Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Gary Parker: Globetrotter artist and WAVES for development

Gary Parker, is a Graphic Designer and Australian Photographer. He grew up in the hills around Melbourne, Australia. Now he lives in Victoria, Canada, but he travels the world working on his online magazine "Sea Stoke", surfing and volunteering for amazing causes.

I never met Gary in person, I started to talk with him last year when I submitted to Sea Stoke my California vision project. From the very first minute I knew he was a very nice and inspiring person. Surprisingly he was as well in Maderas beach, Nicaragua one year before me, so we have a lot of friends in common.
I hope someday I can have the opportunity to meet this great character in person and be able to take his photograph.. I will be more than stoked!
In the meanwhile I interviewed him for my blog, so here we go:

- Gary, what is an Aussie like you doing in Canada?  What brought you there anyway?
I have been on the road with my girlfriend for nearly two years now. We kind of hopped around central America & Mexico for a while before buying a van in the states and driving north.  Canada was where we ended up for a while funnily enough. It is really beautiful here and has been nice to kind of plant the feet for a little while, save some money and plan the next adventure.

Gelid surf. Photocred ©Gary Parker
Van life. One of my fav pics of Gary. Photocred ©Gary Parker

- When did you decide to be a photographer, and what kind of photography do you enjoy the most?
I don't think I ever really decided to be a photographer, in fact I still am not sure what to call myself as I love all visual mediums.  However photography was always something I loved as a medium.  I love exploring the world around me with a camera in hand as well as creating worlds.

-Why did you create Sea Stoke magazine, and how did being a surfer help shape this?
As surfers we all have a pretty deep connection to the ocean.  For a number of years I worked for one of the bigger surf companies, creating artwork for apparel amongst other things.  At first it was my dream job, but over time i began to loose what it was that drew me to surfing in the first place.  I felt disconnected in a way from the ocean, something I felt hard to deal with.  Over a few beers with a friend one night we bounced around the idea of a platform to bring creative folk together who also shared this connection to the sea.  Not so much focused on material value, competitions or anything like that… just real stories and real issues.  Then it kind of began from then on. Sea Stoke was born.

Fabulous black and white. Photocred ©Gary Parker
In between moments. Photocred ©Gary Parker

-I hear you are in Peru doing some amazing volunteer work, can you tell us a little more about it?  Why did you decide to go there?  How can people help contribute to the cause?
The last month and a half I was working with WAVES for Development, a small organization that are based in the north of Peru, in a town called Lobitos.  The opportunity actually arose from an interview I did with Forest Woodward for our last issue.  Forest is an amazing photographer and he  was the one who suggested the idea that I should come down and get involved with an audio visual workshop they were running at WAVES.  A few emails back and forth between Dave the founder of WAVES and two weeks later I was down there.  It was truly an amazing experience, one that in fact has lead me to work on a film to help create a more sustainable community and bring awareness to some of the issues they have down there.  I would highly encourage anyone to volunteer their time with WAVES.  They can check out their website here:

-What are your plans for the rest of the year?
I am hanging out on Vancouver Island for a little longer and then I fly back to Peru in August to continue working on our film.  After that I have a blank canvas. 

Thank you Gary!
Following are some pics of his stay in Lobitos, Peru. 

Working on some art with the kids in Lobitos. Photocred ©Gary Parker
Good times! Photocred ©Gary Parker
Lobitos, Peru and its amazing waves. Photocred ©Gary Parker
A little buddy having fun with paint. Photocred ©Gary Parker
El señor Gary Parker. Photocred ©Gary Parker
Fun kids ready for surf. Photocred ©Gary Parker
Amazing pic, silhouettes and sunset. Photocred ©Gary Parker
By night in Peru. Photocred ©Gary Parker
Amazing left-hander. Photocred ©Gary Parker
Gary and team of WAVES for development at work in Peru. Photocred ©Gary Parker

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Surf XXL in Costa da Morte, Galicia

These days I've been very busy working on a project. I've been having no time at all to keep updated my beloved blog. At the moment I'm working for a legendary surf event in Galicia, the Pantin Classic Pro. These last 2 weeks have been crazy writing press notes for the media and a lot of content for their yearly magazine.
What was consuming almost all of my time, was this article I had to do about the big Atlantic storms of this winter hitting all the Spanish coast provoking big damages but also some epic XXL surf sessions. 
This task was even more difficult because as you all now, I passed my whole winter in Nicaragua, so while I was surfing on tropical waters, all this crazy big surf was happening all arround the European coasts.

At the end I was able to finish my article today, and I will show it to you as soon as is published at the magazine.In this article I needed to talk about the sessions around Galicia, so I based my article in a very special session of October 2013 at La Tremosa in Costa da Morte.
Check out this video about the session I'm talking about and the monstrous barrels of La Tremosa!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Inspirational Wednesdays: Gauchos del mar, rediscovering Patagonia

This is the last of three interviews I made at the Surfilm Festival of San Sebastian in June. This represented a lot of work to me, but I'm always happy to brought you material that can inspire you in your day to day about people who are working about making their dreams come true.

The first one of these, was to surfer Léa Brassy, the second one was to Thomas Castets of Gay Surfers, and this time is the turn of a couple of rad brothers from Argentina named "Gauchos del Mar". A gaucho is basically a cowboy; one of the most representative icon of Las Pampas. They were given this name by one Mexican friend, for being "Argentinian cowboys, riding waves".

