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Surf Photographers

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  • #16
    Re: Surf Photographers

    Originally posted by inSANe DIEGO View Post
    I guess Illenium's post just rubbed me the wrong way (nothing personal Ill, you may just be the "messenger". It's the concept the bugs me). Here's a less eloquent way of putting it as well. IF a pro is worried about one of us poaching maybe they should consider a desk job.
    Professionals have every right to be worried. A lot of amateurs and hobbyists are willing to give their images away for free or in exchange for a t shirt or 2. Unfortunately a t shirt won't pay the bills and put a roof over ones head. There's some amazingly talented surf photographers out there that are being put out of work because they aren't willing to compromise their business ethics and accept swag for pay.


    • #17
      Re: Surf Photographers

      Originally posted by illeniumsd View Post
      Say I set up a crew to surf a break like K38, La Bluf, Lobster Lounge Sloughs, etc.... I get all the legwork done, shots pre sold, logistics setup and some random drives by gets out of his car and starts shooting away and submits images to another mag on top of mine after I put some serious money and time into the shoot. With the development in digital technology and websites like flickr it's easier for the mags to get images for cheaper. In the surf photography world that's considered rude. However, if you are shooting a spot like Trestles or Wedge you can count on 50 of your closest photographer friends to be there shooting.
      I don't shoot surf much these days as the surf mags don't pay, so don't shoot the messenger. I was just trying to help educate. Pissing off a guy like Chang or Ghiglia can ruin ones day. Believe me. I know from past experience. I made the mistake of poaching Ian Rotgans and Nick Kovak one day at a little known break and happend to piss off one of the bigger names in the industry.
      That does make sense. But, the chance that someone randomly finds a little known break at exactly the same time a pro crew is surfing/shooting and then submits the photos to the same mag(s) seem very highly unlikely.

      Most likely, the random driveby photographer would have to have better than random info (know the secret spots, that a crew would be shooting and have mag connects) to be successful doing something like this. And, in that case, it IS poaching because of the fore-knowledge and ill-intent.

      From what I understood, the intent of this thread was for photographers to shoot random surfers to sell them that one shot or few shots that captured them pulling a sick move (right before they fall on their face) rather than the author of this thread selling the images to mags.
      Last edited by prgibbs; 01-24-2009, 08:51 PM.


      • #18
        Re: Surf Photographers

        All well put points guys and I can sympathize with both sides of the's a light hearted look at the issue....The pros usually have much better many of us own an 800mm f/5.6L that can compete with the big boys? Many of us own the piddlyass 70-200mm compared to the big gun, so why should a pro with better gear and more experience worry about some insignificant SDPF hack getting a better shot than him? I suppose we could get lucky and be able to grab a shot, using a shiny silver Rebel XT and a kit 18-55mm lens (not mentioning any names here), that turns out better than a pro with a 1Ds MK III sporting an 800mm f/5.6L lens....not likely.....of course unless the hack has taken one of our SDPF which case the pros with the big guns should have fear in their hearts...
        Today's a gift, that's why it's called the present.


        • #19
          Re: Surf Photographers

          I didn't think that this would be getting to the extreme. So if i'm someone's turf shootin the surf, gee ask for permission. I just thought this was random shot of locals doing what they do. That is totally pure BS. I shoot a lot of youth sporting events, do I worry about other togs coming to the fields. I don't sweat it, if they shoot better, more power to them, I have my steady teams so I must be doing something right.

          In conclusiong, if I walk across someone who set up a shooting event, all you have to do is say the magic words "please leave", event is planned and with FULL respect, I will walk.


          • #20
            Re: Surf Photographers

            Ill, I definitely get your point. Ty said what I meant in a nicer way. I just don't like elitist attitudes (again not you, but the general atmosphere surrounding "surf photography") and that's what it sounded like you were warning us about. Surf Nazis so to speak.

            I'm curious though. Seriously. If I were to piss off Chang with my D80 and cheesy 70-300 VR while he was out floating next to a rider (or on the shore with a mondo gun), what could he really do? Is he connected? Would he really have a legal leg to stand on? This brings to mind the subject of public contests. There are obviously pros there shooting riders. Would it still be considered rude to win the honor of a shot gracing the pages of Surfer? OR would that garner congratulations?

            Thank you for educating us. For what it's worth, I took your original post as concern for forum members, not territorial protection. It's just hard to convey a point of disgust toward a specific entity without voice inflection and other communication conventions to help.

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            • #21
              Re: Surf Photographers

              and for the record, my camera is an XS not an XT with the 18-55mm kit lens


              • #22
                Re: Surf Photographers

                That was a really interesting thread and brought up issues I hadn't thought of. Good reading!



                • #23
                  Re: Surf Photographers

                  If a pro is out there with his big guns and a crew setup I think most of us on the forum would respect the territorial rights of the shooter. Myself, I would probably sit back and watch how they work. I might even work up the cajones to go over and ask some questions when they were taking a break. I think it comes down to just some simple respect for one another, which with everyone I have met on this forum, isn't even an issue.


