rob gilley

On The Way

| posted on July 18, 2011

Rob Gilley

Previously in denial about his photographic past, Rob Gilley now rummages through his trove of mediocrity.

I don’t know about you, but I love it when authority figures are wrong. When the real world takes their clichéd sayings, precepts, and warnings and reduces them to a pile of misguided bull dung. Like when I finally realized that my face wouldn’t stay that way if I rolled my eyes into the back of my head for too long—pure satisfaction.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen very often. The early bird usually does get the worm, people living in glass houses probably shouldn’t throw stones (duh), and you’re probably an idiot if you try to judge a book by its cover.

Same thing with, “the journey is the destination.” Sadly, the cliché is dead right: The more you travel, the more you discover it’s not about the end result. It’s about the process of getting there, and all the little quirky things and f–k-ups along the way.

So I put together a small gallery of images that illustrate the simple process of getting to—and leaving—the surf. Moments of anticipation and surfed-out bliss. Moments that seem transitional and unimportant at first, and then stick in your memory like guilded Post-its.

I couldn’t really think of a good name for the gallery, though. I was sure-as-shit not calling it, “The Journey is the Destination.” The best I could come up with before deadline was, “On the Way.”

The more I think about it, the more I hate that title too.

So as you gander at the photos below, realize that when I typed the title on this blog, I did so with my eyes firmly planted into the back of my head.

All photos by Rob Gilley

Sunrise colors can only be a peripheral joy when you have to make sure you don’t slip and die. Black’s Beach.

A tranquil end-of-the-day, end-of-the-road Tahitian ride home inappropriately captured by the use of a fisheye lens.

Two Maverick's chargers discover the adrenaline-depleted, thawing Zen of bicycles, dogs, sweatshirts, and a Half Moon Bay afternoon.

Brad Gerlach and Steve Barilotti have their own Titanic travel moment in New Zealand.

Even a photographer-forced hike up a hill can be worth it if you’re in a place like Northern Scotland. Joe Curren and Justin Poston.

Graphic deviation in Santa Barbara.

  • Jdiva

    uh yeah – the journey is very important but I like to think I’m going somewhere with my life – otherwise it’s just treading water and while that’s fun for awhile, I like to climb mountains.

  • eric

    Well said Rob. I think about in terms of my entire life how little time is actually spent in the water and how little time still is spent standing on the board and riding the wave. If I enjoy the journey, I find myself much happier and peaceful.

  • Zico

    awesome shots man

  • Antonio

    I am from Lanzarote island in the Canaries and long time ago I remember one session in Black´’s beach California amazing…one of this days that I’ll never forget in whole my life;))

  • Jan

    Nice shots!

  • Phil Gibbs

    Talk about the depth of film…that first shot is killer! How do we buy photos Rob?

  • mike o’neill

    so true Rob.
    great shots!

  • Steve

    1988. Lost our rental key somehow while surfing Tracks. Walked to Nanakuli power plant barefoot and begged to use the phone. Third degree burns on the bottom of my feet. Returned to find friend next to the car in the only shade available, resting his head on my new board. Board now has dozens of new pressure dings. Local guy in limo drives from Town to deliver spare key. “That will be $115 dollars brah.” Suddenly, everybody is broke. “For reals? Laters!” Suddenly, everybody is flush with cash. Oh yeah, I almost forgot- the waves were head high, hollow and offshore.

  • http://n/a zeno malan

    Time spent standing on your surfboard should be a measured requirement compared to your time spent traveling to said endeavor, and then time spent thinking about the entire process.
    Let the record show the results.

  • Jane

    “Moments that seem transitional and unimportant at first, and then stick in your memory like guilded Post-its.”

    Wonderful words and wonderful shots!