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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 […]
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.
Snapshots from Southern California's recent flood of swell
Without a drop of water falling from the sky, a long drought broke on January 9th, 2014. That was the day a storm-blocking high-pressure system cracked in the Pacific, and for almost three weeks straight, Southern California surfers drank from an overflowing cup. The following are a few excerpts from those days of bountiful swell […]
A herd mentality may be bad for surfing, but it's damn good for business
As I sat there watching it, I noticed something else. Just a short distance up the beach, less than a 100 yards north of the Lowers left was a newly-formed little right, which was surprisingly steep, consistent, and fun-looking. To my complete astonishment, however, the fifteen or so surfers populating the Lowers lineup were completely oblivious. Despite this ultra-fun, untouched wave in plain view, they seemed determined to stand their ground and guard some of the crappiest Lowers I have ever seen.