Source Surfboards – Santa Cruz

santa cruz board builders guildShaping is an art form.

Surfing is an ever growing populous. In an industry increasingly headed mainstream, the words art and artist are married with anybody who owns a paintpen or wildly strums a few guitar strings. The marketability of doing “something different” is popular in the current surf culture, an over crowded genre with more participants in each fleeting social media blitz.

I’d argue the act of surfing in itself is an art form. Each line we choose to draw as unique as our thumb prints. We can agree on the greats, and observe the potential of the youth. The push and pull of thoughts from the beach come and go as the tides. Who’s depicted the best rendering before your eyes on that last set? What were they riding?

“Nice board!” Kevin exclaims as Cooper dries her off at the Stone residence, post surf.

“Beautiful, isn’t she?” Nick beamed as he watches Reilly and John’s delight in inspecting such a fresh specimen.

We’re standing just up the street of 38th Street at John Stone’s place after an evening go in Santa Cruz. His son Reilly, and Reilly’s best bud Cooper White, are joined by Kevin Miske. The bevy recall the waves for Nick. Sunny and jammed, they maneuvered the thick surfer colony with ease. Kevin’s drop knee style begging the youth into remembrance of style’s importance in wave riding. Cooper’s high spirits and willingness allowed him to find the nose, sleuthing plenty of hip-high peelers.

Reilly is diligently performing his post surf rituals, as the rest of us shoot the shit: drying and packing his board away with the family quiver. He readies to shower. Despite peak tourist season in the NorCal mecca that Santa Cruz is, the kid found plenty of opportunity to turn heads. Though, he didn’t notice.

The next day we awake to a heavy dose of marine layer and barely give the waves a second look. Reilly surfs for 45mins, just to scratch the itch. We pile into Nick’s van as we head over to the West Side. An irie jam permeates the air that I can’t quite place. Nick slows the van so we can watch a few waves come through The Lane before motoring further up the road.

“Mitchell’s Cove was a great spot,” Nick explains as we cruise towards the Santa Cruz Board Builder’s Guild. I’m riding shotgun and Reilly wedges his lanky frame amid the freshly shaped boards we’re dropping off to be glassed. As we rumble down the road the boards gently rub, sounding like markers on a dry erase board.

“I spent plenty of years in the water up here. It was one of those deals where you get into work early, work and lunch break you grab a surfboard and you just go surf out here.” Nick brings me through his early career in setting and chronology. Under the tutelage of the late Mike Walsh, a legendary glasser, Palandrani learned how to build a surfboard. With Walsh’s guidance, Nick honed the art of glassing, shaping, polishing, sanding… everything. Walsh instilled a fundamental foundation of learning with in Palandrani, of with clearly remains with him today.

Building boards for the house shop at SCBBG, Nick credits his start. Determination and attention to detail in Nick’s own, Source Surfboards, was most definitely born from the early days in his career. A family oriented man possessing the will to create the very best. It’s easy to identify his drive. His work ethic is of the highest caliber, though to describe him as possessing a “great work ethic” is far too square a statement.

I arrive to Source’s shaping room to find Thomas Bischoff watching Nick finish off his board. Relaxed I snap a few photos while the two rap about board design. Thomas is in tune with the boards under his feet and Nick listens. This shaper and rider combo is often seen, in the case of Source Surfboards, Nick’s relationships with the guys riding his boards is felt. As Nick explained to to me, his boards are hand shaped by the one and only. So he’s not cranking out thousands a year in hopes of blanketing the wavescape with his vessels. The time and energy he injects into each shape grounds his solid NorCal company planted in Santa Cruz.

Source Surfboards are on par with the West Coast movement many envy on the East Coast. Locally procured and made by members of community. Nick’s reach is international but his home is Santa Cruz. His children surf there, his friends are there. Nick’s grown up here and now is contributing to the rich history that future generations will look upon.

The movement of experimental surfboards feign a guile sense of surfboard exploration. In fact, many of the experimental boards just don’t work well in Santa Cruz surf. The faction of shapers who distinguish themselves while still remaining relevant are revered, and rightly so, for their craftsmanship and knowledge. They aren’t just churning out chunks of foam. Having the right board under your frame makes all difference in the Ocean. As a creator, putting your boards under the right feet is the collaborative effort that provides both maker and user with a slam dunk when ordering a custom shape. The most successful experimentation while making surfboards is felt rather than seen. Our shapers, the ultimate curators. Nick isn’t building boards to flow with the mainstream. He’s staying true to his roots in building the very best board he can, structured with attention and strung with pride. Source Surfboards are steeped in customer satisfaction and Nick’s relish is joy in those riding his work.

nick palandranishaving the stringersandingSource Surfboards in Santa Cruz CAsanta cruz alaia reilly stonejohn stone surf portrait silhouette hang 5speed blur
thomas bishoffsanta cruz board builders guildsurfbaord glassing glassing room  20140815_surf_041

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Underwater Video for “Boy’s Life” – Small Black Music Video

Pretty stoked to share with you all the brand new music video for Small Black! I assisted camera for a few days of production, pulled focus and operated for all of the underwater scenes. I was happy to be on board and being on set with director Nick Bentgen was a great learning experience. I’m blown away by how awesome this video is. Enjoy!

