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How I Got the Shot: Dane Gudauskas surfs Norway’s frozen waters

Photographer Chris Burkard reveals his formula for a location-based surf shot

This week’s “How I got the shot” takes us to Norway, where we learn about the hazards of surfing in freezing water.

Surfer Dane Gudauskas in Norway; photo courtesy of Chris Burkard

Surfer Dane Gudauskas in Norway; photo courtesy of Chris Burkard

Name: Chris Burkard
Age: 27
Hometown: Pismo Beach, California
Bio: Chris Burkard is a self-taught photographer and artist based in the Central Coast of California. His work is layered with surf, outdoor, lifestyle, and travel subjects. With the ocean as his main muse, Burkard consistently captures this subject in timeless and expansive photographic impressions, using the tool of surfing to approach the ocean’s intricate personality and extending out to include the human personalities that who meaning from this same source.

Currently, Burkard serves as senior staff photographer for Surfer magazine, is a project photographer for Patagonia, and contributes regularly to various international publications and several respected brands. Burkard has completed two book projects, one with friend and co-author Eric Soderquist titled “The California Surf Project,” and the other, “Plight of the Torpedo People,” accompanies Patagonia’s body surfing film “Come Hell or High Water.” In 2012, Burkard and his wife, Breanne, welcomed their first son, Jeremiah. They live in San Luis Obispo, not far from their hometown of Grover Beach.
Who: Dane Gudauskas
Where: Norway
Why: I always highlight a wave in context to its surroundings; pulled-back shots really give the viewer an idea of the region. In a place with a unique environment like Norway, I felt it was important to incorporate the land into the surfing image. As a photographer, whenever you travel to a place for the first time, there is an entirely different excitement and wonder that comes into play while shooting. Dane Gudauskas is the type of surfer who runs off this excitement, and who can withstand shiver-inducing water temperatures (in these frigid water temps your body starts to shut down, and any leak into your wetsuit burns). We walked through waist-deep snow to get to the ocean. During this particular surf session, Dane surfed until the sun went down. With the sun fading and the Arctic beginning to turn darker and colder, Dane found enough warmth to take flight, and I snapped this shot. It was a memorable moment that spoke to the environment and the extreme weather.
What the image was shot with: Sony Alpha SLT-A77v, 90mm, f8, shutter at 1/640, ISO 200
Magazine affiliation: Surfer magazine
Sponsors: Goal Zero, Gerber Gear, Clif Bar, Zeal Optics, Mizu, Fenix, Peak Design, Induro Gear, f-stop, and Mountainsmith
Photographer’s website: Burkardphoto.com
Instagram: @chrisburkard
Facebook: ChrisBurkardPhotography

For more “How got the shot”
How I got the shot: Mountain biker James Doerfling conquers 40 feet of air like it’s his job
How I got the shot: Skateboarder Walker Ryan takes flight
How I got the shot: Catching fire with surfer Bruce Irons

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