Everyday I start my morning with a cup of coffee and time with my BFF the internet. A little look at the World news, a surf check, a couple of gossip sites (I know, I’m not proud…), some Facebook / Pinterest / Twitter / Instagram socializing, and a check of my favorite online magazine, Liquid Salt.
If you don’t know about Liquid Salt, you should… the mission statement says all you need to know::
We offer an alternative to the
performance and contest mentality that dominates our sport. We choose
to celebrate surfing for what it is:
a joyful union between the surfer
and the ocean. Our mission is to
give voice to those people — surfers, shapers, writers, artists, filmmakers, and photographers — who quietly
keep surf culture alive.
The magazine is edited by Glenn Sakamoto, and this morning, like most mornings I have found something else to get excited about! It’s an exhibit of photographs called “Locals and Legends” by Shaun Fenn. It captures a little taste of the cast of characters that call San Onofre home… Enjoy!! (We only added half the article, so make sure you click the keep reading link at the bottom of the page so Liquid Salt gets credit for page views, so they can stay in the business of bringing some of the best soul of surfing articles to us everyday!)
Locals and Legends is a series of over 50 portraits taken by photographer Shaun Fenn of the many personalities that inhabit the San Onofre surfing area. Some are legends, some just regulars – but all have an interesting story and are full of stoke. We spoke with Shaun to learn more about his photographic journey and have chosen to show a few select images.
What was the inspiration behind this series?
I have been living in the San Francisco Bay Area for 16 years and really missed the Southern California vibe – things like good waves and warm water. Glenn’s site Liquid Salt was really the inspiration. I think he has done an excellent job capturing the aloha of our sport and its heritage.
Glenn and I spoke about Sano and how much we loved going there. He had this idea of a large collection of portraits to capture some of the personalities there. I love the process of immersing myself in interesting cultures and trying to capture that story. This project was very close to my heart for me since I grew up in Dana Point and spent time surfing Lower Trestles and many of these locals were household names when I was growing up. Glenn then introduced me to Barry Haun and Dick Metz at the Surfing Heritage Museum in San Clemente. Barry was instrumental in coming up with an organic list of prominent locals we needed to include.
What were some of the difficulties or obstacles?
Well the obvious was logistics. Anyone who shoots commercially understands how difficult the state parks can be. San Onofre is considered a state run park and therefore falls under their very subjective regulations. (Even though the San Onofre Surf Club and The Hawaiian Surf Club do a great deal of the maintenance of San Onofre as we know it.) According to them I was shooting commercially because I had a nice camera and I looked “professional”.
Another challenge was gathering people together, never easy when there is no money involved. Being associated with Barry and the Surfing Heritage Museum was very helpful in building momentum. It was also important to come up with a lighting approach that I could use out on the beach, and also travel as far as Washington without too much trouble.
What did you learn from the experience?
I enjoy real people, “Salt of the Earth” if you will. And those people can be found everywhere, whether golfing in Ireland, fly fishing in Idaho, or surfing in your home town.
Do you have any favorites?
I really don’t. We still have plenty more to shoot. I only regret I didn’t get to shoot Terry Martin before he passed away. I came down to shoot him too late. I was fortunate enough to meet him when he shaped boards for a friend of mine. He was such incredible shaper and person. If we are able to have a show of these images it will be dedicated to him.
I tend to be drawn to people with a sense of humor. Terry Senate and Greg Noll were 2 of the funniest people I met. And then of course jamming on the ukulele with “Crazy” Casey…
Thank you Glenn for bringing us a daily inspiration to just keep it simple, and go surfing for the pure joy of it!