Master Lensman Art Brewer Wants to Teach You the Ins and Outs of Surf Photography
“Art Brewer [is] sometimes referred to as the sport’s most naturally gifted surf photographer,” writes Matt Warshaw in the Encyclopedia of Surfing. Save two photography classes, Brewer is self-taught and managed to land his first cover shot for Surfer in 1968 – a year after picking up a camera.
Ever since, Brewer’s iconic imagery (a sampling of which you’d do well to flick through in the gallery above) has colored the pages of surf magazines and dominated pixels on the web with flair. Beyond surf, Brewer’s photos have appeared in Rolling Stone, Sports Illustrated, Men’s Journal, Outside, Esquire, Seventeen, Playboy, and the New York Times Magazine. A successful career indeed.
It isn’t often legends in their respective fields reveal tricks of the trade. Magicians, as they say, never reveal their secrets. But in 2010, the New York School of Visual Arts approached Brewer to conduct an action sports photography seminar in Puerto Rico. He bit.
Brewer tapped fellow photogs JP Van Swae and Joanna Miriam Valente to facilitate, and the initial trip was wildly successful. The group ran another seminar, and then another at iconic surf stops like Bali and Nicaragua. And now, they’re headed to Salina Cruz, Mexico.
The idea here is to give budding photographers not just pristine wave canvases to photograph action, but also to travel to locations with rich cultural history in hopes that will bleed into their work and establish a sense of place.
“Throughout this intensive 5-day course, students will have the opportunity to photograph elite professional surfers in action from both land and water,” explains the course description. “A range of specialized in-water camera equipment and on-location strobe lighting will be provided. It is not only a unique opportunity to learn the technical skills and equipment necessary to shoot surfing and other water-related sports, but also a rare chance to learn from a master along with a highly skilled and talented support staff.”
Tuition includes accommodations, meals, workshops, and transportation. Learn more here.