Smorgasboarder

Craig Levers - NZ surf photography and surf publishing legend

May 09, 2019 Season 1 Episode 22
Smorgasboarder
Craig Levers - NZ surf photography and surf publishing legend
Chapters
Smorgasboarder
Craig Levers - NZ surf photography and surf publishing legend
May 09, 2019 Season 1 Episode 22
Smorgasboarder
How the surf media landscape has irreversibly changed over the past decade... and sharks.
Show Notes Transcript

Internationally acclaimed and award-winning photographer and former editor of New Zealand Surfing Magazine, Craig Levers, gives us his perspective how the surf media landscape has irreversibly changed over the past decade. In turn we talk about Craig’s favourite Kiwi surf breaks, what freaks him out, the white shark named KZ7, his photography and his equipment along with his series of coffee table books, which are simply out of this world.

Links at https://smorgasboarder.com.au



Speaker 1:
0:00
I know your bed. Yeah, pretty good feeling. I'm pretty sift out actually. Uh, had a good east coast, well last week. Straight off the back of that. Um, but when flecked so there's been good offshores out here on the west coast. Yeah. So [inaudible] been real fun round or just on all the west coast of the North Island. Really?
Speaker 2:
0:25
Hello smaller supporters. And welcome to the smorgasbord. A podcast. Well, I may say that every week, but this next interview truly is a cracker internationally acclaimed and award winning photographer and former editor of New Zealand Surfing magazine. Craig leavers gives us his perspective on how the surf media landscape has irreversibly changed over the past decade. Craig also speaks candidly about how the arrival of smorgasbord or back in 2010 and our whole surfers free approach unnerved him somewhat. Our conversation or also covers Craig's favorite Kiwi surf breaks. What freaks him out, the white shark named Kay zed seven, his photography and his equipment along with these series of coffee table books, which are simply out of this world. A big thanks. Go out to podcast sponsors, shipshape self storage. And yet law at the northern end of the Gold Coast had shipped shape your phone, secure affordable storage in 20 foot shipping containers behind security fencing and cameras from only $200 per month being shipping containers.
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1:44
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Speaker 2:
2:53
I'll podcast today is also brought to you by Boq bedroom on the sunshine coast. The team, BOQ bedroom, just don't talk dollars. They talk since let's face it, running a business is hard enough without getting caught up in all the financial jargon. Equally buying a home can be made more stressful than it needs to be. What you really need in a bank is someone you can relate to, someone who's not caught up in themselves or on making you jump through hoops. Be Iq Bodrum a down to earth, easy to chat to. And that is why we at smorgasbord border bank with them. Well, let's now get into it. I hope you enjoy my chat with Craig lavers
Speaker 3:
3:49
media background. So I thought I'd start with, uh, do you think [inaudible] is Dave?
Speaker 1:
3:56
MMM. Yeah. Well on the, I guess the reason why you've got to ask that question is because it's definitely a, it's not a yes or no question. Um, I don't, I don't think they are dead. Um, but I think that the business there, um, what SIF magazines are doing is the paid ones is the sort of trying to fashion old formula. It just doesn't work anymore. And, um, there, there are examples of ones that have had moved with the times. Um, but the old business model doesn't, it doesn't really work. Um, but you know, you've got,
Speaker 3:
4:38
it's sort of how, I mean, I'm curious to get your perspective on the old business model well and who's doing it well as well. So,
Speaker 1:
4:47
yeah. Well, um, I think, I think surfing world actually Ashley are doing, did a pretty good job for a while of, of moving with the Times. Um, I also think that, um, mmm [inaudible] probably what horses and, and Sif as journal and have sort of come into their own, um, partly because what they're doing is that they're most firmly aiming at a demographic, an older demographic, um, who, who grew up with surf magazines, but then arguably would have gone, you know, um, the Sif SIF magazines no longer talk to me, um, because of your own bit grommets. Um, s so I think though, uh, uh, sort of ha
Speaker 3:
5:42
and yet there are certain dramas don't read.
Speaker 1:
5:48
It's not like, I mean all, I haven't worked for SIF magazine now for over 10 years and I'm quite often surfing word and going away on road trips with, um, got guys that weren't sniffing 10 years ago. And you've got no concept of how big surf magazines used to be. Um, because that's not how they consume their media. AndW , you know, we've never consumed immediate like that. Uh, and this is what I'm saying, there's that I guess as quantifying what I'm saying or encapsulating what I was trying to say is that a surf surf mags just haven't compensated or the other types of media or the way that, um, we all consume our media now and how, how were entertained, I mean, sift magazines or entertainment and how we're entertained and, and how we now get our entertainment via five aware, um, or, or whatever, um, social platforms and that sort of stuff. Uh, the, the alternate media hasn't, um, moved with the Times
Speaker 3:
7:00
who's doing it? Well, you know, you mentioned a few that are worldwide. Is there anyone in particular it is a standard in terms of what they do.
Speaker 1:
7:11
Let's be honest. I think they're all still waffling a little bit. I think they're all treading water. I think they've got a lot of them. They've kind of got the right idea where, uh, you, you need to move away from trying to forget about being instant and forget about being a reporting on surf contests or anything like that. You, you can't do that anymore. You know, like what, what a magazine can do is um, give you the in depth background and, and a really, really well researched story. Uh, Eh, which would cause good journalism and, and I think that, uh, but to nurture that good journalism is quite, quite as costly. Um, so that, that big, that becomes a problem is
Speaker 3:
8:02
you don't have your cover prices or you, you got to be behind a paywall old most to,
Speaker 1:
8:09
yeah. And to be honest, I actually think what you're doing when smallest border, I think it'd be very honest when it wins. What you want to fish saw small is border. It rattled me because I am not, you know, like all the work that we put on because coming from the old school I going, well, you know, I like, we're, we're doing all this work and, and it's worth something. Um, and here's something that's come along and they're saying, well, what, what we are doing, the old school way of thinking about it is the, um, what we're doing isn't, um, with the cover price. Uh, however that said, and the very same time that I could easily fall into that old school wealth thinking. Um, I was also producing a magazine, a Surf magazine called o nine magazine, which is area code for Oakland. And that was a Freebie that went into all the surf shops and the greater role in the area and it was performing super, super well. So I, I think, um, you know, I sort of, the old school have to get away from, from that Bose the traditional, um, why they better magazine or publication earns its money. Um, it's mostly dice.
Speaker 3:
9:29
I agree with your honesty. It's, um, like I agree with your sentiment. It's, I suppose where we came out of it was we came from mark and myself came from a pipe media background and I suppose good more or less saw the writing on the wall and hence when we form small groups for the, the reality for us was I vidya a pied magazine would be nice. But from an APP perspective we thought, well, the Internet has taught everyone one thing and that is if I can get it for free, why should I pay for it? So then it more or less forced us to say, okay, well how do we go about it? And then next panic, Austin postpones the evolution of the magazine and the transformation since then. But it was really saying, yeah, look, I agree with you that it wouldn't be good to have a uh, uh, Calvin price and that it's justified. But the, as you said, the world shifted and unfortunately it was, it's a matter of how do you evolve and enhance. That was part of our evolution was decided, well, we've actually got to ditch the cover price and work around correctly because I was, so
Speaker 1:
10:50
that was really good forward thinking and exactly for reasons that you've said. And that was when I was, uh, getting close to my time to leave the magazine. These were discussions we were having, whereas to say, Hey, the Internet's here, it's current that people, this is how people are consuming information and entertainment now, uh, and it's free. So why the hell are they going to buy us when they can consume that, um, in this more really available, um, format. And, and so I, I would say that what I mean, I mean, you guys have been around for so long now that it's kind of, you've, you've, you've proven it. Um, and, and also I think, well, which is another thing which I really like about smorgasbord or as, and especially the way you guys started, was very much started with brass roots. Um, it was very grassroots.
Speaker 1:
11:53
And so it felt, and I think that it's very easy with a national magazine or an international magazine to kind of lose sight of who your readers and, and you know, like, like the local heroes, I think don't get the coverage and, and SIF media of at bay that they should get. Hmm. Um, and also, and also coming from, um, a punk and a skateboard skateboarding background, um, fanzines were everything when I was growing up. You know, like, like I'm fanzines a fruit, so all, you know, you'd pay for the copywriter, you'd pay for photocopying and it'll be like 10 cents to get a fanzine or, or a dollar to get a fanzine. And you knew that all that was doing was paying for that photocopying. And, and there's been some great examples of international Amin, um, national overseas magazines like back in the eighties and nineties. It was a really good mag. And then, um, California called beach happy and a lot of those guys went on to be part of a trends will stable and all that sort of stuff. So, um, so surfing my suddenly has a history of brilliant three media.
