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By: Awayn Media

INTRODUCTIONS

If you haven't heard of Morgan Massen yet... then get on the google machine and search right away! This a 27 year old surf photographer and filmmaker from Santa Barbara, California is one of a kind.   Get to know him, his images, and what has made his work into such a success.

How did you originally got into action photograph specificity surf photography? Were you following any particular photographers at the time?

I grew up surfing, and when i was 13 an injury saw me out of the water for several months. i took the opportunity to use my friend's family camcorder to film my crew surfing an incredible run of winter swells, ultimately making a short film about our surf scene. As i went through the paces of high school, i continued to make short films in my free time, but upon turning 19, i decided to give photography a try and quickly fell in love. I spent the first year shooting in my free time, which was naturally spent surfing, so i captured what my friends and i did in and out of the water. I grew up looking up to filmmakers and artists, who really inspired me visually and laid the foundation for how i figured out cameras.

Do you prefer to shoot from land or in the water?

Water, always! It pains me to be on land when the waves are good... but when you're in the water, with your camera, it can often be more exciting and challenging than the act of surfing. 

 

 

What equipment do you use to captures your footage? What are some of the challenges of using them? 

For stills i use Nikon D5's and nikon prime lenses, and for video i use Red Weapon's and (again) Nikon prime lenses. I have SPL Waterhousings for both systems. The challenges are usually always the same: being discrete in foreign countries, and working with heavy cameras in situations where strong waves or weather are a serious factor.

When you’re presented with a less than ideal situation, how do you find your subjects and produce images you would be happy with?

 I find that poor conditions often make for better photos, because i turn my frustration into motivation to capture the most interesting moment on an otherwise dull day.

In your professional and artistic opinion, what makes a great adventure photo? Can you describe a shot of which you’re particularly proud?

There are a lot of cliche adventure photos circulating the internet right now, i see them almost every second i'm staring at a screen... but the ones that speak out to me and push me to explore more, usually excel at making me realize how vast the world is, and how little i've seen. I personally am most proud of my animal photography. while it comprises so little of my portfolio, i look back on it and relish on the different species i've encountered, and the places they call home... 

Travel is a large part of any successful surf photographers' life, what have been your fondest memories from your travels so far?

Swimming with whales in Tahiti, being chased by a Bull Shark in the Bahamas, nearly drowning in Australia, island hopping in Micronesia, eating age-old cheeses in France... every moment and every place we are fortunate enough to visit delivers amazing memories.

Closing Thoughts … What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to someone who’s looking to get into photography, or surf photography?

Shoot everything, everyday. there is beauty everywhere. The stormiest days often deliver the most breathtaking photos.

 

Professional Surf Photographer Morgan Maassen

Awayn


If you haven't heard of Morgan Massen yet... then get on the google machine and search right away! This a 27 year old surf photographer and filmmaker from Santa Barbara, California is one of a kind.   Get to know him, his images, and what has made his work into such a success.

How did you originally got into action photograph specificity surf photography? Were you following any particular photographers at the time?

I grew up surfing, and when i was 13 an injury saw me out of the water for several months. i took the opportunity to use my friend's family camcorder to film my crew surfing an incredible run of winter swells, ultimately making a short film about our surf scene. As i went through the paces of high school, i continued to make short films in my free time, but upon turning 19, i decided to give photography a try and quickly fell in love. I spent the first year shooting in my free time, which was naturally spent surfing, so i captured what my friends and i did in and out of the water. I grew up looking up to filmmakers and artists, who really inspired me visually and laid the foundation for how i figured out cameras.


Do you prefer to shoot from land or in the water?

 I find that poor conditions often make for better photos, because i turn my frustration into motivation to capture the most interesting moment on an otherwise dull day.


When you’re presented with a less than ideal situation, how do you find your subjects and produce images you would be happy with?

 I find that poor conditions often make for better photos, because i turn my frustration into motivation to capture the most interesting moment on an otherwise dull day.

In your professional and artistic opinion, what makes a great adventure photo? Can you describe a shot of which you’re particularly proud?

There are a lot of cliche adventure photos circulating the internet right now, i see them almost every second i'm staring at a screen... but the ones that speak out to me and push me to explore more, usually excel at making me realize how vast the world is, and how little i've seen. I personally am most proud of my animal photography. while it comprises so little of my portfolio, i look back on it and relish on the different species i've encountered, and the places they call home... 

Travel is a large part of any successful surf photographers' life, what have been your fondest memories from your travels so far?

Swimming with whales in Tahiti, being chased by a Bull Shark in the Bahamas, nearly drowning in Australia, island hopping in Micronesia, eating age-old cheeses in France... every moment and every place we are fortunate enough to visit delivers amazing memories.

Closing Thoughts … What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to someone who’s looking to get into photography, or surf photography?

Shoot everything, everyday. there is beauty everywhere. The stormiest days often deliver the most breathtaking photos.