8 0 5 . 8 4 5 .1 6 7 3 | 1 3 3 E A S T D E L A G U E R R A S T R E E T | N O.1 8 2 | S A N TA B A R B A R A
9 – 23 SEPTEMBER | 2016 |
by jacquelyn De Longe
Jacquelyn’s creative interests earned her a degree in fine art from Art Center College of Design, followed by years in the Los Angeles art world working for major galleries and prominent artists. She is regularly published in West Coast newspapers and magazines, in addition to working as a producer and director in the performing arts. She is an advocate for children’s art programs and, she is not afraid to dance down the aisle at the grocery store with her kids when Talking Heads plays overhead. Contact Jacquelyn at www.delongewrites.com.
POP-UP GALLERY BRINGS THE SWELL IN SLOW SEASON
ature photography captures, in one moment, the beauty of the world around us. Here, in Santa Barbara, the vast Pacific that hugs our coast line and reaches for the horizon is a wonder all its own. The ocean is an everchanging subject, and no one has captured it as distinctly as surf photographer Seth de Roulet. His close-up, fast-action, and abstract images showcase the power, beauty, and solidarity of the sea. Traveling the world chasing waves, de Roulet’s highly sought after photography has graced the covers of familiar publications, such as Surfer Magazine, DEEP, and Newsweek. He has also worked with big names Fuel TV, Surfline, Quicksilver, Hurley, and Patagonia. I stumbled upon de Roulet’s popup exhibition, Twenty @ seventeen, downtown on Carrillo off of State in a temporary space titled A.R.T. (nextdoor to Roy’s). The minimal gallery has a desk at the door and large prints face mounted to acrylic. The images of the ocean were stunning (though, as a surfer, I’m a sucker for a wave) with perspective, depth, and energy that draw you in. It takes a special eye to capture that aweinspiring moment, especially in the everchanging and unpredictable sea. De Roulet was enthusiastic to share about this recent project. Q. Your work is so widely seen in magazines, and it seems like you are constantly traveling. What was the draw to put on a one-man photography exhibition? A. I spent last winter shooting exclusively for Surfing Magazine, and they had me running up and down the coast for four months straight. There were so many swells last winter with
the El Niño storm pattern that the amount of great images that never ran was overwhelming. I wanted to share them and I decided to do a book, 100 pages of Central Coast surfing, waves, and culture, and the gallery show was to highlight the extra-special moments. Also, my wife and I were expecting our second child in late August, and there was no way I was going to miss that, so I told my clients I couldn’t travel for a few months. I am not the kind of person who can sit around doing nothing, so the gallery gave me a great outlet to keep working but stay close to home. How did you get into photography? Surf photography specifically? I have been into photography since I was a little kid. I was introduced to the darkroom, where I fell in love with the process and knew I wanted to pursue photography as a career. I went on to study at Brooks Institute of Photography. While there, I discovered shooting water photography and after seeing the way light refracts and reflects off waves, I was hooked. In my opinion, it is the most technical and hardest form of photography to produce. You have to stay composed and think photographically while two to four stories of water are crashing down on your head. You literally put your life on the line to get the shot, and I love every second of it. Who are some of the photographers/ artists you admire? There are so many amazing photographers that inspire me. J. Grant Brittain was my original inspiration. His work was the first time I understood emotion in images, and to this day my
favorite shot of all time is his image of Todd Swank pushing down the sidewalk. In the surf world, I am in awe of where Zak Noyle, Brent Bielmann, Daniel Russo, and Russell Ord are pushing the limits of what’s possible. You are out there floating in water – any wild stories? I am out there with my camera and a pair of swim fins. Early last February, I had one of the scarier moments of my career. I was swimming on a big day, shooting fisheye where the goal is to get about three feet away from your subject in the barrel. I was swimming into position to line up with my subject when the wave shifted and looked like it was going to clamp down on the surfer before he reached me. So I made the decision to bail on the shot and swim under the wave, to avoid getting pounded by it. The surfer ended up making it a lot farther than I had anticipated before he wiped out. The wave then picked him up and slammed him right down on the back of my head, knocking me out underwater. I woke up under water and was extremely disoriented. After a split-second of panic, I rolled into a ball and forced myself to relax. I knew I had already been under water for a while and needed a breath soon. So I did my best to figure out which way was up, and luckily I guessed right. I was rattled for
a few days after, but things could have ended a lot worse. What is the most exciting shoot you have been on? Any day the waves are over 30 feet is beyond exciting and too hard to compare them, because they all have their special moments. Where around the world have you traveled? The last time I counted, I was right around 30 countries that I have traveled to. Most recently I was in Australia and Nicaragua. What type of other photography/art are you interested in? If it’s my own work, I love everything travel-oriented, from people to landscapes, but my real passion is everything action-based. I love motion and the pressure of knowing you only get one chance to nail the image. Be sure to catch Seth de Roulet’s show, Twenty @ seventeen, downtown on Carrillo off of State in a temporary space titled A.R.T. (next-door to Roy’s), before it’s gone at the end of the month. The closing party is September 23. Surf ’s up!
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