Speaker 4:
13:13
So you just saw a little bit, you know, obviously born and bred Kiwi. So I grew up near or no, that's where you've ended up or
Speaker 1:
13:26
no, I agree. Group bought it. Yeah, absolutely. Uh, born and born and bred old cracker, which is derogatory 10 for an Oakland up and oh boy. I started sifting out at fie high when all is, um, 12 [inaudible] and pretty much that. And it was only 40 minutes from my home, but then since we'll often, and seats we'll Oakland is, it's in a harbor so there's no surf anywhere near the beaches that I was at. So I had to travel 40 minutes by car on a Gravel Road Out to pee her. Um, but pretty much from the age of 13, I was just like, it's like figure out how you're going to end up living out here. Um, and, and you know, just over 10 years after that decision, I kind of figured it out.
Speaker 4:
14:19
Yeah. Like surfing. So as a surfing side, always, always been a passion to do. Did you ever yourself complete or anything like that or?
Speaker 1:
14:30
Well, I did and to really, really badly. Um, I, oh, I do, I used to do okay. And, um, I like a board riders club contest and I won a couple of those. And um, you know, I sort of ended up relatively okay on the local board riders in the year writings and stuff, which is very nice. But, um, nationally, Nah, just, I mean I went in a couple of contests and got it, got embarrassed, you know, blasts and things like that. And because of that it was just like, Oh man, I don't want to do this. But it's not that I'm not competitive. It's, it's federal high losing journalism and journalism itself. How did, how did you get into that? Well, um, when all is, uh, when I was about 21, like, I'd done photography through school a little bit and, and mean after school I had, I didn't pursue that.
Speaker 1:
15:38
But then when I was about 22, 21, 22, I got offered a cheap SLR from, from an old boss I used to. We can sit and surf shops and my old, my old boss at the surf shop, uh, with selling their old camera and, and back in those days, this is like, uh, is this, this is like late eighties. Um, cameras were super expensive and, and like they had heaps of import tax on them and then that keep the price of, you know, ideas, sorry, an SLR camera with different lenses. They were super expensive and New Zealand. So getting that camera was such a big deal. As soon as I got it, it was just like, oh, this is uh, on, on really into this. And so because I knew the God, Mike Spence, who was the editor at the CF mag at the time when we were mates and, uh, we just knew each other socially and stuff, stuff like that.
Speaker 1:
16:39
He knew that I was taking photos and he was really super encouraging. Um, but interesting enough, when I got into photography, I very quickly realized, fair, why not quickly, but about a year into it, I realized that if you're taking photos of surfing, you're not surfing. And so, and I didn't want to do there, so I was going more down a commercial route with my photography. Um, and I was way, way, so that I, you know, basically I would be, but I analyze very much interested in commercial photography, not fashion photography, so like product photography and working in a studio. And I figured, I figured that if I could make money out of that, then I would be able to go surfing more. But well do it. What was that again? Mike offered me, Mike was leaving a magazine and he put my name forward to be interviewed with the publisher, um, because, you know, because I was taking photos and I had taken and had published a few, had, had published a few surf in photos and so he put my name forward and I turned down the interview and then torch to my dad just mentioned it to my dad.
Speaker 1:
18:07
Hey look, I just got asked to interview for the Surf Mag and he said, you get what the f are you doing? Ring the guy back.
Speaker 1:
18:19
So, um, that's sort of live a long story short. I ended up, um, becoming a surfer or a, or a professional surf photographer or paid set photographer, um, through, through kind of just knowing the right people and, and not, not necessarily really or actively not wanting to be a surf photographer. Um, but, but I think too, that there, because I was war going down the commercial and professional route of photography, it meant that I, that I did have a more professional grasp on, on how you should conduct yourself and how much photos are worth and, and, and what goes into them. So I think that they're having there and I knew how to work around, I was comfortable working in a studio and you how lights worked. Um, so I was able to sort of bring it, bring a little bit of their, um, uh, for one of the Beatles, but then it wasn't the same people or, uh, yeah, we'll bet. Back then it was a guy. It was, um, um, it was actually David Hall Publishing and David Hall, although he's not a surfer, um, he, he bought it off the founder, um, a guy called Doug Harris who is just such a character and in contact with now. Um, he, he or she lives up in Hawaii now and Doug, Doug, he did it for a couple of years and then built it up. I mean, he sold it to David Hall. I mean, David Hall, I owned it for about, I want to say probably 20 years. And then he sold it. He sold it.
Speaker 1:
20:06
I mean that guy went bankrupt and then another guy bought it basically in the bay and the, as a bailout for the guy who had bought it. And then now, just last year, another guys bought at Cory Scott's border, who is probably the right person to own it. Um, and Cory Scott as the editor, a senior photographer and publisher doing how many years ended up being, yeah, yeah. Well what I ended up being there 15 years. Um, Eh, Eh, it was all, I was absolutely just an amazing to be a part of it because, uh, I mean, so I was there for 15 years and very quickly became the senior photographer. Um, which is, which to be honest, I like, like you gotta remember magazines were in the mid nineties and early noughties so I was still pretty small. And so like you could sort of get away with like as soon as you possibly could, you'd go, right, I'm senior photographer now and you'd get it, put her on business card and, and for no other reason then you've got it on your business card.
Speaker 1:
21:22
You have a senior photographer. Um, ed. And that was, that's pretty much how I ended up dating senior photographer cause I just claimed it. Uh, and uh, stitch David who will up into putting it on some business cards for me. Um, but, uh, oh, you know, there were roles that I took on, you know, like I was absolutely photo editor and, and you know, I was managing all the gear and, and back then we used to balk roll film cause there's a lot cheaper than buying commercially rolled films. So I'd basically, being the senior photographer meant that I was the soccer that used to bulk roll with them.
Speaker 1:
22:05
Yeah. Yeah, it was really good. Um, we, uh, when, when I started at the Surf Megan 90 93, we had a goal of doing one overseas trip a year or you know, getting a journalist overseas once a year. And by the time I left the Sif Mag and 2008, I was doing two, two to three overseas trips a month, uh, and have a height of it probably in 2006 to 2005, 2006. Um, I was probably overseas for probably, oh, I worked it out. I'll back then it was something like, it was something like, um, fifth, 16 weeks of the year I was actually overseas.
Speaker 1:
23:05
Yeah, yeah. Like, like being a southern hemisphere based or, or vice magazine. Uh, we were, we weren't trying to be an international magazine. We were trying to be, we were most certainly knowing, you know, we weren't trying to compete with surfer or tracks or anything like that. We were, we knew that our niche was reporting on everything or, or reflecting the New Zealand conserve community. Um, so the travel was largely, um, along the well beaten path there, New Zealand surfers, goatee. So, uh, we, eh, but, but I also resources south Pacific as being, because we are a South Pacific nation. Um, I'm very much sore. Um, the South Pacific is, our background are background back yard. And so, um, I did a lot of travel through the South Pacific, um, and really, really concentrated on the South Pacific. So a lot of trips, a summer to Haiti, uh, Tanga, um, and Fiji and, and islands that I'm not going to mention.
Speaker 1:
24:13
Um, but also obviously a no, it was a huge part of it. Like, I'd spend every year, a minimum of, um, four to six weeks and, and, uh, and um, but often, you know, I go Doula, she was like a three week trip. I mean come back to production and then like, you know, a couple of weeks, months later, go back for another three weeks and you know, going to other islands and stuff like that. So, um, but we hardly did any, um, northern hemisphere trips, so it was very, very much, um, south Hemi and, and just just following, um, you know, the routes that most New Zealanders, you know, surfers go to, Huh. Yeah.
Speaker 5:
25:00
A lot of times. All very sexy, a fair bit of work thrown in there too, and pretty intense workouts and things like that or
Speaker 1:
25:10
oh, for sure. Like, like I think it's easy to, it, it sounds glamorous and, and, and of course, you know, like there is no way I was either not grateful for what I was able being able to do, but the fact is, you are not, you are, you are carrying 30 kgs of camera gear. You're, um, you are not taking a surfboard. Um, you're not there to go surfing your beer and you're not there to go surfing. So, and, and there's very much, um, pressure on you from your publisher, but also the surface that you're worth and the companies that they're representing to come back with the goods. So, um, and the first person on a surf trip that gets thrown under the bus sup is not fun photos or a story is this dog lover. So say, you know, and also, um, yeah,
Speaker 5:
26:15
Zealand festivals and then get carried away to get back on the rock
Speaker 1:
26:27
reason that I know this from experience. And, and definitely in the 90 of the nineties, uh, we absolutely, uh, Ma, me and my coworkers at the magazine absolutely rejoiced and, um, surf Gonzo, um, reported, um, and you know, like, you know, you can do that for a certain amount of years and it, and it's really good and I don't regret it. Uh, but episode type of, you know, you get to a stage where you go, oh, yeah, I actually probably should be getting up before 12 o'clock and be down. Oh, hey guy, you gotta, you gotta you gotta you gotta find the boring travelers to go over right
Speaker 4:
27:27
as the golden years, you know, like, is that just because it was obviously there was a real focus on, on sniff magazines and, uh, I suppose the, the, you know, financially, economically, it was probably a bit more robust than those times too.
