SWELL stopped by Burkey’s Central Coast Studio to get some insight into his Arctic surf tales seen in the December Catalog. The inaugural Follow the Light grant winner has become a trailblazer for frosty surf expeditions, here’s how the 26 year old surf photo savant keeps crushing it.
SWELL: Explain what kind of trippy Northern Lights magic is going on the cover.
Burkard: This moment was unreal, it was as if the entire sky lit up for me and me alone. 2am… 5 hours before I left for home and the only clear night of the trip. It snowed all day and late in the evening it cleared and I knew this was my moment so I hike to the beach, 1 mile from my cabin, and shot these photos. It was one of the best experiences of my life, hands down. The sky was spiraling and channeling orange/ red blue and green… straight from the sea to the sky. (more…)
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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.”
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.
SWELL UNVEILS THE SUMMER 2012 CATALOG FEATURING PHOTGRAPHY FROM SURFING VISIONARY JEFF HORNBAKER –Forefather of modern surf photography contributes museum quality imagery and interpretations to SWELL’s latest publication.
San Clemente, CA – In an ongoing campaign to spotlight surfing’s best lensmen, SWELL partnered with Jeff Hornbaker, who focused this collaboration on the universal allure of the ocean. Jeff elaborates on each picture with the worldly accounts that inspired his subjects. He gives subscribers a departure from mainstream surfing with a more spiritual approach to destinations like Indonesia, and the west side of Oahu.
“With summer upon the Northern Hemisphere, the Northern Hemisphere, the ocean will team up with the sun and attract people from all walks of life to her shore. The movement of the waters will caress the ankles of the meek, the knees of the pensive, and the bodies of the bold.” Jeff Hornbaker describes the early summer sensation in the forward of the catalog.
Jeff traveled the globe for 30 years evolving his unique perspective that caught the eye of Larry Flame Moore at Surfing Magazine. There, Hornbaker became one of the world’s most talented surf photographers, and helped Surfing propel the young magazine into the forefront of surf media.
The throwback feel of the photography compliments the summer trends of the top brands in surf apparel. Michael Nutt explains his decision to work with Jeff. “I knew Jeff would give us a break from the exclusive nature of surfing. His photos celebrate the universal sense of fulfillment that anybody can receive from the ocean. His captions read like lyrics to a song”.
The current trends in surf apparel draws on classic color-ways and designs from the days when Hornbaker’s work regularly graced magazine covers, making this issue a must-have magazine for every surfer’s coffee table.
Free subscriptions to the SWELL catalog is available here.
See the digital issue version here.
The SWELL Spring 2012 catalog features tons of coastal eye-candy from our new favorite lensman Matt Kurvin. He recently won the People’s Choice Award for Larry “Flame” Moore’s Follow the Light Foundation, sponsored by SWELL.
Since winning the award, Kurvin has published surf photography in almost every major surf periodical including Surfline.com, Surfing Magazine, Surfers Journal and ESPN.
Kurvin’s career path started by moving to almost every major surf center in the USA. Originally from Sarasota, Fl he moved to California in 2001, lived in Encinitas for a few years and moved to Santa Cruz in 2003. That is where he and his wife now reside.
He is currently on the North Shore of Oahu for 2 months . The opportunity for getting great photographs there has paid off during the last couple major swells, and we expect to see much of his worked circulating magazines in the coming months. Next on his global journey is France in April, and mainland Mex in August. His main goal in life is to travel as much as possible.