Sequence Intro – 4.5

Sequence Intro

Sequences have changed the way people experience surf photography. Artistically speaking, a photograph is meant to capture the essence of a moment. Until the mid 70s, surf photography was judged solely by this philosophy-by the photo’s quality, color, and the artistic value the photographer wished to portray. However, very few matters in life are accurately represented by one moment, one action, or 1/750 of a second in time. Life is a series of events-a journey. The same can be said for surfing.Rob Machado once defined style not as how someone appears at the peak of action, but rather the way they travel from one point to another. The rise of the sequence in surf photography expanded the assessment of photos beyond mere originality and concept to include this all-important question: did he make it? With the invention of the camera motor-drive, many images labeled as “fly aways” or “bogs” are passed over for “the pulls” and “the makes.” The bottom line is that it’s rewarding to see how (and if) a trick was pulled. Steve Wilkins was one of the first surf photographers to experiment with sequence photography. He used his Hulcher camera-similar to a movie camera-to shoot skit-like scenes of surfing. Although the quality of the Hulcher’s images may not compare with sequences shot with today’s technology, it laid the groundwork for the future of surf photography.Now, a camera can shoot up to ten tack-sharp frames per second-a roll can be shot off in a matter of four seconds. So with that in mind, enjoy these sixteen seconds of surf photography.-Pete Taras