Speaker 1:
27:47
Oh, it's ridiculous. I mean, it was, it was just absolutely ridiculous. We had you gone to a meeting to tell you, like, it's such a different way. It was such a different world. And, and a lot of the people listening to us, like I said, you know, they're, they might only be 10 years and just surfing, or 15 years into surfing, but in the 90s and the early to mid nineties and the 80s, but only source of Sif stock was [inaudible] matter. Um, be, it would be, yes, there'd be DVDs coming out sporadically and all story videos, and, um, and we'd all, and you'd remember it was a grommet you'd rent as soon as the latest, a rip curl, uh, search video came out and you'd just consume it. You know, you'd, you'd be watching it, watching it on slow Mo, you'd be playing with your mates should be playing stop, start, you know, like pausing it at the right, right.
Speaker 1:
28:47
Simile second and all that sort of stuff. But the background of your consumption of surf stoke was, was print media and that was worldwide. So Surf Mags, absolutely the dominant source of serpent attainment for, for decades. And, and that really had its, its pinnacle in the early two thousands, um, where we saw the surf industry become extremely buoyant. Um, we saw survey had a lot of money, uh, and they had to spend that money. So we have a, we're spinning it and they were kind of going, you know, I like, wow, we've got all this money to spend on marketing. Yeah. Let's see. Let's see. [inaudible] um, photographers and our team to, to Choco. Let [inaudible], you know, all expenses paid. Let's go to, you know, let's, let's rack up some rack up, some a mileage and, um, and it was awesome to be a part of it. Um, it was, it was, you know, yeah, it was, it was amazing. Um, but at the same time, you know, like, um, you can sort of, I don't think we fought the bubble was gonna burst, but there was definitely a, I mean even from the late nineties, it was very, very, we were having discussions in the publisher's office that, that the, uh, Internet is definitely gonna come in and I like web pages and stuff like that. I definitely going to affect us.
Speaker 3:
30:29
Part of the reason why, why are you going to the golden years were done and dusted. You saw the writing on the wall and your thought it's, it's time to change tact or
Speaker 1:
30:41
no, he's salt sort of. Um, I became very aware that, um, well, well first and foremost and, and you know, like I've got to be honest, um, that when the new publisher took over him and I were absolutely butting heads. I lasted for about a year with a new publisher and him and I were absolutely butting heads on the direction of the magazine and, and also on what our roles, um, within the new publishing structure should be. And, um, also at the same time, I was becoming very aware that I was a 45 year old or 40 year old guy hanging out with 20 year old surfers and, um, just, you know, so go army surf trips and I'd always end up being, you know, can't mother and, and you know, these guys and sort of default into a thing of, you know, uncle, uncle CP all sorted out and, and, and, you know, as you know, I just became really aware that there was a little bit of, uh, uh, Jenner and what they want us to talk about, you know, like, um, you know, it wasn't necessarily what I want us to talk about and they wanted to go, I'd be wanting to go out till three o'clock in the morning and I'd sort of been there and done that and I just became aware of that.
Speaker 1:
32:09
I was also not very connected with my own family and, and my, uh, my longterm friends. Uh, so combination of all of that sort of stuff and um, meet that when it wasn't working out with a new publisher, I sort of comfortably weed. Um, but that said, um, I was also at the same time, I was very, very excited about the challenges of moving the magazine and into the world we're in now. And, and moving to part of, uh, the formula is fair. The magazines are using now is, uh, we're very much what I was saying was the way the magazine should go, um, which has to be, you know, very, very well researched stories and yeah. More, more, more timely journalists, you know, and, and sort of look at surfing more holistically, um, as, as a wider community. MMM. And, um, that to, that publisher just freaked him out and he, um, didn't want to, you know, you wanted to sort of step to keeping the, um, you know, large companies happy. MMM. That whereas I was sort of going, hey, you know, like we've, we've got to make something that's, that's worthy of the [inaudible] rather than pandering to their immediate reaction right now.
Speaker 3:
33:49
Yeah. Similar, kind of take on things as cause we're always sitting at the time I was thinking and I look and it was no criticism of, of surf media at the time. I was just in the mind in probably catering to a different audience, more or less, probably selfishly write a magazine for ourselves with smoke as part of the, our price was, you know, look, we can't, we can't compete I suppose on, on the phone. I see. And I like it's, it's nice that it's in some ways some of them are pretty picture books were kind of give us some in depth stories, let, let us know a little bit about the people behind it and not just the usual suspects and in depth and then kind of talk to people and get their stories.
Speaker 1:
34:38
Oh absolutely. And then in the mid two thousands for whole fifth thing became extremely, I'm fat and bloated and it became disconnected to, to, to your average surface reality of what surfing as. Um, and the only reason that hat we did it was because we were able to do it I made were we were able to go on these, these amazing dream traps and, and all that stuff because the money was there, but the reality that's not your average sip as reality.
Speaker 3:
35:17
Hmm.
Speaker 1:
35:19
So, yeah.
Speaker 3:
35:21
Yeah. So fun. Our CPO media. And that was your foam that what, 2009, 2009 or,
Speaker 1:
35:32
well, yeah, like when I left the magazine in 2008, um, I sort of was very weird, but I had a, part of my, my exit was too, from the neck, from magazine world was fat. I had always retained copyright of all my images. Um, which harks back to that professionalism I was talking about, you know, when I first started the magazine. Um, and so that was very clear cup who I owned all of the images. Um, and so I kind of you that I'll want it to produce a, a hard cover book of, of my 20 years of taking photos. And I sort of felt like, because I had money then that if I didn't do it real fast, it would be consistently put on the back burner. Um, so as soon as I lift magazine, I just went straight on to producing the first hard cover book that I did.
Speaker 1:
36:46
And, um, and really the idea of that book was not necessarily to be a launching pad to, to start a publishing company, but more to just get this bloody book hour and mean, see what happens after that. And, uh, and as it turned out, it ended up selling. I, I got mentored by a guy called Craig potion, who's, um, who owns a very successful, um, publishing house here in New Zealand. And he's, um, a very, very well known photographer, lance landscape photographer, and also environmentalist and, and, and also, uh, an amazing surfer who, who was part of starting the Nelson Board riders club and the early Seventies. So he was, um, an amazing mentor at that time. Um, and yeah, so anyway, I, I put out the book and it sort of sort of did pretty well. I mean, it was just like by putting out a book, I'd built up a distribution network of shops and those shops, we're going, oh, well what are you going to do for your next book?
Speaker 1:
38:00
And I was like, oh, I was even going to do, and I have a book that, you know, you sort of put it in all that hard yards, that building after you've done a book, but as you know, as you know, building up your own distribution chain, he sort of, all of the sudden you had this sort of distribution chain, you go, well actually I've kind of tapped into this now. Um, meg, I couldn't do another book. And so I did a, did a beach book and New Zealand Beach Book and that went really well. And, um, then I been, I did a backup to that book. And so then all of a sudden I'm three bucks date. And then we did. Um, I mean it was sort of like a, I was kind of guy and those two blocks from me having a foray into sort of mainstream and sort of, um, walking kind of, um, not really PR, pasty much value on surfing. Um, but then it came to the stage where, because I was using my graphic or I am still using my graphic designer that I used to you work with at New Zealand Surfing magazine, both of us simultaneously came up with the idea of doing the south seas book,
Speaker 5:
39:14
which are absolute lies may arrive those board,
Speaker 1:
39:23
say spray like, you know, like it, it's been, um, it's been such a truck doing that, but, and men doing, doing like we've, we did a reprint, all that. I mean, now we've done a revised edition of it, but we'll, when we did that, but it was like, it was enough money in the coffers that we both were like going, let's just fucking make the book we want to make and don't, don't make it to the formulas that, uh, the publishing formulas that the magazine used to be made to. And let's just get the best photos off the best guys and, and just actively chased those photos and, and, and let's talk to the guys that's, that started surfing in New Zealand and get give out, but darn, and, and, and doesn't matter what the lit within reason, it doesn't matter what the printing costs is, let's make, let's re print or make for book that we want on our coffee table. And so that's why we did all the, you know, the cover d bossing and the s the gold foiling and you know, if a different type of meat, um, paper stock and there and, and, um,
Speaker 5:
40:37
expensive process foiling and bossy. Again, it's just a class. And like I said, it's, it's not paying you lip service. That's just the first time I saw that. That to me is, again, I'm not saying to be polite. It is the epitome of one eye. Just consider the best. You know, I love it. It's, I think it's because a, I suppose to me a lot of the surf media and probably through necessity was always five cussing honesty for on a wife. And, and I would look at it and guide, you have to look, that's a, that's amazing. But I want to get a sense of where they are because it was always that surfer on that way. If it could be, it could have been a barely, it could have been, you know, I pay how I could have been any way if you kind of, because you apply style, it shied the CFO.
Speaker 5:
41:32
But what I loved about Synopsys and all that, it's because yeah, it went away from focusing on the stuff [inaudible] on the wive and started to in my mind and kept your lifeblood, the whole spirit of surfing. It wasn't the rider on the wide, but it was all said the, the surrounds, you know, the Environment, which then they surfing in all its splendor. And then as a reader it gave you some saints to experience what the sector was, experience it. It truly was special because it took in everything. That's what I loved about it. And that's what blew me away from the good go.
