Dark Side of the Lens


“Life on the road was something I was raised to embrace
Me ma always encouraged us to open our eyes and hearts to the world
Make up our own minds for experience and be inspired
I see life in angles, in lines of perspective
The slight turn of the head, the blink of an eye.
Subtle glimpses of magic other folk might pass by
Cameras help me translate, interpret and understand what I see
It’s a simple act that keeps me grinning
I never set out to become anything in particular
Only to live creatively and push the scope of my experience for adventure for passion
They still all mean something to me same as most anyone with dreams
My heart bleeds Keltic blood and I’m magnetized to familiar frontiers
Raw brutal cold coastlines for the right wave riders to challenge
This is where my heart beats hardest
I try to pay tribute to that magic through photographs
Weathering the endless storms for rare glimpses of magic each winter is both a blessing and a curse I relish
I want to see wave riding documented the way I see it in my head and the way I feel it in the sea
It’s a strange set of skills to begin to acquire
It’s only achievable through time spent riding waves
All sorts of waves on all sorts of crafts is more time learning out in the water
Floating in the sea amongst lumps of shrub you’ll always learn something
It’s been a lifelong wise old classroom teacher of sorts and hopefully always will be
Buried beneath headlands shaken the coast
Mind blowing images of empty waves burn away at me
Solid ocean swells powering through deep cold water
Heavy waves, waves with weight
Coaxed from comfortable routing with nightly imagination
Convey some divine spark whisper possibilities
Conjure the situations I thrive amongst and love to document
You’ll take knocks in the process
Broken backs, drowning, near drowning, hypothermia, dislocations, fractures, frostbite…
Head wounds, stitches, concussions, broke my arm and that’s just the last couple of years
Still look forward to getting amongst it each winter though
Cold creeping into your core driving you mad day after day
Mumbling to yourself why you hold position and wait for the next set to come
The dark side of the lens
An art form unto itself and the past
Silent workhorses of the surfing world
There’s no sugary cliché
Most folk don’t even know who we are, what we do or how we do it let alone want to pay us for it
I never want to take this for granted so I try and make motivation simple, real and positive
If I only scrape a living, at least it’s a living where I’m scraping
If there’s no future in it, this is a present worth remembering
The fires of happiness and waves of gratitude
For everything that brought us to that point on Earth at that moment in time
To do something worth remembering with a photograph or a scar
I feel genuinely lucky to hand on heart say I love doing what I do
And though I may never be a rich man
If I live long enough I certainly have a tale or two for the nephews and I dig the thought of that…”


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