Santa Cruz 1980's Archival Gallery
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After 10 years of working off and on in custom photo labs and shooting some action sports, portraits & scenics from the mid 70's to mid 80's, I was working on my "action" photographic abilities (which were pretty B grade at the time) when I stumbled across a handful of stoked kids just entering high school who were working on their own style of surfing and got to shoot a few rolls with them. Contained in this gallery will be a few shots of them, a few of their "older" influences in the 80's Santa Cruz surf scene and some misc. "around town" images from the same period. All the photos in this gallery were taken on print film with all manual, very old school camera equipment, and many rolls were salvaged after a water leak damaged about 50 rolls in storage so the images don't compare in quality to the next 20 years worth. BUT there are some unique shots of some notable characters from years before they were so blown up that you needed to schedule an appointment just to shoot with them at our local surf spot. There are those photographers who would later claim to have "made those guys" and all I'll say to them is that they were unique showmen and charging the surf YEARS before you ever even heard of them and were already destined for stardom, so quit pattin' yourself on the back. "Coat tail riding" with these guys as they pushed each other and developed their unique surf styles over the years helped me learn to read the moment of peak action more effectively and made a better sports photographer out of me. I appreciate having had the opportunity to chronicle some of their earliest days surfing and to have had such a great talent pool to improve my photographic skills on.

Josh Pomer (of recently asked me what I missed about Santa Cruz. (seein'z how I'm living in the hills now n'all) It took a while for me to recognize that it wasn't a specific thing that I missed the most, but a specific era and what it represented to me. These images were from that more innocent era when it was all for fun, competition and respect amongst your friends & peers and it wasn't a "job" yet for most in this gallery.