An Ode to Analog Surf Images With John Hook

An Ode to Analog Surf Images With John Hook

When I resolved to consider taking pictures surf on film, the knowledge of obtaining the digital camera was virtually additional absurd than the act of bringing movie into the drinking water alone. 

Scouring the online, I arrived across 1 lone listing, titled inconspicuously, “Underwater movie digital camera, functions not examined.” The listing was complete of shots of a Nikonos V, complete with the dive gentle, further O rings, lubricant, even spare lenses — all just sitting there collecting dust. 

“Great!” I considered to myself as I drove to Malibu. “Some random dude has no notion how substantially this things is value. If only he liked browsing!” Turns out, he did. The individual selling the digicam was, in reality, a skilled surf photographer. He had taken pictures of William Finnegan. Appeared in Surfer’s Journal, even. 

But concerning stacks of ancient publications and signed skate motion picture posters, he informed me there was no income in surf pictures any more. Specially not if it is shot on movie. “Magazines all want electronic now,” he explained to me, operating the O-rings by his fingers, telling me to look at for fungus in the viewfinder. There was none. 

I acquired the digital camera. But I drove household with the tunes off, missing as to why a pro surf photographer would give such a novelty merchandise away for so little. Was there actually no life still left for analog surf pictures? 

I realized just one particular person who would, undoubtedly have responses. Recognised to numerous as a “funtographer,” the work of John Hook not long ago appeared on the go over of TSJ 30.6, and, in excess of the yrs, he has captured the likes of Nathan Florence, Noa Mizuno, Cliff Kapono, Devon Howard, and Shayden Pacarro. Oh yeah, and he did it all on film. 

An Ode to Analog Surf Photography With John Hook 

Peahi, as it was originally conceived. Image: John Hook

Hook has shot film for more than 20 a long time. “There was a minute there when I bought into surf images exactly where I just wished to do it, just to see if I could do it,” he stated. “I truly felt more comfortable taking pictures film in the drinking water mainly because I considered it gave off the perception that I was just performing it for enjoyable, and not there to attempt and steal surf photographers’ work. Now it essentially feels like a lot more and a lot more persons are capturing film in the surf again, and it is a pretty present society.”

He instructed me he felt blessed to have grown up “right prior to mobile phones.” He has fond memories of his youth, stating, “I cherished taking photographs of my buddies hanging out and just skateboarding in parking lots and things. If anybody preferred a memory of a little something we experienced to choose an actual photograph of it.” 

An Ode to Analog Surf Photography With John Hook 

Standard board shot on standard format. Photograph: John Hook

But the discovering curve operating with film was challenging. “I introduced my film camera everywhere I went and utilized it every single day, but it only had handbook photograph settings on it, so I experienced to study what the digital camera could do with trial and error,” he said. “Unfortunately, it almost certainly took lengthier than it would have with a electronic digital camera mainly because I would have to wait a few times just to see if my shots came out on film, and then regulate from there.” 

Getting the correct digicam configurations are very important in any circumstance, but discovering these configurations without a screen for reference, with fins and possibly gloves on, all when floating on the inside of waiting around for the up coming set wave? He notes one obstacle as getting particularly challenging. “Being extra confined to 36 shots a session instead of, like, hundreds, is challenging but I really feel it’s additional worthwhile when you get a superior a single.”

When questioned why he puts up with the extra stress, Hook insisted that, “it’s just a lot more enjoyable on film. The procedure of capturing movie forces me to shell out notice to every single one second of a wave, or normally staying aware of the condition in front of you. I experience I get to appreciate the waves additional when I’m basically observing them carefully.” 

An Ode to Analog Surf Photography With John Hook 

Whatsoever transpired to the ol’ double publicity? Image: John Hook

Elaborating on the euphoria that normally accompanies the improvement of a superior roll, Hook talked especially about his double exposure illustrations or photos. “It’s like giving myself a birthday present each individual time I try and shoot them,” he states. “Sometimes they appear out great, and sometimes they’re just socks from grandma. It is a good element of movie photography that you can still make photographs fairly than just capture them, so it can be a good way to get ‘artsy’ and produce a little something out of your brain.” 

Continue to, I needed to know what would transpire to the rest of these outdated cameras. Are they all doomed to accumulate dust in professional surf photographers’ residences? Hook reassured me that there’s still hope. 

“There will usually be a long term in surf pictures with movie, or just film images in general,” he states. “There are some remarkable movie (photos) out there that just appear brilliant when they are shot in the suitable circumstances. But I think in the future, it will be the amazing electronic cameras in our telephones that will choose more than the entire world. I believe it will be intriguing in the potential to see how ’surf photography’ will be consumed.” 

Him and me both equally. But if anyone picking up these outdated film cameras produces 50 percent the get the job done that John has, we have practically nothing to anxiety. 

Editor’s Notice: John Hook is based in Hawaii.