Rob Gilley

SURFER Contributor

7.17.14

The Culture

Spacek’s Scrimshaw

How Peter Spacek is using surfboards to revive a lost art form

The mere mention of the word “scrimshaw” can raise hackles on the necks of some. It’s an art form stigmatized by the medium it was traditionally practiced on: whale bone and tusk ivory—two parcels of a modern no man’s land. But despite the art form's unsavory origins, anyone who has seen scrimshaw knows how masterful and nuanced these inked etchings—these incredibly detailed pieces of storytelling micro-sculpture—often were. And now the world—or the surf world at least—can rediscover scrimshaw through the impressive, guilt-free work of Peter Spacek.

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7.2.14

Photo Blog

In Focus

The Wedge, California

Even with super-telephoto lenses, foreground or background can really help a photograph. Like surfing, correct positioning is the key to success.

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6.30.14

Design Forum

Rise of the Stub

Rob Machado and the search for the world’s most versatile surfboard

Rob may have refined the stub, but the truth is that surfers have been experimenting with stub-like designs for decades. In fact, the history of the stub is rich.

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6.26.14

Photo Blog

In Focus

Lower Trestles

Non-center/rule of thirds framing is a skill that often separates a professional from an amateur photograph. This type of approach can add visual tension to a scene, and can contextualize things in a positive way.

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6.19.14

Photo Blog

In Focus

Central California

In general, the more perfect and groomed the waves are, the smaller the lens you can, and probably should, use. Also, the use of 100VS in this situation was intended to exploit the warm sunset tones present in the scene.

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6.10.14

Photo Blog

In Focus

Mike Losness in Oceanside, California

A professional photographer needs to be as ready as possible for unexpected, photogenic situations. Having an extra camera body with a different lens on it is a good means to this end. In this particular situation, a backed-off view of a smoke-filled horizon helped provide an interesting duality.

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5.18.14

Features

People Who Surf

Rob Gilley's tribute to former SURFER Editor Steve Hawk

First, Steve stepped into the literary bouncer role with remorseless panache. Like a mulleted Patrick Swayze, he starting kicking ass left and right. If your prose didn’t cut it, you weren’t getting in the magazine. For example, over the years he rebuffed some of my own submissions with terms like “juvenile” (right cross), “semi-scholastic” (Rocky Balboa body-blow), and my personal favorite, “hermaphroditic” (Bruce Lee neck-stomp).

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5.8.14

Photo Blog

In Focus

Red Tide in Carlsbad, California

It wasn’t until the late 2000s introduction of ultra-low light sensors that a phenomenon like Red Tide could properly be captured. Previous issues with reciprocity failure and long exposure motion faded away, and allowed for new possibilities.

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5.2.14

Photo Blog

In Focus

Mick Fanning at Off The Wall

Although this shot never ran, I consider it a successful motion differential blur. The shutter speed was just fast enough to ‘freeze’ Mick’s body, and just slow enough to reveal his incredible speed.

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4.24.14

Photo Blog

In Focus

Alex Gray and Chris Del Moro in Costa Rica

Down time on a surf trip can offer a good opportunity to shoot a portrait. In this case, we found a colorful background under "open" shade, and played up the contrast in personal styles. Despite their differences, Chris and Alex are lifelong friends.

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