Speaker 1:
42:11
Yeah. Well thanks so much man. Pretty much what we are trying to achieve. And really we just wanted to sort of celebrate like, like celebrating New Zealand's surfing thing because You Zealand has got such a rich history of sere thing. I mean, and there's not a law to that book. There's been a capital of really good publications that have sort of touched on it, but there hasn't been sort of wanting the capsulation of like going, hey, here's, you know, here's what this is like. And, and, and this is our experience of surfing in New Zealand. And immense really, really what we are trying to do is trying to, trying to just really celebrate the uniqueness of, of New Zealand as a, as a place to serve. Hmm. And, um, so, you know, and you know, like, like it was kind of kind of all my, such a show off to, you know, we want to just show off that, um, there, I mean, I, I definitely came from a generation that didn't really think of ways in New Zealand. We're that good, um,
Speaker 5:
43:21
from the minute where you kind of went there and started surfing there. It's like, it's, it's just so many options and so many spots. So that's, uh,
Speaker 1:
43:32
yeah, well, I reckon Terry Fitzgerald some summed it up years ago pretty accurately. Um, when he did, he wrote a piece called post postcards from the edge, which was about New Zealand and he summed it up pretty well. And that youth thrive. I mean, we have got incredible waves here. There's no doubt about it, but that the differences that we're a law, unlike you guys with your lovely continental climate and every day's like, well, you just, well, W we, we're just the Jada bottom a roaring forties and so like, but we have a systems just go over us so fast that to be, to be the Johnny on the spot in the right place at the right time is so fucking hard. And, and, and here's where the Internet's really good. You know, like we can, we can, um, bag and science hill and it's ruined SIF print media and all that. But at the same time with, with the incentives and what we're able to do with swell, boys and, and s and marine forecasting and all that, all of a sudden in New Zealand we're able to go, oh, there's a swell coming up that's gonna hurt x the spot, Eh, on the next height, on high tide tomorrow. I know I have to be there at 10:00 AM 10:00 AM that morning. And we knew we were never able to do that before. So we're always just happy
Speaker 3:
45:01
another hundred.
Speaker 1:
45:04
Oh, I got an, I had read it. Um, yeah. You know, like for that, that was a huge change for us. Like, like instead of like looking at the newspaper, I said Isobar maps and kind of anecdotally through trial and error becoming our own good weaver mean, um, we, we all got good at, at, you know, sussing out boy weaver and all that sort of stuff. And it was a huge game changer for New Zealand. Um, and um, it, it means that we, we are all getting consistently bigger waves. More often. We, we know where to go. Um, we know when it's coming. So you can work here, shared you, I mean this week's a classic example, like I knew it was going to be offshore, um, at home. Yeah. So for all this week, so I've kind of worked or on my, um, uh, meetings and, and obligations around those high tides. No, and I don't want to go to put out to do that. Um, you know, even 10 years ago. Yeah.
Speaker 3:
46:19
Hmm. Zealand I'm probably obsessed with it. I just love the ice. But I was just curious to know what are some of your favorite spots? And I knew did do predominantly run a short board or was it a mixture or,
Speaker 1:
46:37
I predominantly, um, psalm 51, um, and I turn 32 next year and I only ride short boards. Um, I have, I've covered of, of weight. I used to be the contractor for the high on dialogue contract photographer for the Hyandai longboard tour. And I did that for six years. So on a massive fan of longboarding. Um, and I own a longboard but I just don't ride it. Um, I just, my, my weapon of choice is still short boards. Yeah.
Speaker 3:
47:23
Some of your favorite spots, North Ireland, South Ireland as a,
Speaker 1:
47:27
yeah, I think, I think you've got both of them. They're quite well that's then, Yup.
Speaker 5:
47:35
What's up bill and Nolan slots? Is there any anywhere in particular?
Speaker 1:
47:43
Aw, look home Himes definitely been the hardest. I mean, the short answer is I wouldn't, I wouldn't live at PRF. It wasn't my favorite place to serve. Um, I'd, I'd live in my favorite place, um, at that. [inaudible] is my favorite place, so that, that's, I think we get, um, we're lucky here. We might not get quality, but we get consistency here. Uh, and just about on any given day you can probably go out and do a turn. So that's, so, that's good. Um, but when it is good, it's that it can be absolutely. Wilcos. Um, but I think, um, you know, I like, I definitely have, um, uh, uh, very, I feel very much at home and the fan off. Um, and that's both coasts up there. I just, I just loved the adventure of being up there. Uh, and the fact that, um, sort of all met skinny top peninsula of new, of the North Island, like literally you can see one coast, there are spots where you can see both surf coast and, and it's just, yeah, it's amazing.
Speaker 1:
49:03
You know, like you go, oh, it's going to see breezy. Okay, I'll go half an hour down the road or 45 minutes down the road or oh it's, you know, Ma maybe there is a little bit of a bump on the east coast. You know, he came up for a west coast swell. You'd sit that west coast swelling and you go, Huh, yeah, maybe there's a bump on the east coast and you go over the east coast and it's like, oh it's four full suite. So that's a pretty unique to their thing. Uh, and you get to go four wheel driving and do all that stuff. So it's kind of a uh, a real unique experience. The Farnell. So it's sort of more the whole experience of it all. Um, I mean, I mean cause cause he and stuff like that are obviously, I think for me the weird thing is like, because so much of my professional life has been, I'm going away and doing surf trips and doing road trips around New Zealand.
Speaker 1:
49:56
Um, because that's something we didn't touch on when you're talking about the international travel. Uh, absolutely. Part of my job, um, was why did I saw my job at the Sif mag was to reflect the New Zealand surfing community and, and doing road trips in New Zealand as a huge bank. Um, more more so I believe. And it is in Australia. Um, so I like, as much as I was doing that international travel, I was on the road in New Zealand, um, a lot, you know, like that was my primary thing was, was being on the road in New Zealand. And so when I go say hi to present day, because of all of, of those memories of all those surf trips, um, I kind of getting a static wherever I go. And so going to [inaudible], it just brings back really good memories of, of good waves. And good, good images made good friends and I'm going Ragland is the same thing. It's more of a, um, a trip down memory lane and you know, just, just remembering all that sort of, you know, Tara now he's the same. It's, it's like, um, I think, I think my partner Ange gets over me talking about, oh, this one time and you know, like, oh, I see that. Yes. See that, see that are all over here man. We had a good presentation on their place
Speaker 4:
51:29
anywhere in particular, that just right time obviously in New Zealand that just scares the crap out of you or if you don't scare easily just gives you an unease. The feeling. Is there anywhere that you said that you think yeah, just, I can't, can't settle in this spot.
Speaker 1:
51:48
Um, yeah, to be honest, because I do, I mean it's still, it's still, one of my biggest passions is taking water pillows and I, and I love, I don't really like going out and small stuff. I prefer, it's not anything that looks good in photos. When it's like a thin lip, like I reckon the Beta photos, the way you can towers volume in the lip and then it's not to say I'm doing what I am definitely not doing what Russell Lord does. Where, where I'm talking about, you know, going swimming around in a slab. I, we, we, we, we certainly have, um, a fair amount of ice around New Zealand. Um, but what I mean is I like, I like, you know, like I think the photos that have the best sort of have volume in them, but uh, something around the South Island because it's so many of the surf breaks around seal colonies.
Speaker 1:
52:43
That really fucking shits me. I hate it. I just hate it. Cause even earlier on in my career, we went down to a place called White Rock, which is down in the wire wrapper and they used to be a dear, dear school cause heart, um, in front of this amazing right hand accord seconds. And so you'd fall your dry then and you'd stay in the deer stalkers heart and was, yeah, you'd wake up every morning and was, you know, six foot lines, right. Peeling down this right hand, rocky point and our second year. And we do an annual service truck year every year. The Sif meg, we'll do an annual surf trip year, a year and a, the second year we were there, I was outs Emma's bull kelp everywhere. So when you have an unworthy ruffles, there's little money or really bad bitch bull cow feed. I like hitting your flippers and you've got ah fuck, fuck, what was it?
Speaker 1:
53:36
You know, it's easy to get spooked out here anyway. I was sick and you have yet it was this real bad smell of decay sorta getting whipped up a point, um, from, from the, from somewhere in the offshores and after I feared her. And so my feed roll of film, you over boys, we all sort of came in and when I say, let's go chicken, little bit fucking stinkers. And so anyway, we, we will down the inside of a point and there is a four foot, um, carcass of a seal with the most perfect bite mark taken out of its, um, sorta area between its tail and its stomach. And we're just a little guy. Oh, okay. It's like, hey, you're going to keep swimming. And uh, I was like, uh, yeah, my study using the 600 Millay
Speaker 5:
54:40
balls aside the relevance, that's what brings me out. I just say, you happy you go out and that the heavier water shots in spots like that.
