Behind the Cover With Tom Carey
Blinded By The Light
The cover of this year’s Photo Issue (Volume 4, Issue 4) features Jesse Evans surfing in a new light. Literally. The photo, shot by photographer Tom Carey while on a trip to Costa Rica, features an innovation in the world of surf photography-the use of a double flash. With the help of his flash-assistant Ryan Johnson, Tom is extending the boundaries (and hours) of his regular shooting schedule. TransWorld SURF recently caught up with Tom, and he filled us in on the details.
How did the idea of using the double flash come about?
Steve Sherman and Hosse Marc Hostetter came up with the idea. Sherm is the man. He’s a pretty creative guy and an insane photographer.
How long had you been working on the technique before the cover came out?
I’d been working on the idea for nearly nine months. It’s definitely the most frustrating and time-consuming thing I’ve done. I seriously almost ditched it at one point. But surf photography seems like it gets stagnant at times-I think TransWorld is going to change that.
What were some of the difficulties you experienced in using the flash?
I had crappy equipment at first, making it almost impossible to work with. Then I had to deal with slow waterhousing builders. I’ve drowned two housings within nine months. It’s been a long road.
Tell us about your assistant, a.k.a. the T.A.
Ryan Johnson, or the T.A. Tom’s Assistant, is the man. He never complains when I’m bossing him around at 4:30 a.m. He tears it up in the water and loves surfing with the pros on trips. He loves making fun of me, too.
Were you surprised when you saw the cover of the photo issue?
I had no idea I had the cover. I was talking to SK Steve Kennedy from Progression, and he says, “Congratulations.” I was clueless. It was one big conspiracy with you guys, but I was super stoked-especially with it the cover being in the photo issue. I was getting pretty frustrated, but after finding out, it took a huge load off my shoulders. I was pretty stoked for Jesse, but you can’t see his logos, so he missed out on a grip of dough.
Tell us a bit about that shot in particular.
We-Jesse Evans, Micah Byrne, Mike Losness, and the T.A.-had been waking up to crappy waves every morning at 4:30-just plugging away. A couple of sneaker sets came through, and everyone was in perfect position. The light looks crazy because none of the other shots had that line to it. I think people are going to lose it on the new stuff coming out.