power of the waves intimidates me so at some large level my love of surfing and surf photography will always come from an outsiders perspective. I might never know first hand the pleasure of catching the perfect wave but I think that is OK.
While I may always be an outsider that didn’t keep me from loving the movies, The Endless Summer and The Drifter. I find myself captivated by a surfer like Rob Machado and see him as someone who embodies the beauty that draws this outsider to surfing. I don’t know Rob but I think I should but I do know some surfers and have always been drawn to the transforming life and cultural mindset that comes on someone who surfs. The pursuit of a day in the water, the longing for a surf trip to some out of the way locale, the joy that comes from doing something that you love and the pleasure of following your dreams for something that brings no material benefit but is transforming and good for the soul that is something that I can relate to. That is something beautiful that needs to be seen and shared. When I look at the surfers I know who I respect and admire they are people on a spiritual and mystical journey. The pursuit of a day in the waves is the path that opens their soul and transforms them. They are spiritual in some sense. They find worship, they find consolation, they find balance and focus and they find beauty through surfing. Their lives are transformed and they find the path to live. They find their soul in the waves and in the life they commit themselves to.
This pursuit of the soul is something that I can relate to. Photography for me is a mystical spiritual journey as well. Photography has been a way of discovering who I am. It has been a way to see outside myself. In it I find beauty, peace, focus, and hope. It truly transformed the way that I see my world. So it seems like a natural fit for me to capture surf culture in a way that doesn’t glorify the rip and the slash. Surfing for me, isn’t about the 20,000 mile per hour adrenalin of airs and high flying tricks but about the contemplation, the journey, the beauty, the pleasure, and the transformation of the soul.
This series of photographs I am working on are about the path and the journey. They are about finding your soul through your passion. They are meant to be contemplative and spiritual. They should take you to a place where the journey is a source of hope and healing. They should take you to a place of rest and peace. They should transform you and shape a new way to live.
There are currently 12 images up on my Soul of Surfing page but expect the page to grow as I edit and post new pieces that reveal these ideas.
If you are interested in purchasing any of the pieces in this series, The Soul of Surfing, they are available as both digital downloads ($1.99 per image) or in printed and framed form individually or collectively in various sizes and options. My standard choice for printing and framing is an 11×14 photograph framed with museum matting and the cost $130 (other options are available but will change the price). If you would like to purchase more than one piece there is a 10% off each piece. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.