November 5th, 2013 § § permalink
I’m back in The Big Smoke. Strangest of feelings after being on the road for a while. The last three weeks have been amazing. Not only did I get to surf and take pictures, but I made new friends: something that seems harder and harder in London as the years go by.
I got back the first contact sheet today and it’s already looking good. 23 more to go, and loads more scanning work. But fuck it’s worth it.
I want to thank everyone who took part in the UK Pro Surf Tour for opening up and working with me to get some fantastic results. This is hopefully the beginning of a long lasting friendship.
And here my favourite shot from today’s developing.
October 29th, 2013 § § permalink
I awoke at first light on Sunday morning. It seemed like a normal day in Thurso. The clouds hung on the sky as the first light struggled to squeeze between them. But something was off. The air was still and the so familiar sound of waves breaking on the cliffs gone.
We’d been expecting a big swell all week and at the time it seemed like we’d be leaving Thurso without the thrill. Everyone gathered at Thurso East after breakfast but today the air was charged, and word spread that a big swell would arrive at midday.
An offshore wind cleared the clouds and began to whistle. The incoming tide covered the reefs and soon enough, out of nowhere in the still sea, the approaching lines grew and grew and grew till they could not hold any longer. Thurso East was pumping with it’s legendary right. A perfect balance between size and power that no one will forget.
UK Pro Surf Tour, Thurso East
Josh Braddock and The Old Man of Hoy in the background.
October 23rd, 2013 § § permalink
With no swell in Thurso we skipped town in search of waves. It didn’t take us long to find a break, we’re in Scotland after all. Here’s The Bubblehead Daily presenting The Grommets.
Surfers: Josh Braddock, Miles Hargreaves, Luke Dillon, Angus Scotney & Daniel Crockett.
October 19th, 2013 § § permalink
I began shooting today at the Saltburn Open. Taking aside some people and shooting portraits, as well as a little series of portrait’s I’ll be using in a montage. Always try new things.
The competition was good. Great level of surfing, and nice sets from time to time. But the highlight of the day was that I actually got to surf. Having worked from 8 to 3, I couldn’t keep watching those perfect waves without listening to voices in my head pleading for me to take a dip. So I put my camera aside, squeezed myself in a wetsuit, grabbed a board and enjoyed the hell out of it.
Here, a couple of shots I took late in the afternoon for the soul purpose of this blog.
October 18th, 2013 § § permalink
Finally after a long time I’m shooting again for my project about surfing in Britain. The title I once used is now under reconsideration, so for the moment I will refer to the project as nothing more than “the project”.
This time I’m on a mission to shoot for a magazine. I won’t say much about this at the moment, but you can expect to see it on the print and online editions some time in the next couple of months.
Today I arrived at Marske by the sea, a town situated between Middlesbrourgh’s industrial port and Saltburn by the sea, where the Saltburn Open surf competition will be happening this weekend.
I’ll be travelling for two weeks around England and Scotland with Ground Swell, a “non-profit surf foundation driven by young people to deliver surf related opportunities in training, travel and employment.” I know some of the guys from my visit to Thurso last year, but most faces will be new to me. I’m always happy to meet to people and make new bonds.
After settling in at The Ship Inn I went for my square mile recee to warm up my eyes, worried that having broken continuity with shooting things would start to look awful. I want to be ready to shoot tomorrow. It’s looking good.
Some of the recee photos.
January 22nd, 2013 § § permalink
Early morning at our living quarters.
Have you ever slept in a freezer? I have. Gordon and I travelled in his awesome little van all the way from London to Thurso, with the idea of comfortably sleeping in it. Indeed it was a practical multi funcional van full of luxuries such as an extendable roof that created a tent on the top of the van with enough space for one or two people to squeeze in together. High class living quarters. On the other hand, the lower deck, where I slept had none of that luxury or style. The horizontal seats were barely tolerable with a couple drinks on you. On the other hand, my deck had automatic curtains that lowered simultaneously (or separately) at the touch of a button. But the grass was greener on the other side.
On our first night, having tasted the delights of Scottish whiskey we parked the van by the sea. It was a chilly night, but the stars warmed the soul. With the roof up and ready, Gordon crawled into it and said goodbye for the day. I stayed on the lower deck in my sleeping bag which is made to withstand -10°c . It was a comfy night until I woke up at about 4am. The zipper on the bag broken and the temperature in the van was about 0°c. A “Class A” freezing unit. Gordon on the other hand did not have a sleeping bag but only a mid season down and the walls of his magic roof tent were made of fabric. The green grass soon dried out on both sides.
The tent was never used again, and several modifications were made to our living quarters after that.
January 15th, 2013 § § permalink
The competition in Thurso was located in a manure farm, the smell pierced to the point you could taste it. It was also cold, muddy, wet and windy, but there was a sad beauty to it all. I stood on a viewing tower over a cliff, probably dating back 500 years or so. Bellow me an old rusty ship that was stranded on the rock reef and 300 meters out to see, the competition was fiercely on. Occasionally the sun peeped through the clouds, shinning beams of light over the ocean, shining hope on the competitors at sea, but it left as fast as it came. A hail storm followed.
December 22nd, 2012 § § permalink
A wetsuit hanging is not a wetsuit drying.
I don’t want this to be the last post of the year, but Christmas season is imminent (and Christiania is close) and like all of you, I’ll be caught in the debauchery.
A wetsuit hanging is not a wetsuit drying. It’s more of a statement, kind of like hanging a pirate flag outside a Squat in London. In a town like Thurso, this doesn’t go unnoticed and would probably deserve a monograph, but it would probably be boring as fcuk. Skins devoid of body’s.