Photographers around the world have shown surfers what is out there through mates, mags and these days the net, expanding the imagination of the travelling surfer chasing that dream photo of Malibu, Cloudbreak, Teahupoo, Shipterns and so on. But what is it that drives us? For me it's not about the money, althou it is a bonus and the mags shouldn't get your hard work for free.
I just love shooting waves and if I think I have a crackn photo I will send it in to the mags or up on me blog to give the surfer some recognition. But and it's a huge but, if a photo is of a surf spot that is still being explored, an unknown to many, a bit of a mystery, surfed only by a few, and when you look at it - it sorta makes it obvious where it is, I would keep it to myself for memories and would not expose the place for the sake of a few notes to fatten my wallet. This is what tarnishes us photogs with a bad name at times. Just for a moment, imagine you have been surfing somewhere with a few mates for 10 years or so, then someone pops over the hill, takes a few snaps and next thing it's on the web in a matter of days. How would you feel knowing now the whole world knows about it. There are huge consequences in surf photography, you have to think about how it's going to effect everybody and everything by publishing certain photos.
Yes I have had a lot of photos published. But the surf spots would have already been documented on the net or in mags and most people would know about it, or shots of places that I have found, never been surfed. If you found a spot that no one had surfed and got your mates out there to explore it, by all means do what you want with the photos as it's your spot and no one can take that away from you. If there's a shot you have of someone in a barrel and all you can see is the wave that in my opinion is ok as well. I have a collection of shots on my hard drive no one has seen, and until I think I justify putting them out there, they will be staying locked up But hey this is just my opinion, it's a free world and I am far too opinionated.