Surf pictures are traditionally studies in motion — a figure in the spray of a cutback or under the curl of a jewel-toned barrel. But Joni Sternbach, who has spent the last nine years making large-format tintype photographs of surfers on beaches around the globe, is after something different: a kind of ethnographic study in stillness, silvery portraits of a tribe united by a sense of adventure, the love of a sport and a connection to the ocean.
“I feel that surfers are closer to their primordial past," she said. “There’s a spirit of freedom involved with the act of surfing and it’s incredibly appealing. They are the people who just get out there and do it every time.”
The results are collected in "Surf Site Tin Type,” published this spring by Damiani, a follow up to her 2009 book "Surfland," and are at once nostalgic and clear-eyed, romantic and dispassionate.
– Diane Cardwell 07/20/2015
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