The Gauchos are a couple of brothers, Julián and Joaquín, raised traveling by the ocean, and always in deep contact with nature.

This is the interview I did to them about their new film "Tierra de Patagones", were they re discover their territory, Patagonia, trying to surf the unexplored coast on their way to the island "Isla de los Estados".

Julian and Joaquín in San Sebastian

The gauchos, enjoying the nice weather during our photoshoot

- Boys, how many time took you to prepare the journey to Patagonia and what was the most difficult in this trip?
We started to plan the expedition to Patagonia during the last four months at the Administration University of Administration at the UBA of Joaquín. There we started to look al kind of maps, google earth, etc. We brought together a few proposals and we closed some collaborations with a couple of brands to do the journey. We meant to do it in 3 months but at the end it lasted 6 months.
The most difficult thing was to find new and good waves to surf, due to the very difficult conditions down there. The wind is terrible, the difference of tides are huge and a lot of beach accesses pass by private property.

- Can you tell us a memorable experience that you recall from this adventure?
Yeah of course! Discovering our own country searching for new waves, getting to know the world's southernmost cultures and making new friends is an unforgettable moment indeed.

- What is the most difficult thing about coming back to Argentina after being out traveling so much?
The most difficult is always being at Buenos Aires, which is so far away from the ocean (450km). This is always balanced of being again with our family and friends :)

Joaquín surfing somewhere in Patagonia. Photocred: ©Gauchos del Mar
Surfing with dolphins. Photocred: ©Gauchos del Mar

- How is the coexistence during your travelings being brothers and being together 24 per 7?
Hahahahaa, the truth is that we get along really well! We have our fights of course but they last very little time.
We always said that traveling as brothers and sharing the same passion is easier than doing it with a friend. A fight between us can last some minutes, and then you go back to normal. With a friend a fight can end up the friendship...

- Of all the countries that you've been along your first travel from California, of which country you have a special memory and why?
We really loved the whole continent and stick to only one country is difficult. We think that a lot of latinos have the same DNA of being kind and humble. That was our experience everywhere out of the big cities with the people of the country.

- What is so far the best surf session in your travels?
Maybe that one sharing all together with friends finding a new wave. Those times when you don't expect anything at all, and suddenly you discover it, is one of the best moments ever.

Finding friends everywhere! Photocred: ©Gauchos del Mar
La Isla de los Estados

- What environmental message you would like to transmit in your films, and how you live it during the trips?
We try to transmit a deeper connection with nature and walk away from the consumerism and the material objectives. We think as this way, we could function more as a community, given up about trying to reach material targets like a new car, a better phone, etc. This is nothing but complications to your lives.
On the other side, we want to transmit a social message of following your dreams and motivate people to go for it. If you really, really want to, along with great effort you will reach it.

- What is the next adventure for you, Gauchos del Mar?
Tenemos unos viajes pendientes por el sur de Argentina y por el continente Africano!
We are planning some trips to South Argentina and Africa!

If you want to know more about this Argentinian cowboys, here you have some interesting links:

Just to finish this entry, let me know if you fancied these 3 interview I brought to you and I'll make sure to bring you some more interesting content like this. Just leave me a comment, or send me an email. Thanks guys!

Trying to find some surf at La Isla de los Estados. Photocred: ©Gauchos del Mar
Perfect barrels, but too tired to go in. Photocred: ©Gauchos del Mar

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A long, long post with love from Salinas

We are one month away for one of the greatest longboard festivals in Spain, this year will be celebrated from July 31st to August 3rd. The Salinas longboard festival has given me so much joy during the summer, so many great photographies and great people I've been meeting along these years. I've told you about my love for this festival in some other pic entry, but this time I want to share the whole with you.

I heard the organization is having some troubles for putting together this year's edition, but I'm fully convinced all the things made with love are meant to last, so no worries guys. Sometimes less is more, and the core of the festival will be there like every year sharing good moments and waves.

Last year I had some legendary sessions there, one of them just in front of Las Gaviotas camping, 15 min. from Salinas in Naveces. Me and my friends were just coming back from Salinas. The waves there were tiny and really not worth the paddle. When we were getting to our camping we saw this little left pumping. A storm was coming our way, but we decided to go for it.
After 40 minutes of hard rain, the sky opened for a great sunshine along with clean, glassy perfect waves. And yes, just me and two friends. This is no doubt one of the greatest sessions I've ever had. I can't wait to repeat this year!

Here you have some pics I took last year, I simply love this B&W album. I hope you like it too!

Nosing in Salinas
Bea, Carlos and me just got to Navas beach, not a single soul, but one little wave pumping. YES!
Beach dog
Great scenery at Navas beach
The beautiful Bea
I'm in love!
Styling longboard
Single fins in Salinas
Nice board muchacho!
Nice cut back, nice little waves
Hang 5 in Salinas
Love this pic
He didn't make it
But he did

Rubén Fuente from CeCe longboards 
Shortboards are allowed too
Misty early session
Tandem of single fins
Two guys in this spot 

David Dominguez and his CeCe board

Great view, great town accessory. Love anchors

Longboard asphalt comp

Longboard chopper

Ahhh, glassy waves. So oily!

You go right, I'll go left

A van from the guys of Hawaii store in San Sebastian