New Personal Project: The Ol’ Boys

The Ol’ Boys is an ongoing personal project I’ve begun about those surfers who get up for “the early”, day in and day out. A term used to describe a person who has been surfing a particular spot for a long time, The Ol’ Boys is not about people surfing, rather people who surf.

A project that I expect will go on for a long time, if not a lifetime, this collection of portraits looks to individually capture the faces of long time surfers and as a collection capture the essence of non-professional surfing.

I’ve had this project floating around in my head for years, and every time I went for a surf I’d look around and see these characters with weathered faces like timesheets telling of the years they’ve spent in the lineup. I had a particular lighting style in mind, specifically how I wanted their eyes to look. After experimenting we used a combination of natural and artificial light with reflectors to shape our subject’s faces, then recorded them on a 60 megapixel Phase One.

Big thanks to the over 30 surfers who have to date taken part, Camera Pro and L&P Photographics for the Phase One and support, the Gold Coast City Council for the permits and of course producer Kat Cooke, and assistants Josh Maguire and Orion Grey.

The first portraits from this project will be exhibited soon, watch this space.

KennySmith_Ol'' Boys