A big swell in the Caribbean sent myself and a few rippers down to Bocas del Toro earlier in January. The sights, sounds and taste on Isla de Colon satiated our surf appetite. Our sense of adventure heightened as we boarded a catamaran and set sail for an outer island. We stocked up on food and water, leaving behind the crowds in exchange for open seas. Surfed by ourselves for 3 straight days, not a soul around.
Swimming and riding waves in the salty waters of the Caribbean Sea was incredible. On our return we opted in to our captain’s Pirate Shower ritual. Diving from the bow at 5 knots and grabbing the rope trailing behind was a thrilling experience and a great way to cap off a sailing trip. Below is a GoPro video of my Shower (thanks Jon for capturing that moment), along with a few images from the sail. Be sure to look out for more coverage in the coming months from the likes of Outside Magazine, Eastern Surf Magazine, and Western Digital.
I’m excited to share the cover of Swell’s winter catalog with my snowman image on page 1! See below for an excerpt from a Q&A and make your way over to the full article here.
How would you explain the cold water surf scene around your zone?
Ryan: The cold water surf scene is pretty much the only surf scene here in Jersey. I mean, we surf all year, and hurricane season gets pretty fun, but those classic Jersey SE swells don’t arrive until we’re suited and booted in the dead of winter. 5mils the minimum.
Whos the gnarliest character charging on the most freezing days?
Ryan: Mike Gleason and Sam Hammer, without a doubt. These guys go and are psyching so hard when the waves are firing. Gleason’s raw power and Hammer’s stylish finesse make for a great combo.
Whats next in your life on the right coast?
Ryan: I’ve had a love affair with New York City for years and finally got down on one knee for her this fall. I’m in the thick of the arts, culture and good food while still being just a subway ride from the airport. Not to mention halfway between New Jersey’s barreling beaches and New York’s scenic coastline.
I’m incredibly happy to announce an update to my portfolio! In addition to some recent work, I’m sharing two personal projects: Gram and Hurricane Sandy. I’m most excited to present images of my grandmother Maureen. My grandma has been a constant in my life, raising me from about 4th grade on. I’ve come to rely on her advice and strength through my teen years and to this day her stimulating conversation and good heart help to keep me grounded.
Gram’s personality really shines through these images, and it was among some of our deepest conversations that I was able to make portraits that captured her spirit. For a few months I was shooting exclusively in available light with 35mm and 120mm film, however, I added digital capture which enabled me to experiment with strobing a few images. I didn’t foresee sharing much of these photos, but with the encouragement of Suzanne Sease I decided it was time to put it out there for the world to see.
The New York Times and the backdrop of a 4 paneled canvas painting of her own hand easily make this frame my favorite.
I was recently interviewed by Shutterstock and wanted to share an excerpt. Please check out the full interview in the link below!
Shutterstock: What comes first for you — surfing or photography?
RS: Photography definitely comes first, without a question. Before photography became my career, it was my favorite thing to do (and still is!). I walk the world with eyes wide open, and for a long time I wanted to capture everything I saw. My vision’s spirit is just as excited to create and tell stories, though; I believe I’m refining it with each passing year.
SS: We’re really drawn to your view of surf culture. How do you try to visualize it?
RS: For me, shooting surf culture, or lifestyle, is the most interesting part about surfing. Not many surfers share those sentiments, which I’m totally OK with. Everyone wants to see the best wave ridden; I relish in these images also. Most of my friends let me do my thing when I want to snap a portrait on the beach, or when a flock of seagulls flies overhead just as the sun is setting. Birds may be cliche, but these moments we live on the beach represent the most carefree times of our lives. Even if lived just a few short hours, riding waves is pure joy. The heart of surfing, the innermost definition of it, is happiness. I do my best to translate this feeling both in and out of the water.
Full interview here: Catch a Wave and the Perfect Shot With Surf Photographer Ryan Struck
Posted in Photography
Tagged Aerial Photography, chrysler building, financial district, jersey shore aerial, lower manhattan, manhattan aerial, national park photography, new jersey aerial, new york aerial, offset images, one world trade, ryan struck, sandy hook aerial, Sea Bright, travel by helicopter
Western Digital has helped support my work since the beginning of 2014. It’s important to store images, video and audio files across multiple hard drives so as to avoid loosing any original files. As my work grows so does my archive. WD’s drives at home and abroad provide me with the safety of having redundant back ups as well as an easy to use storage solution. When I’m on the road their portable RAID drives enable me to back up files 3 times very easily. My workflow has improved tremendously.
Western Digital asked to tag along one day and film a profile on my work. I was in Los Angeles and Santa Cruz California throughout this past year and thought it would be best to have them come on up to Northern California. I was photographing an article about surfboard shaper Nick Palandrani during their visit. Please have a look at the video below for a bit more about what I do in the surf.
Posted in Photography, Video
Tagged california surf photographer, natural light, New Jersey Photographer, photographer profile, photographer video, ryan struck, santa cruz, source surfboards, surf photographer, technology in photography, video interview, western digital
Photographers can wear many hats. Content creators, writers, marketers, directors. We’re searching for that perfect angle or the best light. When neither exists we create it. Add more production, strobes, makeup or a ladder and our subjects can be transformed. There is an incredible amount of work that goes into each photo, or sentence, scene and portfolio. Then of course, there’s that inner force that seems to hold it’s hand flat against our back, and push. I think that’s called inspiration. In this case, it arrived in moving pictures. No make up and a beautiful sunrise. The setting: a coffee shop with simple, clean design.
Cafe Volan’s owners Paul and Doug have cultivated the perfect blend of beach and brew on Bangs Ave in Asbury Park. They’re a small business with a passion for coffee and penchant for art. Aside from entrepreneurs, Paul is a still photographer shooting exclusively 35 and 120mm film, while Doug channels his energy into woodworking. It only felt right to film and interview this duo in a way that would resonate with Cafe Volan’s following, as well as spark an interest in those who’ve yet to experience the shop. Please have a look at the short piece we created. Much thanks for the perfect music vibe Brian Parnagian!
Posted in Coffee, Video
Tagged Asbury Park, bangs ave, cafe volan, Coffee, coffee shop, doug parent, New Jersey, paul cali, short film, small buisness, Video