Photography is a difficult sport. There are so many of us with access to pretty high levels of camera accessories and a seemingly endless array of online clips and ‘hacks’ to capture great shots. So it takes something pretty special to be a photographer for a living. Even more so to produce a book of photographs.
Logan Murray has achieved and surpassed this high level of talent with his latest offering of Line Up: New Zealand Surf Photography.
As a photographer, Murray’s work is among the best in the world. He has a career that spans more than double the ages of some of the surfers he now spends his days shooting. A veteran of the sport and of the art medium, he has the ability to catch the unexpected, and document the majesty of the New Zealand coastline.
The introduction to the book covers a range of topics around photography and surfing and provides a number of both fascinating and entertaining insights and anecdotes around the world of the sport. He chronicles his foray into the world of photography from humble beginnings with a budget 300mm Soliger lens and an amateur 35mm Spotmatic camera and began working with Surf NZ. The rest, as they say, is history.
There has never been much debate about the superlative value of our country’s landscape and the many many opportunities for beautiful images along the coastline on both sides of our shaky isles.
We are blessed to have such an array of surfing opportunities in New Zealand with each location its own idiosyncratic wave patterning and degree of challenge. From the famous spots like Piha and Raglan to some of the more unusual spots arounds - complete with framing from Pohutukawa Trees and toitoi fronds.
Some of the locations are incredibly remote (one of which pays homage to the horse-only access) but provide championship level waves and consistent break patterns.
Mostly the images in Surf’s Up are landscape shots with some naturally impressive breaking waves - sometimes with surfers, sometimes without. There are only a sprinkling of tightly shot surfing images but when included, they are incredible and really capture the dexterity and skill of the rider.
Some of the surfers named in the book include New Zealand’s finest surfing athletes. Stars like Maz Quinn feature prominently and lead a line up of all styles and proficiency levels throughout.
The book really is a praise for both surfing as a pastime right through to professional level, and the landscape that goes along with the sport. These rural and at times barren and remote images from around the country.
There are three main focus areas in the book. Gisborne and the East Coast - celebrating the wonders of the Tairawhiti coast and the endless coastlines producing world class breakers; Hawkes Bay - with its consistency and it’s ability to turn wild at the drop of a hat; and Coromandel and Bay of Plenty - the celebrated natural playground of Coromandel is home to some wonderful opportunities for surfing for all ages.
Reviewer: Chris Reed
Potton & Burton