Capturing the Lakes

Great Lakes photographer Brian Tanis on hunting freshwater waves

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| posted on July 25, 2013
  • Guest

    Dude you started surfing the lakes in 09 you bought your first real camera last year… a little truth helps people respect what you do …you dont have to lie to make friends or make others respect you…be real or all credibility dwindles Aloha

    • KM

      A little hostility?? Chill out. Those are amazing shots for the lake. It Never looks that good. Who the f cares what camera is being used.

      • Guest

        It Looks That Good More Times than you Can Shake a Stick at! you just gotta know where and when it will happen…just dont tell anyone!

    • bt

      I don’t know where you’re getting your facts? I discovered lake surfing about 6 years ago in the winter of 07 via youtube and ThirdCoast Surf Shop. I surfed the first time on the lakes the following summer. I have owned a Nikon N50 for several years amongst other cameras. I consider this a “real” camera. I hope you enjoy your time on the lakes 🙂

      • Guest

        sorry not me…i pulled my comment…someone else stirring the pot as well as 36 ups!…i dont really care to be in the Mags have not really tried prolly wont…came to the Lakes to escape this crap but humans are humans but BT when you post this:



        It was only a few years ago when I was ridiculed for
        making my own version of a gopro and posting a short video of me
        paddling out at alona bay.

        Now I’ve had my photos in SURFER MAGAZINE twice including a write up this time.

        WHAT’S UP NOW BIAAAAAATCHES … the-lakes/

        ” END QUOTE

        Fair Game…Dont try to play innocent
        The Surfing Infrastructure is Guarded and Promoted By Artists turned Business men…you can all suck eachother off …Mickey Dora Sang Loudly About the BOZO’s
        Keeping it Real since 81 Aloha T8R

        • Tyler Dirden

          I Think The photos Rawk!
          Great Story!
          way to Go Whoop!

      • Guest

        Brian Tanis I got my Facts from Befriending You Brian Tanis…Going on Roadtrips Together with You~ showing you secret Spots~ Hanging out with you and talking to your Drunken Soul till 5 am in the morning sometimes~ by hearing your stories around the campfire~by Being your best/ closest friend~ i only relayed what picture you painted for me what you have shown me…you asked me long ago to keep you honest…im just doing what you asked ~sorry if i didnt got the facts straight very hard to do when the stories change daily…

        Everyone Keep up the good work…

        But remember Certain secrets are not safe with me…
        most involve shady Business dealings or Dooshbaagery

        Long Live MICKEY DORA


  • Crackerman

    Stop blowin out the spots Jackie brown

  • Jim Dandy

    Where does the article contradict either of those facts Dirden? The shots look good and the guy is published on Surfer, unlike you

    • Guest

      Dont care to be famous…that is not the point…in my defense i walked out from a Rusty Sponsorship when i was 22 out of La Jolla Surf Systems Surfshop!
      the Rags dont need my pics or story…my friends do though! and my children will get a Legacy i Hope and others will be stoked…Aloha

      Ps as Another put it Above

      “Underground Community of Surfing Nutz” we are …and Proud of it

  • Reason

    hey “guest” if your just gonna hate one someones work then fuck the hell right off.

  • jnicholson

    It seems odd that you feature one guy, but ignore the one who took the photo (and hundreds more like it). Props go to Mike Killion, excellent photographer, surfer and all around human being, for his stoke and his photos.

  • guest

    haha, blowin out the spots, in the lakes, that’s funny

  • Burton

    Your awesome Tanis screw what people say and keep doing what your doing.Burton

  • Guest

    I surfed the Great Lakes before moving out to Socal. The waves are so much better here, but the vibe you get from other people in the water is totally different. The GL surfers are an underground community of surfing nuts. We would drive three hours to get to a spot and people would show up who just drove ten. Ten hours to sit there and think about how much fun you’re about to have gets you stoked like none other and sharing that stoke with a small group of like minded people is an incredible feeling.

  • MP

    Dirden did you like your own post 37 times?

    • Guest

      MP get Real…if you suppose that MP your as lost as any of the other Kooks i regretfully know…see ya in the Lineup Aloha

    • Guest


  • Ace

    Dirden, how many times did you up your own post

    • Guest


    • Guest


  • Jack Nordgren

    There are now 13 Surf Shops on the Great Lakes. All 5 of the Great Lakes have the potential to produce good surf. I’ve been surfing Lake Michigan since 1965 but I haven’t been surfing for a long time-it’s been 2 days now.

