Photographer John Ryan has four decades of surfing under his belt – two years of logging before the shortboard revolution and the rest, as they say, is history. He lives with his wife and dog in a sleepy coastal town “just north of Santa Barbara and just south of Mendocino” and is inclined towards vagaries when pressed for details.
Nevertheless, his surf photography is all about a sense of place. He nestles behind dunes and hangs from rocky crags to catch surfing movements, preferring to go unnoticed by his subjects in the water. In his words, “When surfers know there’s a camera around, the natural dynamic changes. And for me, that pretty much ruins it.”
You wouldn’t know it from these shots, but John’s only been focusing his talents on surfing for about a year. Before that it was the corporate slog; family, death and taxes. Now you can find him amongst the Malumutes that howl at the church bells in a place where new-age masseuses steal smokes out of bathroom windows and fog is a way of life.