Pulled back view allows those lovely little things to emerge
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 10 January, 2016 - Paul Ferraris is stuck in time. He loves 1970s Jeff Divine rainbows, 35mm film and those crazy transition-era surfboards. The current vernacular for this in surfing is ‘timeless’. It sounds better than ‘retro-ted’ and generally goes well with surf photography as a whole.
Paul’s subjects fit nicely into this theme of timeless: Malibu, Baja, global culture, longboarding and of course waves.
Beyond this his work best captures the subtle things that surround surfing. A skyline, a pier or the moon often jostle with the act of surfing in his photos. It’s this stepped-back-from-the-action framing that makes his work captivating and unique. And, yes, timeless.
Harrison Roach, Pipeline © Paul Ferraris
Where are you from and what you shoot with?
I'm from San Francisco and I shoot with Canons and Contax cameras.
How did surf photography start for you?
I was injured. I tore my ACL snowboarding and I started snapping photos of surfing because I couldn't surf. I lucked into a couple really nice pictures and one made it into a two-page spread in the Surfers Journal.
Share with us something that most people don’t know about surf photography.
Most of your local surfing photos are taken during a few key swells every year because it is nearly impossible to take a great surfing picture in crappy waves, unless you're shooting Dane Reynolds or Kelly Slater.
Marc Andreini © Paul Ferraris
Tell us about that one time you almost died, on a surf trip or in the water - wherever.
It was around three in the morning and my friend Tony and I were driving through Central Baja. We came upon a Federali check point. One of the soldiers asked us if they could siphon a bit of gas for a fellow who needed to a gallon or so to make it into Guerrero Negro about 50 miles away. We said sure and pulled off the road and no less than 15 seconds later a truck going about a 100 miles per hour smashed into the car that was in front of us at the check point. Mayhem ensued and it was not pretty.
Name one photographic image you saw that changed the way you approach photography.
There are so many, but I've always been drawn to Jeff Devine's images from the ‘70s of Gerry Lopez. I love single fin lines.
You can follow Paul’s feed on Instagram at @old_n_indaway
Jesse Hinke © Paul Ferraris