The sea is both unpredictable and ever changing- and that's what makes it so magical. Surfers often describe this unique sport as an unrivalled experience and something that brings you closer to nature and the elements. The feeling of salt water on your skin, the nature of waves- it's a fickle environment to try and capture. And that's exactly why it creates such incredibly sensory images. Surf photography combines both the beauty of the ocean, and the skill and elegance of surfing. We spoke to three surf photographers who capture amazing moments on some of the UK's most beautiful beaches.
Carys Griffiths is based in South Wales and has been photographing the waves for the last 5 years.
Can you talk about your background and how you got into surf photography?
Coming from an artistic background, I was never going to be an academic or tied to a 9-5. My Dad is an Architect, my Mum is a Glass Artist and my brother is a Fine Artist so good design and colour were always large features in our household. I got into film photography in my teens, my Dad gave me an Olympus OM-2 and I fell in love with the process, particularly black and white photography. I did an AS level in photography in College and loved the developing process - I was a bit of a dark soul and felt that the darkroom suited my character at the time! I am, and was interested in so many things, I wasn't sure where I should concentrate my aspirations on, but I wanted to be an artist, a fashion designer and a photographer. After studying Theatre Design in Royal Welsh College in Cardiff, and doing a short course in pattern making in Central Saint Martins, my photography stayed a hobby for a while and I concentrated on clothing design, construction and the world of theatre, TV and film for a few years.
My partner bought me my first digital SLR in 2010 and although previously thinking that digital photography was sort of cheating, I fell in love with it quickly, and felt a new found love with photography! I first got into surf photography about 5 years ago and it's one genre that has stayed as a constant for more than 5 minutes. My mind flutters from interest to interest and I find it hard to concentrate on one thing and stick with it, which shows that I really do love photographing the water, surfers and the shapes and forms water makes. Growing up in Swansea, specifically near the beach, has had an impact on my love for the ocean and water in general. I'm a fire sign, so I think I gravitate toward the opposite and need that balance it creates in order for my mind to calm down. I'm now leaning back toward film, instant and digital photography and I think I love it now more than ever.