Brooks Sterling: Photographing Surfers with Film


All images by Brooks Sterling. Used with permission.

Photographer Brooks Sterling is based on southern California and specializes in lifestyle work. We’ve featured him before on the site after this video was made about him being an analog film photographer. Indeed, lots of his personal work is done on film but sometimes there is a small budget for it to be included in his commercial work.

Brooks talked to us briefly about surf photography, lifestyle work and shooting with film.

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Photographer Brooks Sterling on Shooting Surfing with a Nikonos

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Photographer Brooks Sterling is the focus of the Pilot episode of a new web series called Analog by Matt Mangham. The first episode interviews Brooks about his surfing work and how he uses film to get the images that he does. Brooks reasons that for years photographers used Nikonos cameras and old Canon EOS V SLR cameras to get magazine covers; and so he concludes that it must be good enough for him.

But the best part of the video is hearing about how Brooks shoots. He states that since he uses only a 35mm on the Nikonos, he has to get close and he only has a chance to get the shot once every wave. What this means is that it takes incredible skill and timing to get the image that he wants. In addition to this, he also needs to jump with the waves.

Brooks also talks about how film photography is like riding the waves–each wave is different and each photo will be different. He feels that with digital, it’s very simple for all of your images to look the same.

The video is after the jump.

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