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A Whale of a Good Time – Sandy Hook National Park

I wanted to post a few snapshots of a lucky Humpback Whale sighting a few hundred feet off the shores of Sandy Hook National Park in New Jersey. These images made the local news as well as appeared on the front page of The Asbury Park Press. Glad I brought my camera fishing, total serendipitous moment!

whale feeding on bunker jersey shore nature wildlife whale

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Shooting Soapbox – Asbury Park

It’s no secret that Asbury Park is my favorite seaside city. The community is rich with artists, entrepreneurs, and fresh young energy. Cafe Volan has been such a great place to meet people and it was here I connected with Rob Feinstein of Soapbox. Soapbox is a simple and versatile furniture solution, and when Rob asked me to photograph some new and existing tables I jumped at the chance.

Images have been rolling out a bit on the Soapbox instagram and I’m happy to share a few here. The location we chose suited the tables well. The space filled with natural light (filled with Profoto) and seaside texture lent itself quite well to the Soapbox brand.

coastal living drafting table interior lifestyle soapbox details workspace

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Summer Fun – Underwater in Vermont

As summer pushes forward I realize how fleeting this season can be. In keeping busy in June/July I’ve been commissioned to shoot video, portraits, still life, lifestyle, weddings and live music. I’ve been assisting on still and video sets for other photographers and production companies, I operated an underwater camera for a music video, pulled focus for a steady cam, and a host of other projects. This industry teaches us that the more we work commercially (and share that we’re doing so) the better our job security. I certainly understand the value in marketing myself, networking and assisting, shooting, and learning. Sometimes I forget that the periods in between the madness are what it’s all for. I recently made time for a few days of camping and the great outdoors in Vermont.

Photography and filmmaking makes me so happy in a way that I can’t explain; it’s a dream come true to make a living doing something that truly excites me. I find time away from it all to be the best recharge, and to allow inspiration to seep in. Below are a series of underwater images I shot while on vacation in The Green Mountain State.

woman underwater underwater photo shoot swimming hole bikini underwater

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4th of July Weekend – Asbury Park

4th of July was an incredible weekend for Asbury Park, New Jersey. I was lucky enough to be commissioned by The Boardwalk to photograph the festivities. I started the day photographing the new food truck park on 7th, on to South Side Johnny at The Stone Pony Summer Stage on Friday night, and capped off the 4th shooting the fireworks atop Convention Hall on Saturday night. Happy summer!

asbury park fireworksfireworks mobilesummer fair music lifestyleberkley hotel asbury

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Paws and Anchor – Bradley Beach

I had the recent opportunity to photograph Bryan and Nicole, owners of Paws & Anchor for the triCityNews. Paws & Anchor is the Jersey Shore’s newest pet care and grooming store located in Bradley Beach.

paws and anchorship detaildog groomingpet lifestyle paws and anchor store front

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Painting With Pau – The Asbury Park Boardwalk

The Asbury Park beach front is filled with culture, art and music. Located in Monmouth County, this coastal city is a favorite spot of mine along the eastern seaboard. Recently, the artist Pau was commissioned to paint 2 beautiful murals on the historic Casino located on the border of Asbury and Ocean Grove. I spent some time with her chatting about life in Chile and Germany, the places she’s called home, art and america. Thanks for the fun times Pau, and for making our City by the Sea so beautiful.

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Polycor – 1cm Video

gravellona saw stone fabricationpolishing hand detail

I’m happy to share a recent video I directed and produced for Polycor, North America’s premier marble and granite group. Their 1cm, carbon fiber backed stone is unique by design and its strength is unmatched. The idea was to show ease of fabrication on location at International Stone Collection in Brooklyn, following the steps from cutting to polishing, through instillation in a private residence in Long Island City.

I felt like I got to tag along at the shop and see how something was made. I can truly appreciate craftsmanship. Many of my favorite projects include people creating with their hands and this video fulfilled that excitement.

Please have a look by clicking this link: Polycor – 1cm Stone or by pressing play below.

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Eastern Surf Magazine Cover – Panama

surf photo

Travel is one of the best parts of being a photographer. There’s nothing better than arriving on-location, team in place and capturing meaningful images for a feature print story.

I’m excited to share news that my image of Pat Schmidt is the cover of the World Travel Issue for Eastern Surf Magazine. In January we headed to Bocas del Toro, an island off the Caribbean side of Panama. You may remember seeing photos from that adventure in a blog post here. A few more action and lifestyle images from our trip can be seen inside the current issue, please grab a copy at your local surf shop or click over to the digital version of the magazine. Congrats Pat on your first cover and thank you Eastern Surf Magazine for running our trip on Page 1!

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