    • Guest

      tee hee… and today and tomorrow…shhhhhhhhhhhhhh 😉 aloha Jack

  • EC

    BT gets all the props. Dedicated. Puts in mad miles. BT isn’t trying to pose as some hotshot photographer….just spreading stoke!

  • Randee

    nice pic’s, but nothing about that looks fun…I hate the cold.

  • dude mcduderson

    If GL surfers had more frequent, high quality waves they might spend less time bitching on forums and comment feeds. STFU and surf.

  • Guest

    “and it’s been a frenzied adventure surfing and photographing ever since,” says Ann Arbor-based photographer Brian Tanis.”
    BRIAN TANIS HOW i met you… it was on TCSS Late 2010 and you tore me apart for calling your Gap Toothed smile supermodel on your failed Youtube VID post of you getting flogged and your crotch at Abay! you then called me at 1:00am to chew me out wasted drunk!
    First Trip meeting you somewhere North was aug/sept of 2011 First Surf Trip Together December 2011- Last Surf Trip With you was last summer(2012) just after you bought your Cannon 60D~ after i almost beat you for saying very inappropriate stuff about My Wife and Children and calling the Police on a Friend on false accusations…
    Brian Tanis in your current state your lucky if you get to the Surf 10 times a year… and your Statement which is Kind of True is really not… its word smithing salesman self promoting and I dont like it!
    this is Why…
    You Sit in Ann Arbor which is land locked 2 1/2 hrs inland (valley) and rarely come out to surf unless its a Party or you know you’ll get some good photos because its not too hard to predict surf when there is 14 ft of Swell sprayed all over the lakes…then when you do go, you play games and keep it all secretive(with people you call best friends)…as well as some of the Other Kooks (even though we are all supposedly swell friends on the surface)…thats not aloha, that is BS high school Games-Surf Industry Games! and has nothing to do with being friends spreading aloha or building Stoke!
    Your FB page is all self promotion as well as the many other Surfer FB Pages i have encountered littered with PICTURES and Videos of Self…its all business for the few salesmen Here on the Lakes chasing rental Bux!
    You have expressed many many times you want into the Surfing infrastructure… far as the Infrastructure Goes Here on the lakes, it Suffers from the Same Human-ness as the Overall Surf Industry and Lacks Aloha when people are competing for Scarce Resources there is lots of unfair favoritism and cronyism and other isms so people play dirty for the Attention Notoriety $$$ & Respect
    we (great Lakes) dont see team riders from out here or any really any sort of sponsorship besides self sponsorship… The Shop Owners keep most of any profits for themselves and rarely give back in a meaningful way (TCSS is a Brave Exception most of the Time) so the Lakes are a side show attraction to the main surf world for now~ Rife with Hungry Disillusioned wannabes… looking for a piece of the pie

    Be careful of your words Brian Tanis and Others, the World already looks at us as KOOKS here, no Need to Add Fuel the Fire.

    Better to Be Good Person First than be accepted as a Surfer at any
    cost…Watch the Facts if your going to speak for me and my friends
    Because your not the only ones Surfing Here…

    • bert

      “Better to Be Good Person First” I Jusssst love to capitalize Wordsssss for Emphasssisssss. I am ssssooo important.

  • AnOldFriend

    Tim and Brian grow the f up. When you two feed in to each others social website fights you make the Lakes look pathetic. Brian Congrats on spreading your stoke with the world to see. Tim just do what you do best, shred lake waves and quit the animosity. You guys look pathetic.

    • Guest

      I pulled my posts, he/someone else wont let it go!
      so im Unleashing the Hurt
      I apologize for making any Lake Surfers Look Stoopid besides myself and Brian…
      the stuff BRIAN said to:
      M. campbell
      Ryan….etc etc
      is all really Hurtful to ALL OF US!
      enough is enough for me
      Let the PPO Happen BT
      see ya at the Luau!
      (Very MAD)
      TD 🙁

  • Truther

    Best photogs on the Lakes: 1-Mike Killian 2-Jamie Yanak 3-Brian Tanis. Everyone else is mediocre at best.