Speaker 1:
54:51
Oh. So really what I'm saying is that I'll drop nuts. I don't, I don't like doing it and, and, but there are photographers, um, and an absolute Kudos to them. The guys in the South Island who do give it a four it, there's no doubt about that. But they still do it. And I'll go, I'll go out next to a seal colony bowl. Oh. Um, and yeah, go out on the, on the slabs have seals up on the rocks and, and shoot that stuff. I mean, you know, I know it's cold, you know, and it's cold and gnarly and a frontal come through and the whole thing, we get blown out and, and, and they're doing that stuff and, and, and I'm just still want to do it
Speaker 5:
55:41
situations where it's like you don't want to do it. You have to do it.
Speaker 1:
55:46
Yeah. Not really actually like letting the thing is. Um, wow. I haven't been involved in I suppose conversations. Um, but pretty much, um, I think in New Zealand like, like say has been a team manager or something that's come along with sort of trope and going, hey, look, you know, we really want you to swim out there and I'm going, well died. I'll tell you what, I'll see it up. Water, housing, here's my flippers. You have the same shoe sizes, you fucking job. Pretty much
Speaker 5:
56:15
really interesting conversation. If something did go wrong with his responsibility,
Speaker 1:
56:22
it's just, there's no doubt about that. But I'm not all, I mean, not once in a while make conversation here. So, but the fact is that, you know, like, I mean a lot of eye spots anyway. Uh, it's, it's an equally dynamic shot shooting from, you know, using a big telephoto. Anyway, so, and to be fair, although word we're laughing about it, um, most of the team manage all of the team managers that Aveo doubt with over years have been, you know, very good mates anyway. And most of the time you're going fuck old and going out there. I can't believe you did. [inaudible] and I go, oh, I'm not going to go out. They, I do an old and go out there and I wonder, um, no, I think I've been, I've been blissfully unaware. Um, I definitely have had mates that have, have had a fellow photographers that had had the guys at the shooting world, um, [inaudible] circle them and go, hey, we're going to go in now and swim the man, uh, um, because they've seen something, uh, um, and it wouldn't be, and it's not at a place.
Speaker 1:
57:47
And it is it a place that I've, my certainly swamp. Um, so, you know, they're not, but I've been pretty lucky. Like, uh, I mean the only shot a Yay or I haven't actually seen something, but I've got to say, one of the, one of the things that rattled me the most was a couple of years ago, I was shooting over bar over in ballroom and I was shooting the wreck and it was super, Super Fun. Not, not pumping, but just like free to four foot Rick. And I'm sort of as high tech, sort of breaking inside Barrick and, and so I went for a swarm swarm out and got, got some great shots and me went, oh, I'll just go for a swim around a Rick. And so I swam around Marik and took photos of that looking back into land. And I mean, shooting wrecks, you know, definitely a big deal, but it's like surf photography, shoot there all the time.
Speaker 1:
58:44
Right. And, um, didn't, you know, sort of spooky, but um, didn't, you know, I mean, okay, well, you know, and it was feeding time. It was dusk and you know, give that beautiful light there where you're looking at black hills and just everything's lit up. We're all sweet. Um, anyway, came in from that and said to my partner and he's going to lose a little bit, little, little bit creepy out there. And uh, she doesn't like it when I say shit like that. Anyway, our two days later it was, we met that guy who was swimming along the main beach and got, got taken by a great white, you saw it. And I've got to say that that's me pretty, pretty full long cause you know, I bet it was, no, not, not 48 hours later.
Speaker 5:
59:33
Yeah. Even just mucking around with friends with the camera back and gone. Yeah. That's it. You're an idiot. Come Day or a bit further down to like the long job or, yeah. But I mean the one, the one place that, uh, just look so amazing on that. Oh, the South Island that I haven't said after. And everyone goes on about it and says, aren't you going to have a look what you, which is down around the Kaplans. They're not just saying count their wives. So freaking amazing, but then think about them being white's doesn't happen at that area. And I got it. Other than that I kinda, I love most African but I'm kind of fundamental breathing.
Speaker 1:
60:21
Well you know like there is no doubt the Catlins is an amazing surf sign as is all of a tire guy. But I mean in fact remains is a shock down equal Casey and seven, you know and can reason it's called Casey. It's seven is cause that's how big it is
Speaker 5:
60:41
because I know the story behind that because I've had that story tell debate about, I'll just be mindful of, I think I was up, well is it just north of done and around Alan speech or something and some of them is sip and I'm going what the hills case. It's like, yeah, like this.
Speaker 1:
61:03
Most of our listeners will know it will be aware of the America's cup. Mlb. We have it. Um, New Zealand actually it's pretty good at silencing and we were very, very good at rugby. Anyway, one of the bites that won the America's Cup New Zealand boat is called, um, Casey had seven. So, and this is back in the day when it wasn't double whole boats, it was single whole boats and they are, I believe they were seven meters long and bit by bit the New Zealand boat that won the America's cup originally was cool. Casey, it's Elan [inaudible] shark is the same length as that boat and me. And there's another sharp vehicle dinghy and it's, and that follows Kz and Zyban around so you can kind of work out, you know, it's, it's a little bit, is that it's a lot smaller actually. So I'll open it up just at a beach, just south of Alan's we'll beach that you mentioned and we were shooting and, and Casey [inaudible] seven. You just saw the shadow down in the north end of the beach and Casey had seven just came in and just cruised along where everybody had been surfing, went along the by, I mean, just cruised out and Michelle and the SIF line. And so, you know, like when when a swell was coming out and it was completely, you can completely see it. So I've seen it and you don't want to be in water when it's in the water. Yeah.
Speaker 3:
62:47
Regardless of the argument that they are interested or no mistake you for a CEO or whatever. It is amazing that a nice parts that hasn't been born Robbins like, or mistakes or accidents, whatever you want to call it. Then just being taken or even attempted with same set.
Speaker 1:
63:09
Yeah. Well the herbage architects down there, but not for a long time. Um, I, I guy, one of the most famous incidents of a surf are being taken and New Zealand was actually at Saint Clair beach. Uh, thankfully. Uh, and, and because of that taking, um, Saint Clia beach is one of the few New Zealand features that does have shark needs. MMM hmm.
Speaker 3:
63:37
Yeah,
Speaker 1:
63:39
yeah. But Covey's got out and three of them every morning. Um, and, and yeah, it was the old running joke that I'm, most of the time they catch for shut up. There is a shock and the neat, most of the time it's on the inside of the knee getting out. Uh, yeah.
Speaker 3:
64:00
I mean you're talking about some of the gear that you use and Presby grind for the listeners to get a sense off, you know, when, when you're in the water or when you, when you're on the beach, on the land or what kind of gear do you FiberOne
Speaker 1:
64:18
look? Look, I think anybody can use net nowadays. Anybody can use anything and um, on, on a little bit lives to be, um, you know, I'm an advocate of any, any brand, um, thought that said, here I go, I'm about to take Ken and New Zealand for Vieira just free to fault. Really. Um, I've been a canon guy since I'm 1992. Um, and, and really that was mainly because most of the surf photographers in the early nineties, uh, were or Ken and dedicated. Um, so it just made sense that that was, that was what you used. Um, also cannon and the mid nineties, someone's going to tell me I'm wrong. Um, cannon were first to adopt, um, a big amount liens now, which means that autofocus would work a lot faster. Um, and so we need everything when autofocus canon work, absolutely. The world leaders and, and basically you had to have a Canon camera to use Europe. The gleaned. Um, so I've just stuck with Canon. Um, I have missed around with Sony and other brands, but ultimately the Canon glass is, you know, it's, it's just the amazing walk work horses.
Speaker 1:
65:58
So currently like, I mean I've, yeah, so I've gone through, I don't even know how many cameras since 1991, but I, I sorta keeping, I do try to keep up with the latest camera gear. Um, at the moment I'm running a canon five d mark for, um, which, which is absolutely, uh, and, and basically we've all the five days, I just women you'd five d comes out, I just change over to the Knicks, the Knicks mark, mark one, the mark to the mark three and have a mark for, um, and I'll have know and I'll continue. And with those, um, I prefer them because they are a full frame sensor. Uh, which means that my older lenses, um, like my 15 mil liens as stole a tree for shy. Um, I believe it gives me a little bit of a, cause I still own, I um, Kennan fisheye 15 mil, which they don't make anymore.
Speaker 1:
67:06
And um, but I think that that gives me a bit of a unique, um, angle on, on, um, well yeah cause I've got super high quality glass there. So for me it doesn't make sense to really move out of cannon. Um, but it is more of a historical thing. If, if I was starting, you know, if I was just fresh to it, um, I think, you know, Fuji are doing amazing things. Can and are doing amazing things. Um, Sony are doing really very good staff as well. Um, it's, it's just you, you can go, you can go six different ways at the moment for sure.
