Up at Night with Myles McGuinness

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Hey Myles, What’s been happening?

All good here. I just got back from a great trip to Mainland Mexico, where we scored some good waves, but missed the massive swell by a week.

Let’s talk about photography. What was the inspiration behind becoming a surf photographer?

With my images I look to combine a certain energy, a feeling, with unique light at an equally interesting moment in time. I am drawn to the textures and patterns of waves, a person’s face or a distant location. At the heart, . It keeps me up at night. I cannot turn it off in my head. I have learned the best way to express my passion for it is through photography. Its feeling and essence is what I try to embody and capture within my images. Subtle but bold. Simple yet deeply complex. Instantaneous but timeless.


Who are your favourite photographers in the surfing world and beyond?

Artistically the following artists have influenced me for various reasons. Mies Vander Rohe: less is more. Edward Hopper for his realism and simplicity. Edward Weston, Ansel Adams for their surreal landscapes. Art Brewer for his grit and portraits. As well as John S. Callahan for his untold discoveries. .

What’s your favourite piece of kit?

Currently I’m using a Nikon system (D800), with a full range of Nikkor lens plus a SPL water housing.

What are the challenges and what do you love about being a surf photographer?

Dealing with the natural environments is the toughest thing. Heat stroke and sunburn come to mind, as do drowning, urchins and sharp coral reefs. Sand and salt are no friend of camera equipment and lenses. I also try to block out the idea that there might be a shark trying to make a meal out of me.


A moment you’ll never forget?

Last month (design legend/guru) David Carson came by my studio. It was the night before my art opening at my gallery and I was in the process of hanging the show. What are you supposed to do? You invite him in for a beer of course. We ended up spending some time chatting about surfing, design, photography and sharing a couple beers. Pretty classic.

If you grew up far from the ocean and never heard of surfing what do you think you’d be doing now?

Skiing for sure. I grew up skiing on the East Coast before I ever knew how to surf. Inspired by a lifetime of traveling, I was raised on saltwater and snow. Growing up across the U.S. in such places as the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia, Ohio, North Carolina and along with the coastal beaches of Georgia, Texas, Florida and California. You could say I traveled a lot as a kid and developed a certain itch for exploration. Continuing the journey recent travels include Mexico, Barbados, Bali and Java.


Your mantra…

Always go the extra mile.

How can people buy your work and find out more about you?

General website: http://9mphoto.com

For purchasing prints: http://9mphoto.zenfolio.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/9mphoto

Instagram: @9mphoto

Thanks Myles, wishing you all the best!

Myles McGuinness on the other side of the lens