                  • #24
                    Re: Surf Photographers

                    Looks like nobody can shoot @ the next red bull races! Yikes..! Pros will get all crazy.


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                    • #25
                      Re: Surf Photographers

                      I know, I will need to go out and and purchase a disguise. I will then bring a man purse and cut a hole on the side to allow me to take shots . Wow, I didn't know shooting events would be so hard. Can't we all get along. Just having some fun in this forum.



                      • #26
                        Re: Surf Photographers

                        I dunno, sometimes the pros are just jerks. I was shooting surfers on the Oceanside pier in the morning about a year ago. I got up before dawn so I could be there when the light was good, and shot well past the golden hour. I had a 75-300 zoom lens, and got some pretty decent shots if I do say so myself.

                        As I was leaving, another photog with a MASSIVE lens (like 500L or something) was walking up the pier, and boy did he give me a good scowl. I got the impression he felt I was poaching. And yet, *I* was there first, and was leaving as he was arriving!

                        I agree it's kind of a jerk move to poach an obviously pre-setup shoot. I also agree that if it's a general public beach, no special circumstances, it's everyone for him/herself.

                        The irony of it all is I was never even considering submitting to a magazine.

                        All in all surf photography was fun for me. I look forward to doing it again. And if I happen to give a surfer copies of them surfing for free (or more likely for a model release), what's the big deal after all?


                        • #27
                          Re: Surf Photographers

                          I don't post here often, but I thought I'd just go off on a little rant for a second or two.

                          I run into this type of thing with concert photography.

                          My initial idea was to be hired by local bands. Not big money stuff (that's a commodity most local bands don't have a lot of), but a few bucks here and there. That was tough, simply because, almost without exception, they said they had friends who would shoot them for free.

                          All's good. If they want free shots, that's up to them. I know my photos are far better quality than what the drummer's drunk girlfriend is going to get with her Nikon Cool-Pix.

                          It used to piss me off, because I couldn't get past the feeling that I was losing out on making a buck. What I found, though, was that I was freed up to shoot other acts which actually pay a photographer to shoot. Not shooting a band for free one night, for instance, allowed me to take a job shooting The Temptations, for a whopping 11 minutes, for $600.00. I didn't make the mortgage payment with it, but it sure was nice.

                          With this whole surfing thing, if I want to go out and shoot, I'm going to go out and shoot. If someone wants to buy a shot I have of him surfing, I'm going to sell it. If there's another photographer, pro or not, who wants to sell his shots, let him take a better shot than me. That's what it comes down to. I wouldn't dream of working my way onto a closed set and shooting but, when it happens on a public beach, well, my taxes are as good as anyone's.

                          I don't flip out if I see another photographer shooting a show that I'm shooting. I don't flip out if he gives his photos away. If that works for him, great. I don't need to do that, so I don't.

                          If someone is going to set up a crew, that needs to be done with the absolute understanding that it's a public venue (Hell, it doesn't get more public than a beach), and expect and accept all that comes with that...
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                          • #28
                            Re: Surf Photographers

                            You are exactly correct, that is the way to go about it.

                            If I rolled up to a spot and saw even one photographer on the beach that appeared to be working, I would keep my distance and do my best to keep my lens strayed away from the peak he is shooting...

                            When I roll up on the pier(Oceanside) and there's a contest or the waves are just really good, there's always a few photographers, and usually one or two of them has a big gun on their camera... Which leads me to think that they are getting paid to shoot... Since I usually don't have anyone in particular that I'm shooting, I just find a wide open spot to shoot from that is away from the rest of them... But I'm never too worried about it. I know that I should give the same system of respect towards a group of photographers when I roll up as I give a group of surfers when I paddle out at a peak...
                            But at the same time, I guess I kinda walk on and around the pier with a little bit of a confident attitude, considering I am a third generation pier local, and have been surfing there for 13 years myself! Lol

                            I find the best way to get on the good side of the guys with the big guns is to ask them about their equipment... No matter if you know the lens or body down to the last screw... I mean come on, who spends 12000 on equipment and isn't proud of it? Haha

                            Anyways, to those whom it may concern, I am very available for surfing photography, and I respect everyone down at the beach who respects(or takes no notice of) me...

                            I have tons of surf photos @:
                            To view surfing shots with more ease, check out my Sets... My main photostream gets a little congested with bulk uploads...
                            While far from every one of them is killer work, it just kinda goes to show how much surfing photography I do...

                            I shoot with an Olympus, and I have a 300mm lens... Which gives me 120mm over any Canon or Nikon due to the 2x sensor crop...
                            I plan on getting an EWA bag-type housing for my camera sometime down the road, so I will also be out in the water shooting... Eventually...


                            That's when you look right back at them and snap, "What!?!"

                            Who could possibly use a 500mm lens from the pier? I mean for crying out loud, I'm basically taking portraits at 200mm from up there...
                            Last edited by BRB Photography; 02-07-2009, 11:16 PM.


                            • #29
                              Re: Surf Photographers

                              Just saw this and sent out an email. This sounds like a lot of fun.
                              Without others thinking you are good, it doesn't matter how good you think you are.