Rob Gilley

SURFER Contributor

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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4.16.14

Photo Blog

In Focus

Bridge to a reef break in Taiwan.

Possibly the most useful—and under-rated—lens in photography is a low-distortion, super wide angle (not a fisheye!). If you want to capture foreground, reveal layers, add visual tension, and exploit depth, this is the type of lens to do it with.

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4.11.14

Photo Blog

In Focus

New south swell in Oceanside, California

Shot before sunrise, this “telescape” attempted to take advantage of the low light capabilities of the Mark II, the foreshortening effects of a super-telephoto, and the predawn colors.

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4.1.14

Photo Blog

In Focus

Jesse Hines in the Caribbean

Photographer: Rob Gilley Surfer: Jesse Hines Location: Caribbean Image Specs: Canon 5D Mark II, 70-200mm f 4.0 L, 1/1000th at f 7.1 Notes: “Possibly the most important skill in photography is the ability to choose the right lens for the situation. In this case, a 70-200mm seemed to work because it was tight enough to

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3.13.14

The Culture

Surf-Bathing Revisited

A salute to Mark Twain, one of the original “surf writers”

Like millions of Americans, I was forced to read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn in school, and though I grasped the moral gist and imaginative elements of the stories, I was left with a decidedly ho-hum feeling about the author. To me, the books were so steeped in antiquated, provincial language that I could never get too involved in the plot. I understood Twain, I just didn’t like Twain.

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