Speaker 4:
67:51
Anything in particular on the water, housing side of things. So is there anything favor there or,
Speaker 1:
67:58
yeah, well I use an SPL housing. Um, that's all I have used. I used to build my own housings for a long time. Um, this partly because in New Zealand you just couldn't, you couldn't get water housings and you can get certain housings. Uh, so I just out of, I started for about 10 years. I built my own and by w pretty rude of me tree. Um, but, but what it did do is it gave me a really good understanding of how water housing works. Uh, so, um, but I'm also had equity accounting's um, right, right of a moment for last oh 10. Oh yeah, 10 years. Um, I've been using sp SPL Waterhouse things, which are a Californian housing. Um, and Matt Bailey, I'm using deers cause, uh, uh, j again, it's that, I think 10 years ago they were probably, it was only the and Equitec that were, uh, that war. They were the industry leaders of ads that stage. Um, but I think now there's, there's so I mean or I reckon, um, by salty water housings, I follow them on Instagram and art Archimania you're giving everyone a really good, not chai.
Speaker 1:
69:18
Okay. But, um, in the water, um, I, I only have two setups, so I have the SPF water, housing set up with a whole of a dome port. Um, so using that sure. Islands. Um, but a lot of people now don't really like a Fisheye lock. Uh, and these things are cyclic so it'll come back around. Um, but oil, but then I also use a hundred Mil Lens, which is like a traditionally as a portrait Lens, but the hundred millions I uses us. Canon one met super, super sharp. Um, and it's really good for 'em sort of isolating like sort of doing a lineup, empty wave shot. Um, the bet hundred mills really good with the, um, full frame format that I use.
Speaker 5:
70:12
Um, as far as I said earlier, the South Seas, both of them absolutely kind of blew me where I love them. That the other one that I really liked was that, uh, the beach chairs then and now what was deeply interested because it just allowed you to step back in time, you know, you can view some of these, the surf grass from, from way back when.
Speaker 1:
70:42
Hi.
Speaker 5:
70:44
Well I think, uh, maybe Jeff got it over wise. Wally's there. Cause he's, he's nice diaper on the South Hall.
Speaker 1:
70:52
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Oh cool. Oh yeah. That, that book was the truck. I mean it was, it was a little, some those. Um, so what had happened about, uh, about the, about 20 years ago, my favorite Auntie, she was quite an avid photographer and had a really good camera actually, um, for the time. And she took, um, medium format shots of all of here, uh, trips around New Zealand. And, and, and, and anyway, because I had become a photographer, she gave gay about 10 years before she died. Uh, she gave me all these cigar boxes full of her negatives. Um, and I didn't do anything with them. I just, just, um, I was aware of about sitting in and the, um, photo cabinet photo cabinet and you know, I knew about there, it's not like I've forgotten my there, but I just didn't do anything with them.
Speaker 1:
71:55
And then, um, I sort of had this idea of like going, oh, or have a look through them and see if he's got any beach photos in the air. And, and so that started that, that process of, um, the step going through water and he'd get us re scanning a lot of a, you know, sort of seeing which ones looked like beachy scenes, um, and then getting them scanned and being quite a, figuring out what beaches they were and mean going back to those beaches and reproducing that shot. Um, and you know, and contemporary times. And, uh, so that, that was, uh, an awesome thing to do, to be able to, you know, I just felt so privileged to be able to take, you know, go and go and reproduce, um, Artease shots, only Audrey shots.
Speaker 4:
72:49
Ah, yeah.
Speaker 1:
72:50
Well it's, well, I wasn't always so fun and, um, you know, there was times too, you know, we are, I'd have to figure out where she was standing and, and, you know, he'd go scout the shot. I mean, you know, I'd figure out where she had been standing 70 years ago and, and you know, go fuck, you know, pretty much, this is where Arnie Arnie stood 70 years ago. This is, wow, I'm actually here. And, um, you know, just to sort of those moments of, you know, sort of serendipity or whatever you want to call it was, it was awesome. Cylon and, and people, people sort of dug it like they got what I was doing. So, um, yeah, that book went real well. Right.
Speaker 4:
73:33
Well, I'm thinking about, I'm trying to think back when I didn't get it. So I think that picked up your first south seas. Must've been about, I'm kind of guessing 2012 would, that'd be about right.
Speaker 1:
73:46
Uh, yeah,
Speaker 4:
73:51
that's where it was just doing a surf trip over there and obviously I was over there with,
Speaker 1:
74:00
yeah,
Speaker 4:
74:01
I didn't know where I picked it up as a sniff shop or what was the whole cat fight or something like that. And I thought, oh wow. It straight away. And, and then obviously, yeah. Then then sold more of your work and
Speaker 1:
74:13
yes.
Speaker 4:
74:13
Hence the reason I've been a follower since.
Speaker 1:
74:16
Oh, thanks man. Yeah, that's good. The South Seas, I definitely, you know, I buy a additions of that on super, super proud of him and, and you know, like sort of guy. Are you, and I mean obviously we do have a revised edition. The reason we did the revision was because we fought, we could do it better, but also at the same time, um, I sort of think that vice to box, I really, mmm. I still nearly as almost as good as I could ever do in a way.
Speaker 4:
74:49
Again, they're brilliant. They're a literally front and center on a coffee. Yeah. The other one. That's really cool. So it was that a New Zealand search? Is it rod then? That was, we were working with Warfarin Hall there or do you, do you know him? I don't know him personally, but I know it's work. So you've done projects with them?
Speaker 1:
75:21
Warren Hall or Ron and I have known each other for, uh, I, I nearly bought a Lens off Warren in 1991. So Warren and I have known all the Java or known each other since, since that time. Um, but ironically we were not, ironically, we, uh, worked at, um, opposing magazines, so he was, he was the main contributor for Kiwi surf and I was the senior photographer at New Zealand's surfing. And so sometimes that, um, professional robbery, uh, got it. Got It. The personal for sure. Uh, so, so there was a period where we're warm and I didn't really like each other that much, you know. Um, but, but, you know, I mean, I've always had an amazing, um, I've always admired him and, um, you know, the fact that his works or was as a grammar that stokes me out, like his, you know, I grew up with weren't hooked photos.
Speaker 1:
76:27
I mean, one of the first posters on my wall when I was 14 was a warrant or dawn shot of Monga man. But it made me want to go and sit among Amani. So, um, you know, so I've always been, uh, you know, and he's, he's been, you see it, you know, he's, he's pushed out an incredible amount of work since the light, like sixties. Really. Um, so when I was, should seem a longboard tour, one of the contest was in Christchurch and that would have been 2013, 14 or something. And, uh, he just kind of, we're shooting, show you next to each other as, as we have done it for many years at contests with a bit of free and a friendly robbery. And a, he just started sowing a seed again going, oh, I'm thinking about doing, um, um, my, my book. Um, and you know, I kind of do it your sort of seeding that met at the time, but just, you know, yeah, man, you showed, you showed and you know, and, or anyway, sure enough, about six months later he asked me if I'd be as publisher.
Speaker 1:
77:37
And so since that time, um, him and I have worked very closely on, on publications and so we've done two to give her now. Uh, we did indeed serve, uh, captured by [inaudible], which was Warren's book. Um, and so that was his retrospective of his career from the late sixties, um, which, you know, very, very well. Um, and then off the back of that, because he was so stoked on how that sort of got him all slept up. And, um, and so then he came to me with the idea of doing NZ surf, the collection volume one, which is that book I sent to you last, you got it last year, right? That's correct. Yeah. Yeah. So that book, that book sold out and um, and just stop, just aren't, no, just over 12 months. So, so now we're working on, um, that same formula or same format and we're, we, we should have volume two hour. Well, in fact, that's what I was working on this morning before you rang. Um, and after, that's what I'll be working on for rest of the week. Um, but we're working on the content of that now for that book to be out in October.
Speaker 1:
79:02
So, so yeah, so me and was, uh, um, yeah, we're, you know, he's, he's a legend. There's no doubt about it.
