Capturing a beautifully composed image is never an easy feat. It takes a lot to get the framing just right in the best of times, but surf photographers do it in some of the toughest conditions possible. They don’t get much credit for what they do. As they brave the elements day in and day out in the same lineups as the world’s best surfers, they face razor sharp reefs, huge closeout super sets, and everything else that comes with the thrill of the massive hollow waves.
Surf photography is as much an art form as it is a very skillful craft Being able to capture the instant a surfer passes by a wave, or when they create a rooster tail of water with a huge snap turn takes precision that comes from years of dedication. But to also create a stunning, memorable, impactful image? Well,some things can’t be taught.
We put together a small list of some of our favorite surf photographers. Each one brings their own unique style to the scene, and an obvious love of the ocean that comes with it.
Todd travels the world taking amazing photos of surfing. His images capture a sense of wonder, that make you immediately want to jump through the magazine pages or posters and be immersed in the scene.
Chris likes to get off the beaten path, venturing to cold water places that create dramatic scenes where the landscape as impressive as the waves or the surfers riding them. Put all the elements together and you have a style that is unique and tells a story.
Zak is one of the top photographers at pipeline risking his life on inches-deep water to give you some of the best barrel shots around. As a photographer for Surfer magazine he gets around to quite a few other places too.
Joli has been in the game for a long time. This Aussie shot the iconic “reef draining” shot that made Tehuapoo famous. His library of photos is like going through a virtual surf museum: If they were one of the best surfers in the past 30 years, Joli’s shot ’em.
Jake comes from Hawaii, so his lifestyle is one of envy to many. When he’s not shooting the best surfers in the world he is spear fishing, relaxing, and generally enjoying the outdoor aloha vibe. He’s definitely doing life right and taking great photos along the way. Follow him for great inspiration to good living.
Clark is more famous for the actual waves themselves. Having taken countless poundings on shorebreaks for years, he has in amazing ability to capture unique waves both large and small, unveiling layers upon layers as well as amazing light patterns. His perfectly-timed captures give some of the best views from inside the tube.
Who would have thought that an Austrian would be one of the world’s best surf photographers? Brian is new to the upper echelons of surf photography but one look at his portfolio is all that’s needed to see that he has earned his rightful spot as a top photographer.