After hours of frothing closed door deliberation, Aaron Chang, Jeff Hurley, Ross Garret and other industry captains narrowed down the list of grant applicants to 5. These finalists will soon become the newest faces in surf photography, and many consider the Follow The Light Foundation in Memory of Larry “Flame” Moore to be the catalyst for progressive perspectives in surf media. SWELL is proud to sponsor this grant honoring Flame’s legacy.
Spanning many different perspectives, the finalists’ work varies from the cover-worthy pipeline shots to arty underwater expression. This year’s installment of young visionaries include: Ryan Craig from Santa Cruz, Matt Kurvin from Felton, Sarah Lee from Holualoa, Shawn Parkin from Dana Point, and Mike Smolowe from San Clemente.
In a press release announcing this year’s finalists, SURFING Magazine editor (formerly held by Larry “Flame” Moore) describes the batch of submissions. “This is the best collection of photos I’ve seen all year, it’s so inspiring to see the act of waveriding through fresh eyes.”
Photos c/o Surfline
The winner of the $5,000 grant will be announced during the US Open of Surfing at the Shorebreak Hotel in Huntington Beach on Tuesday July 31st. The event is open to the public and free of charge. The reception begins at 7:00PM; The Shorebreak Hotel is located at 500 Pacific Coast Highway, Huntington Beach, CA 92648. “We’re very excited about the talent level of this year’s finalists,” said legendary photographer and Judge Aaron Chang. “And to celebrate their skills around this year’s US Open will make it even more special.”
FTLF sponsor Bob Hurley said,” Recognizing the world’s best up-and-coming surf photographers fits right in with the spirit of the US Open of Surfing. “It’s so fun to see such an amazing showcase of young talent in one place – very inspiring.”
The FTLF was founded after iconic photographer Larry “Flame” Moore’s passing to ensure that up-and-coming surf photographers continue to get the recognition and support they deserve. Flame — legendary Photo Editor of SURFING Magazine for more than three decades — made it a priority to teach and inspire anyone with a passion for photography. This grant helps keep that legacy alive.
Founding board member and Judge Sam Olson said,” Every year there is so much new talent submitted to FTLF. And each and every year I go away from the judging inspired to build on my own photography”.
Now in its seventh year, the FTLF awards ceremony is part of the world’s largest action sports festival. The US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach will reach all kinds of people, but there is no better place to showcase the best rising talent in the surf photography world. In years past, FTLF grant winners like Morgan Maassen, Chris Burkard, Matt Clark, Ray Collins, Duncan Macfarlane and Todd Glaser have continued to change the game in what is possible in surf imagery. This year, previous winners played a huge role in selecting the 2012 recipient.
Last year’s “People’s Choice Award” winner Matt Kurvin Talks about how it jump-started his career
“The follow the light foundation has continued to set a standard for up and coming surf photographers, each year that bar is raised and the photographers keep stepping up there game”, says former winner and SURER senior staff photographer Chris Burkard. This year, the submissions came from far and wide, and it seemed like each style of work was well represented, I know that I will be seeing so many of these names grace the credits of magazines for years to come. You can always tell the work is good when it inspires you to work harder. ”
SURFLINE Photo Editor, Jeremiah Klein added, “With all the talent this year we had to look at the slideshows a few times over to narrow it down to our top ten. The final five was even more difficult to choose but in the end we found a winner that is most deserving.”
Come July 31st, this new artist will get his or her due recognition. This year the evening will include the SWELL’s “People’s Choice” award, where fans will vote for the winner and a raffle with great prizes. All in all, it’s a great night, a great cause and a whole lot of fun.