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Photo Profile: Grant Taylor, a Canadian in the tropics

Waimea shorebreak © Grant Taylor



Photo Profiles

Grant's work started on land and moved to the surf

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 4 February, 2015 - A minimalistic style and strong sense of color run through Grant Taylor’s images. He originally started out in black and white photography utilizing a small darkroom before he moved on to alternate processes such as Polaroid manipulations and B/W infrared. His most famous images don’t bear his name as he’s done global stock photography work for more than two decades.

Currently Grant can be found on the North Shore, getting pounded in the Sandys Beach shorepound or tripping around elsewhere capturing surf images. 

Where are you from and what you shoot with?
I am originally from Canada growing up in Western Canada. I have lived in Los Angeles for a number of years and most recently moved to Honolulu, Hawaii. I typically shoot with Canon gear but have been trying out the newer Sony mirror-less cameras lately as well.  In the water I have been using a 5D Mark ii in a SPL water housing and more recently a 5D Mark iii in an Essex water housing.

That F-Yeah! moment at Backdoor © Grant Taylor


How did surf photography start for you?
I was interested in learning how to shoot wave images from the water and there were no courses. I then happened to find a surf photography course with Art Brewer and the New York School of Visual Arts that taught the water skills. The first course was in Puerto Rico and was a lot of fun and I learned much. Since then I have done a few more with them in Nicaragua and Bali.

Share with us something that most people don’t know about surf photography.
Photography from the water is extremely difficult. There are some many things that you have to be aware of to get a good image. From water drops on the port to not getting sucked over the falls trying to get that barrel shot. However it is the most fun shoot.

Hawaiian twighlight © Grant Taylor


Tell us about that one time you almost died, on a surf trip or in the water. 
No near-death encounters so far. However one time I was shooting shore break at Sandy Beach on Oahu and I was caught on the inside of a bigger set. The wave ripped my camera out of my hand and snapped its leash. Both my fins were also ripped off my feet and their leashes also snapped. After a couple of waves I was able to recover my housing and swim in fin-less and call it a day.

Name one photographic image you saw that changed the way you approach photography.
Not so much an image in particular but a style of imagery, I like the slow motion blurs of water. After the sun has set and everyone has left the beach is a great time to work on them. The light just after sunset works really well with this style.

Check Out More of Grant's Work Here

Bryan Dickerson

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