Ron Stoner leads, everyone else follows
Call me retro, or anything you'd like, but Ron Stoner captures more than an image of surfing, he captures the feeling. And he captures that feeling with elegant, organic simplicity.
One person is perched on the nose of a log. Glassy waist-high peeler. One buddy has paused paddling back out and is stoked... pointing to his friend. Even the third person is looking over his shoulder, acknowledging the ride. All this via a point of view that makes you feel like a bird, sitting on a tree... taking it all in.
The photo has some issues to be sure. The color pallet is muted, it's grainy and various elements are out of focus. Heck even the wave isn't anything too special. Yet even those add to the mystique and the feel. If had perfect color representation, auto-focus and the wave wasn't sectioning I'm pretty sure Ron wouldn't have snapped the shutter. Part of a Ron Stoner photo is it's approachable...that is, we can all feel what it's like to be IN this photo.
Ok, I'll stop pontificating... I just love Stoner's eye and composition.
I love that he captured the joy of riding waves.
Check out the larger gallery at Surfer Mag's site.