Speaker 3:
79:09
You've also brought in other photographers together, cause I mean, correct me if I'm wrong, south seas was also a collection of some other photographers works as well. So it's
Speaker 1:
79:20
absolutely,
Speaker 3:
79:21
yes. I suppose you supporting simony likable photographers and so forth. Is that something that's just happened bonded by or was it something you'd be back to a soul to do or
Speaker 1:
79:37
it's very much an active, um, uh, an active role. I, I, um, also was very grateful. I was, when I started taking stuff out, I said it was a very close shop. Um, and whereas when I was starting doing [inaudible] during my apprenticeships with commercial photographers and in Oakland, um, that's puffy, but professionalism there was that they would, that would teach you what you needed to know and, and you do that. Whereas when you cross over the surf photography, um, no one will tell you what type of film they use. No one would tell you what settings they use. Now, you know, it was, there was which, which to me seemed incredibly, um, Neolithic, um, spot. The shining, the shining exception for that for me was, um, my expense. And Mike was very well because he was exiting as well, like, but he, he, um, would totally throw down the formulas and totally tell us, tell me, you know, you know, 500, five, six were Valvia push half a stop on a sunny day and met that is the formula that surf photographers through the fruitful world used for, for 20 years. You know, but no one would tell it. No one would tell you that. And, uh, yeah. And I found that kind of, that closed sharpness. Um, it's not my deal. I don't like it. Um, so it's always been really important to me to mentor young photographers. Um, and I also think as an editor of a magazine, um, it's, it's very important to try and, um, I grew up too, um, cultivate young young contributors,
Speaker 3:
81:37
I suppose providing an avenue absolutely beyond Instagram second kind of thing. So,
Speaker 1:
81:46
yeah, exactly. And, and my ideal is like, like it always has been and it's like more of a probably a holistic view of Sif tography prob probably because I was working at a Surf magazine where I realized, Hey, I can't take all the photos in this. It's fucking stupid at this magazine is my photos. It's got to be a whole bunch of people's photos. And I know I can't be everywhere at once. Like I don't want to be everywhere at once. Um, and, and really the best issues, they're going to be the ones where, you know, like even as a staff photographer, um, where most of the photos and Mismag aren't mine. Um, and so that's probably being a little bit more grown up as an editor and, and putting your ego aside. Um, and exactly. And that's what I see a magazine or a book should be. It should be diverse. And, and you know, it was [inaudible] that you don't bet to my aesthetic, but they're still critically well taken photos and, and just cause it's not my spirit. It doesn't mean it's not a good photo
Speaker 3:
82:56
and for all different audiences on something I cover photo side of things as well as the actual editorial was kind of saying and that's good to get various people involved because then you're getting various perspectives on things and it's a bit more dynamic I suppose.
Speaker 1:
83:15
Absolutely. Anyway, mean mentoring was very much, it was very important to me that I mentor young contributors and all through my career at the magazine I did that. And um, and a lot of those guys are still good friends now and I really, um, they're UV friendships. Um, but also, um, so one of, one of the things which you've touched on with the south seas was at what brings, and I most certainly did, was reach out to all of the surf photographers in New Zealand and go, hey, we are an independent publishing company when we're not, we, we just want the best photos and you've gotten the best photo of that place and we want to and we'll pay you for it and we'll pay you fairly. And that was in creatively liberating for us to be able to do that. And, and the vast majority of surf photographers in New Zealand appreciated that. And fear of the guys that made that book good. Um, because by, um, opened up their files to us and, and we, and let us cherry pope and the book wouldn't be, I couldn't do that book. We had to have those 16 photographers, um, giving us skip this stuff. And they, and they absolutely do.
Speaker 3:
84:41
Nick's budget. You mentioned, you know, New Zealand surf volume too with, with Warren. What's, what's the, the next project beyond that, what's the future hold?
Speaker 1:
84:50
Well. Um, I kind of with the publishing, so the publishing company of, of head, this dumb thing of kind of going off like my background is surfing and, and, but I want to try and do a to some sort of mainstream box as well. And um, and that was really what the beach books were about, was trying to reach out to that wider audience and an empire that has worked as an eye to add about that. But well walled off sort of come around a little bit to kind. I sort of trusting my own community a little bit more or well, whatever. We're, I'm kind of going, you know what I'm doing. SIP books is pretty fucking cool. And I, and I liked doing it. And, and again, harking back to the South Seas, Emma collection, I mean those are actually the most heavy ended up being probably the most successful projects that I've done. Um, so I'm kind of, you know, I like I am looking at, I did sort of other mainstreams box, but I'm now strongly just gravitating back towards doing soapbox and, um, and um, how I do have another project after the collection this year, but I kind of want to keep it on a little bit on the d cause I don't know if it's gonna work out.
Speaker 3:
86:20
Fair enough. I suppose, I suppose your final take on, on, on surf media, you know, we started the conversation with that, where you see SIF media going, what, what's, what's the next installment? What's, what's happening there? Yeah.
Speaker 1:
86:41
Well, Ron Environment, I think we're in a little bit of a flux where, where I think a lot of the online content is, is pretty bad. Um, it's, it's journalism presented as that, sorry, it's someone's opinion presented as, as, um, reportage and bat needs to grow up. Um, and so that gives us room, I think that gives us room for there to be better. Um, there was a lot of room for a surf media to grow. Um, and I think we'll see that starting to happen. Uh, I, I think that, um, print, we'll probably have a little bit of a re on fact it's been documented better at is having a, um, a resurgence where we are, I think what you're doing and, and Matt is showcasing that re resurgence. Um, so I think that print media magazines, uh, won't dive away that everybody predicted they would.
Speaker 1:
87:49
Um, but they will not be the kings as, as they once were. Uh, but I mean, I certainly think that we need to see, um, the guys that are dedicating themselves to, to the interweb, you know, they need to, they need to stick to the game up. Um, and, and they will, they will because, because the, the people will demand it. MMM. I think, I think also what, what, which is what I'm a part of is that you'll see oldest, I mean, surfing now spans so many generations. That means so many. That means so many different things to so many different people that it's become such an awesome tapestry that back, the way that people consume media is going to become so varied. Um, because it should be going to find a way that suits them best. You know, whether it be a podcast, the gram hurt, um, you know, like, or, or printed matter, um, or that he owes or whatever. I mean, we're all, we're all active consumers of that every day. Um, but, but I think that books are going to have to come more and more of a, a thing where, uh, this is something that you can have it hanging around for a long time and you can go back to it and, and it's not a screen sort of reflecting light out out at you. Um, it's, it's a more passive enjoyable way of, of consuming shaming stuff,
Speaker 3:
89:26
providing maybe it's a more immediate to be consumed in any form that you choose. Isn't that the, you know, it's whether it be digital or print, you've got to kind of package the Oh, Meissen and a variety of different forms depending on how people consume media. As you said, the, the diversity of the, the audiences just so varied. So,
Speaker 1:
89:52
oh, it is and I, and it's cold. It's cold, but it is like that. Well, I think I've, I think it's so neat that, you know, we've, we've gone from an extremely homogenized period of surfing, say in the early two thousands and so forth where, where, and now, you know, you're out on the water and was just so many Weirdos out there. It's fucking eat, you know, and that's the way it should be. You know, like you've got so many more women's surfing, which, which is great. You've got guys riding well, you know, we'll, all I'm saying is as a, as a well beast and, um, drum really. Um, but I think, I think at the moment the Diversey and surfing is as a very positive thing and, and it's, it's also very exciting for anybody who's involved and, uh, documenting there because it gives you, so there was never, ever a shortage of things to write about or, um, photograph that now more than ever as there is no shortage.
Speaker 3:
91:01
I want to keep you too much longer. But you mentioned, uh, you know, I spoke to reporting and various news that's happening in, in surf all of them month. I was curious whether or not it would kind of touch your shores or, or any interest or perspective on, on the whole fight for the bike if it's mine. And it's why across to you and, and your perspective on that kind of thing.
Speaker 1:
91:27
Yeah. But you said, of course it has and I'm in a,
Speaker 3:
91:31
now you concerned because it, you know, it's, the modeling is corrected. It kind of sense that it could very well have an impact on, on your shores
Speaker 1:
91:42
course of a little fuck. Nah, you don't, you know, I like, like, um, yeah, it's everybody's talking about it either here as well. And, and you know, um, you know, Rick Christie did a real good thing around the Dallas contest and I cited page actually. Um, so it's definitely, um, I concern for surfers all around the world. It's not restricted to a essay. Surfers, Australian surfers for that matter. Um, and definitely us as Zeeland is on the, you know, w we were going to vote, you know, we, we the swells push all that shit our way. So it's, it's, it's, it's kind have a thick my beach. So if something goes wrong, you know, like we're, we've had, we've had so many battles over here recently where we've just, one of them, you know, like we were, was going to be up.
Speaker 1:
92:42
Yeah. And, and you know, so, so it's become incredibly empowering that you can actually beat these companies and, and uh, yeah. I can be cheeky about your government, but I'm not going. But, but uh, yeah, but the other thing is like, like the peep, you're not hopeless. People do have a voice and, and Afeni thing, what happened over here with, um, but with that said, mining, you know, the fact that we, we were listened to, uh, shows that at Camp Bet proteus does work. Um, and so, you know, you're not hopeless and it's really, now that stuff's good. So, so for bike thing, yeah, for sure. We're well aware of what's going on there.
Speaker 2:
93:35
Well, I can't thank you enough for, I mean a really pretty sure I had your talk, uh, just to grind chat.
Speaker 1:
93:45
Oh, you're welcome. You're welcome. Anytime, anytime. You want to have a chat. It was a bell, Bro.
Speaker 2:
94:03
Well, I hope you enjoyed my talk with Craig leavers and if you did this mall, our conversation continued about all nighters and what sleep deprivation does to production. So we decided to include this special outtake from our interview.
