As a photographer, one of the hardest things to do is to develop your own distinct style. Photographer Toby Harriman’s goal was to do just this and in order to separate himself a little from other surf photographers he focused on creating fine art rather than journalism-style photos. The Red Bull Illume team caught up with Toby to discuss his ongoing Modern Surf collection…

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“One day after finishing up some of my black and white architecture shots, I decided to try a similar technique on my surf photos and experiment with long exposure surf shots. I have seen it done before, so I knew it was do-able. Just needed to find my style for it. That blurred look you see is mostly created in camera, by doing a shutter drag, leaving the shutter open and basically tracking the surfer trying to keep him in focus and everything else blurred,” says Harriman.

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“The surf photographer explains how he further developed his technique with post-production: “I then use software like Photoshop or Lightroom to give it that dark mono look which I like to call ‘Modern.’ I am always trying to perfect and adapt this style, which gets me excited to keep it going. When I look at this series, it really allows me to focus in and to see the connection between the surfer and the power of the ocean, which is what I am trying to create for the viewer. Something with deeper meaning and something that makes people look at a subject in a whole different perspective!”

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Visit Toby Harriman’s website http://tobyharriman.com
More on Red Bull Illume: http://www.redbullillume.com/stories/featured-stories/article/developing-a-unique-surf-photography-style.html