Surf, Photography and Good Times with Dylan Gordon
Dylan! How’s it going? What have you been up to?
Hey! Doing good, currently in Hana, Maui… staying at my buddy Hank Gaskell’s house. Today has been a good one. No waves but I’ve been at the skate park most of the day, then headed down to a cliff jump and then a BBQ. Hana-life isn’t so bad.
Have you had any waves lately?
Nope. Actually been getting pretty skunked since I came out to Maui. Caught a couple good days when I was out on Oahu last week which was great! But its all good… I’ve been pretty stoked on just cruising with the boys and finding some adventures away from the waves.
Let’s talk photography. Where do you do most of your work and what are the conditions generally like?
Photography talk. I love photography. Surf photography is a blast. What I love most about photography is the places it takes me, the people I meet and the things it allows me to be involved in and see.
Most of the work I have is from California where I was born and raised. I didn’t start shooting seriously until about three years ago when I decided to turn it from a passion to a career & went to college studying Visual Journalism. I moved to Ventura for college and that is where the majority of my work has come from. Conditions in Ventura are pretty hit or miss, but when it’s on, it’s all time. Even when the conditions are bad it’s good just cruising with friends and finding some good times elsewhere.
What’s your favourite piece of kit?
Probably my 50mm. Its only a 1.8 & its gone through a few rough times and surgeries to follow… but she’s a survivor. I love this lens because its so simple and gets away from the fancy crap you don’t always really need. It lets you focus on what and why you’re shooting.
If not the 50, it’d probably be my medium format film Mamiya. Medium format is so fun for portraits. I love film for the same reason as the 50… It makes you really think about what you’re shooting, take your time and wait for the moment.
…and your favourite photographers in the surfing world?
I have immense respect for surf photographers out there. I know how hard they hustle and how hard they’ve worked. I don’t want to list off all the legends I aspire to, but within the surfing world I think these two have inspired and helped me more than I can express…
At the end of 2012 I had the opportunity to intern under Chris Burkard which was a great experience. It was humbling to see how hard he has worked to get where he’s at and how hard grinds to achieve the next project.
Scott Soens is a huge inspiration to me. One of the most humble and nicest guys I know and produces some of the most epic work out there. I love that Soens is all about what you see is what you get. No bullshit. He’s all about his family and passions. Never losing sight of what he’s all about. That’s what its all about.
Besides surfing do you enjoy or work in any other forms of photography?
The reason I really got into photography in the first place was because I saw it as the perfect way to fuel all of my other passions. It started when I used to compete in downhill skateboarding and got more into shooting the contests and my travels as a way to document what I was doing. Now photography generally goes hand in hand with everything I do. I really just enjoy shooting what I’m doing myself. So generally I shoot a lot of surfing, skating, climbing and music. But I don’t like to limit myself in what I shoot, I’m stoked to shoot anything and everything.
Many people imagine being a surf photographer as a dream job. What are your favourite aspects and what are the challenges?
It is a dream job. It’s also a lot of work. But after a long day, it’s definitely worth it. You get to see some of the most incredible places in the world with good friends and experience them in more depth than traveling in almost any other way. It’s a guaranteed good time. Well maybe not guaranteed, but it’ll definitely be a good story for the books.
If you could conjure up a dream surf session who would be out there, what’s the location… and where would you be?
Dream session would be a bit more involved than simply the session alone. For me, its all about the journey. The juice is just the payoff, the squeeze just makes it sweeter. Some of my favorite times have been after some wild adventures to get there. If I could conjure up a trip, I think it would be chasing some unspoiled spot with the boys. Simply getting in way over our heads and following our feet.