Speaker 1:
94:20
Yeah. The funny thing you say about, um, when we were in production, we used to do the whole sleepless nights thing and um, we, we live like kind of an about after about so seven years, you know, cause it's kind of a bit of fun about doing the sleepless night thing, right? Like we kind of go, oh, you know, we're, we're, we're on production and this is what we've got to do and all that. Well those, Ori, after about six or seven years of doing that, I became very, well we had at my graphic designer wood, yeah, I saw I would work till four o'clock in the morning. He'd come back at 10 so straight away with kind of, yeah. And then he had basically revisit every single page that we had done between 10:00 PM and 4:00 AM and he'd Redo them
Speaker 5:
95:13
the exact same things happen with us. It was just Mike and aren't putting it all together and we get to the point, Marco, I'm just, I'm just shuffling shit on the page. I'm actually,
Speaker 1:
95:31
yeah, I'm just shuffling. Oh, I used to do when I was, yeah, like either saying and being the, basically the product, cause you know, we're, we're New Zealand sitting was an extremely small team. Same as you guys. I would, I would go, we have only got 14 hours of productivity a day after that. You are not allowed to be in the office fuck off. And, and we would, me and brains, we got our production so dialed that uh, our publisher. What would she told your lesson for? Uh, ran about 12 working days. We had a, in the last three years of doing a magazine, we bring snow. I could pump out the production of a of amazing and six days and we're just be, we'd be sitting around the office going, we're sweet, we're done. And, but yeah, it was, it was good. It was a good team obviously, but we just knew each other as, as you might know. But you know, it was, it was putting all that stuff in place, like you know, weed instead of getting on a purse at five, 5:00 PM, you know, like, you know, like, oh, it's beer o'clock, we'll do this, let's be honest, three 30.
Speaker 1:
96:50
And we used to punch those things out and six 66 working days, six days of 14 hours but six days. And I had to do that because, because then I'd be going on one of those, um, overseas trips again. But yeah, I mean there's a lot to be said for um, being clever about your productivity.
Speaker 5:
97:14
Yeah, you're good. Then like I said, you get smarter, I suppose for us, obviously we were, particularly when the magazine was every two months and it was, it was essentially just mark it off. That was it. That was the whole entire chain from [inaudible] photography, the whole thing. Was it mark and I and then, uh, where you got kind of a surprise more or less, no drag. But we were getting people approaching us more for brain development stuff completely on the light into the surf industry. Um, and we're doing more and more of that. And then obviously we just kind of settled on that I suppose pride pretty mixed. It allowed us to still do the magazine
Speaker 3:
97:56
and also do the brand development that the team has grown, which is, is ease the pressure on the magazine but also means that sometimes I as in regard to that that magazine, we were juggling all the bits and pieces of work and deadlines, Wall Strong to put out the SEF mag and, and uh, as he, that starts happening. So
Speaker 1:
98:18
how many will the distribution, because we all, I mean, you know, I not blowing wind up your ass, but here I am. That's what I end up your ass. I mean, magazines just gone, you know, the fifth, you know, it's just gone from strength to strength. Fay Really, I mean the content of it.
Speaker 3:
98:37
Look, we've been fortunate. It's like everything, it's a work in progress, you know, some additions you look back and you think all that's, that was really cool and all that. Then some additions I'll look back and think, well that was a Goddamn all full. But then you kind of think what else was kind of going on and what else we were juggling. And uh, so it's just like I said, it's just trying to settle on up on a balance that works. I spoke from the magazine content perspective and also from the commercial point of view side. Yeah. But look, we've been fortunate in New Zealand has been, you don't ask, the support has been phenomenal. You know, we're just
Speaker 1:
99:19
by phone.
Speaker 3:
99:19
Fortunate. No, I suppose we locked the place. Everyone always asked me, they say you a keyway and I've got no mother carry on that Queensland not just log the flux.
Speaker 1:
99:27
That's fine. I mean obviously you had to give proof. Well I'm assuming that you had to get through a bit of that. They industry mafia when you first started and they, they didn't want to know about yen. And so how do you, do you reckon are not, I mean, it seems to me you're nailing it with, um, you know, I like your, you know, you'll just accept it as part of a, um, the fold now.
Speaker 3:
99:55
Well, I don't know. It's like when, when we first started everyone her said, you know, you guys from the Surf Surfing history. So if media or, and I I suppose is one of those things, honestly, it's the best policy where we said not nothing to do with it. You know, I liked my background marks back then on, I actually work the good news, limited, you know, cross sale, various kind of magazines, newspapers, digital assets unite. That was, that was my background. Surfing to me was just to pass time to, to relax and enjoy and likewise with mark and it was, um, and where we eat, more or less came out with a lack of that. I've always said I'm a crap Sephora. I Love my surfing. I'm not a good Safir. It was, and it wasn't, like I said, it wasn't a criticism of off pacif media.
Speaker 3:
100:49
What we were saying. People said, are you against comps or whatever? Absolutely not. It's just at the time the surf media carbon, the competitive world of surfing. And they did it incredibly well. So we said, why offer up more on the side? You know, I'd love to know a little bit more about the grassroots and, and just interesting people who love to surf. And I'm probably the one thing we focused on more or less was the design aspects of SIF boards. Cause I was always fascinated with, well what does, what does that do and why have you done it that way? And explain surfboard design and a bit more detail. And that's where we came out of. So I suppose we're, we're kind of semis where we, we were successful because we weren't pretending to be someone.
Speaker 3:
101:41
Um, I mean just say this is who we are and we can't pretend to be anything else. And, and for that reason, I suppose from a commercial perspective, we decided not to go after the big boys billabongs or the rip curl is not because we had anything against them, but we thought well the establish safe media cover them a vitamin, they do it well. So why again offer up more of the same. Surely there's dissolve the brands and products out there who have also got an interesting story and can we showcase them and thankfully the scene does it resonate with, with that end of the market and also with Raiders and it's really just gone from there. So yeah, I look, we're being, we've been lucky in some ways but both sides, you know we worked frigging on where you're not, oh I think there was stages there. Where will, I was only delivering the magazine, right? The wind down the East Guy, sort of a strike all the way to the South Australian border. And then I'm getting, I'm for a dial to then jumping on a jump on a plane and head across to New Zealand and sick of navigate the north hall, South Hall on the side. There was one trip, they, I think id in 21 dies. I've a 9,000 guys. That was,
Speaker 1:
103:06
that's the thing is like, you've touched on something via where, um, you know, I like a lot of times people say to me on, on credibly Mog Oh, you're so lucky with what you've done. And like, I, oh, got some stage where I actually, you know, I don't say anything to the people that say it to me, but I get, that's the one, I'll find it almost insulting because it's like, I fucking, I fucking worked man. Like, it's like people coming out of you and get, Oh, you're so lucky that smorgasbord has done with fucking bullshit. You fucking work, mate.
Speaker 3:
103:42
I mean, we've done, you know, you talk about, and again, you learn this job. We've, we did one stretch early guys. Switch for again, was stupid stupid.
Speaker 5:
103:54
I think. I don't to exaggerate. I think we got into 60 hours strike. No, it was, it was either two dies without slate and it was just, if anything, it was an interesting experiment. The same what you Brian and your body does is it's just, uh, it's just in sign. But yeah, it's, there's a lot of fun in there as well. But yeah, there's a lot of times where you don't have people talking about how you said lucky doing a surf trip. And I go, oh, I am up at creating much three 34 o'clock and I'm striding to it and I'm not into the next town til, you know, I, I had to park if that are quickly find some, I just park the car, get something to eat, I might have a beer and you like go along the back of the van ready to do it all again and do that Tom and Tom Again and this even, that's beautiful. Why? To see the country and I love it then and New Zealand for that matter on a lump at the time on the ride. But it's also incredibly exhausting. You know, I'd come back from those trips and all that. That one in particular, I think I came back, like I said, 9,000 k's in 21 days and went straight into deadline. And I went, not amen.
Speaker 1:
105:08
Yeah, exactly. It's like, it's so easy to Glam up what, um, you know what it's like, but all that's everybody's assumption. I, and the thing is, it's just like, dude, you know, I'd like, I'd like to see you do it man. Cause it
Speaker 5:
105:28
actually had a couple of friends, associates particularly early dies. I said, let's, let's look at it. Kind of one of them in particular, I think he, he might've lasted a month and they said, fuck that. I can't do it. You guys. I just can't, I cannot work like that. It's just he was exhausted. He said, I do not know how you function. It's, that's impossible. So yeah, we pushed the boundaries where we've got smile. Smile has been gone on, but um, I think you'd go, Whoa, I've got three kids inside. As Max says, Jacqueline and family responsibilities and particulate. As the kids get older, it gets tricky because you're running them here, there and everywhere. So,
Speaker 1:
106:20
hi, I'm just looking at a time and ready to go. It was high tide half an hour ago on frothing. I know I'm gone. I'm gone. Staffing. It's free for preferred an off shore.
Speaker 5:
106:34
Okay. Thanks. Once again, those apps.
Speaker 1:
106:39
Thank thanks for wrapping. You know me. Appreciate it.
Speaker 5:
106:42
Okay, you take care. Bye.
Speaker 2:
106:46
Well, that's finally all we have. I hope you enjoyed my chat with Craig lavers. Until next week, catch your lightest smorgasbord us. Get out there and get wet.
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