February 3rd, 2014 | By | 3,726 Comments

SWELL Snapshot: Peter Taras Surfing Magazine Photo Editor Shares Perspectives Behind SWELL Surfscapes

taras1 He’s featured photographer of SWELL’s Catalog, Surfing Magazine Photo Editor Peter Taras takes us behind the lens of his glossy surf spreads.

SWELL: Walk us through the Covershot did Creed stomp this tweaked out business:

Taras: No, not this one. He did on a couple others though. This place has crazy exposed rocks so it was sketchy on some landings. I think the next exact wave he did but I shot it at like 15th of a second and it didn’t look nearly as good. But this was the highest most stylish air of this Laguna session. This was also the first time he had ever surfed this wave so sometimes it takes a couple sessions to get comfortable at a place.

I still love this photo even though it’s not a “pull”. There’s something to be said with a photo that just has a good feel to it.


SWELL: Tell our aspiring photographers what kind of equipment you shot with for the session?

Taras: This was shot with a pretty standard set up. Canon mark III and a 60mm lens shot around sunset at IS0 400, 800th of a second, F 4. A lot of post done to this image too with massaging pixels and removing noise and chromatic aberrations.

SWELL: As a judge of Follow the Light Foundation, what are you looking for in up and coming photographers?

Taras: I’m looking for someone that is well rounded, groundbreaking, clever, and someone who is going against trend. I think whoever has the most solid photo theory mind is going to win. At the end it’s why you shot what you did and not how. And being able to explain that to yourself and comprehend that. It’s the hardest thing ever in photography.


Inside Surfing Magazine HQ, Taras’ Photo Lair

SWELL: You’ve gotten some insane perspectives lately. Climb much?

A little. But Im having trouble shooting action and landscape photos in general. At least around California and Hawaii. So Im looking for some elevation to help me shoot some specific waves. Always looking for an angle that I haven’t seen. It’s getting harder and harder.

SWELL: Hardest Photo Not to Publish?

Define publish? Cause everything is published these days. Maybe not in the print magazine, but on social media and our (Surfing Magazine  site everything is milked to the bone. There’s no such thing as an unpublished image anymore. But I get what you’re saying. A good solid turn is the hardest thing not to run somewhere because they are the hardest thing to get a photograph of. Especially now.

In the early 2000’s it was easy to get turns because it was all back footed tailblows so you throw very little water over your body. Now it’s front footed rail carves where guys really dig into the wave. There’s spray all over there body, torso, legs. For example Dane does the craziest turns. But they aren’t pretty photographically cause there can be spray covering him.


SWELL: Favorite Boat trip? Favorite Road Trip?

I have never done a proper boat trip really. Road trips are fun. Did one once with Warren Smith from San Diego to Outerbanks. That was wild. Warren made me drive in the middle of the night from Panama City to the Outerbanks by myself during a Cat 1 hurricane and I thought I was gunna die.

SWELL: 3 Things you pack on every trip?

My Brixton Bomber Jacket, Pair of Vans, Toothpaste

SWELL: First Camera?

Taras: Polaroid

SWELL: Most Exciting Surfer in San Clemente?

In the water, Kolohe. Out of the water, Ian Crane

SWELL: Post-Surf San Clemente Grinds:

Im a sucker for Pizza Port

SWELL: Last Live Show You Saw?

Last Saturday I went and saw La Luz at the Soda bar in San Diego. They’re great

SWELL: Next Big Trip?

Taras: I think me and Dion Agius are going to Utah. Can’t really tell you much more than that.


Enjoying Wine Fridays at Surfing Mag


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