Action Surf Photography:
Salina Cruz, Mexico

August 12 – 17
No credit
Course number: IPD 3284-A
Tuition : $3,500

Faculty: Art Brewer

Renowned as one of the surf industry’s premier photographers, ART BREWER will lead this specially designed workshop focused on action surf photography in one of the world’s most picturesque surfing destinations – Salina Cruz, Mexico. What’s unique about the Salina Cruz coastline is the diversity of surf spots it offers; dozens of world- class sand point breaks and miles of beautiful empty beach breaks. This combination is a surfers dream come true during the Southern hemisphere swell season.

Throughout this intensive 5-day course, students will have the opportunity to photograph elite professional surfers in action from both land and water. Here you will learn various techniques including tricks of panning with an auto focus lens to keep action sharp. There will be an emphasis on water safety and etiquette while at the same time learning how to read and anticipate both style and movement and ultimately, to capture peak action! It is not only a unique opportunity to learn the technical skills and equipment necessary to shoot surfing and other water related sports, but also a rare chance to learn from a master along with a highly skilled and talented support staff including former assistant photo editor and in-house photographer of Surfer Magazine, Jean Paul Van Swae.

The genre of action photography requires a specific set of skills and knowledge combined with the right equipment. Here you will learn about the right equipment to use, covering everything from in-water camera housings and extreme fish-eye views to normal and telephoto lenses and on-location strobe lighting. We will explore which cameras work best in and out of the water for action, flash photography with water housings, and remote flash photography. We will also discuss proper equipment maintenance and how to prevent leaks to keep your gear safe and dry.

And when the surf is not being cooperative, we will delve into portraiture, landscape and lifestyle as it relates to surf culture. Using both natural, reflected and strobe lighting techniques, you will have the opportunity to photograph “real people” in the Great Tehuantepec neighboring villages of Jalapa, and Juchitan and the ruins of Guiengola.

As a whole, this workshop will foster a holistic approach to practicing the art of action surf photography and its intersection with nature, beauty and movement. There will be group discussions and critiques to discuss what makes an image successful and to exchange ideas and perspectives. And at the same time we’ll share the history of surf photography and it’s evolution into mainstream consciousness.

Tuition includes: Accommodations, meals, workshops and transportation for off-site visits. Airfare is not included.

Schedule: Classes are held daily and include technical demonstrations, critiques and personal exploration. All workshops will include local talent including professional surfers. Private bilingual guides, with 4-wheel drive trucks. Personally customized full and half day activities. Schedule may vary depending on surf and weather conditions.

Prerequisite: Open to all photographers interested in pursuing the genre of action surf photography. Must be experienced swimmer. Students must be proficient with DSLR cameras and digital workflow.

Note: A range of specialized in-water camera equipment and on-location strobe lighting will be provided. Students are required to supply their own memory cards, storage devices and/or laptops and a medium or heavy-duty tripod. Additionally, you will need to bring a lightweight wetsuit (2mm spring or vest), rash guard and swim fins.

For further information, please contact: Malcolm Lightner Program Director: 212.592.2335. E-mail: