I love it when photographers take time for themselves to shoot what has been on their mind. I love it even more when it is not in their own backyard and they venture out to chase their vision. David Martinez recently headed east and was thrilled with what he discovered. Here is what he had to share about it.
“I had wanted to do a personal project on New York City surf culture for some time now. After a little talking around, it seemed like Rockaway Beach was the place – a beach accessible by subway from Manhattan. My producer and I arrived in New York City on one of the hottest weekends of the year. As temperatures rise in the city, so do the number of Manhattanites wanting to take the A train out to Rockaway. It was going to be a busy weekend out there.
3 trains, 2 transfers and 6 bottles of water later, we arrived in Rockaway. We had done a little research before the shoot and through a dizzying tangle of personal connections, we found who we had heard was the unofficial mayor of Rockaway Beach. TJ, was a local guy, a lifelong surfer who was kind of enough to meet us at the subway stop and show a couple of us left-coasters around his neighborhood. Among hoards of other city people, we surfed, ate at the local taco shop, and met TJ’s Uncle Rick on the boardwalk (pictured above). Late in the afternoon – blazing sun and humidity turned to torrential downpour- and all 6 of us piled into TJ’s truck to head to the local pub for shelter. I was a little disappointed at first that the weather had turned just when the surf was about to get good.
Amongst the running and laughter and cursing the rain as we piled into TJ’s truck, a beautiful thing happened that always makes for the most interesting and dynamic images. We all just let go. We stopped trying to get on the perfect wave, get the perfect angle, the sun in just the right place. It happens that most of my favorite images from the trip were created in this way.
Moments between moments.
When the veracity of feeling replaces orchestration. All of these images were made in this space in between….”
To see more of David Martinez’s work, please link here.