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AN INTERVIEW WITH SURF PHOTOGRAPHER CHRISTOR LUKASIEWICZ

Red Bank resident Christor Lukasiewicz knows what he’s doing behind a camera. After Hurricane Sandy ripped us a new ass, our affiliated arts and culture website The Anchor (asburyanchor.com) had a feature of his post-storm surf photography which caught my attention. Christor’s work is uniquely captivating and I quickly reached out to him about shooting more some of the local surf sessions that have been featured extensively on asburyanchor.com.

I was stoked to see someone with such an unconventional take and artistic approach to surf photography. Shortly after our initial talks we began shooting together this past winter and the amount of great shots that came from each session amazed me. Christor captures more than just the action of surfing. His eyes look beyond what is happening on the board. His photos embody the variety of experiences and emotions I had while in the water which is not always easy to do.

His work displays a perfect mix of lighting, landscapes, diverse angles, timing and action; coupled with his own personal feel and astounding skill. Christor also happens to be an all around humble and kind individual, which will only help elevate him in his field. I see nothing less than a bright future in the world of surf photography for someone graced with so many gifts and a true love for his craft.

1Late afternoon in Bradley beach with some crazy cloud cover moving in.

Zappo: When did you take your first photo, what inspired you to get started and what eventually drew you to surf photography?

Lukasiewicz: I remember getting my first camera as a gift when I was ten years old. It was a simple film point and shoot camera with a fixed lens. The first thing I did was shoot my friends playing wiffle ball in the front yard. All I wanted to do was capture the bat making contact with the ball, just to see what it looked like. That photo is still lying around somewhere and it’s a blurry mess. I didn’t know anything about photography at that point and I had no idea it would become my career choice.

Surf photography came around later when I got my first surfboard at fourteen. I only acquired a board because my brother had just bought one – I felt like I had to do the same to compete against him. As I was buying the new board at the Surf Shack, there was a bin of surf posters in the front from Aaron Chang that really caught my eye. At that moment I decided that I wanted to become a surf photographer, I wanted to make my own posters to sell. The only problem was that I lived two hours from the beach. The only time I could shoot at the beach was when my family would take a two week vacation to LBI every summer. So during those two weeks I would get up every morning at sunrise and shoot for a few hours, then wait until a few hours before sunset, and shoot until dark. Now I have been living in New Jersey by the ocean for a full year’s time and I couldn’t be happier.

2Tom Petriken finding some shade somewhere in Monmouth County.

Zappo: There are a lot of people shooting surfing in the area. Your work stands out and is easily recognizable as your own. What do you look for when capturing/creating an amazing photograph?

Lukasiewicz: I’m glad you say that because I’m alway trying to do things differently, I want to show my unique point of view through photographs. You will never see me in a crowd of photographers on the beach getting the same shots as others. I’ll be that guy balancing on a rock at the end of the jetty dodging incoming waves. I like to be part of the action as much as I can, whether in or out of the water.

Zappo: Surf photography certainly has qualities and situations unique to it, especially when you’re shooting from the water. What inspires your approach and what are your favorite conditions to shoot in?

Lukasiewicz: Much of my inspiration comes from everyday life and my experiences being out in the water surfing. I can’t tell you how many times I have mentioned to someone out in the water that I wish I had a camera with me. I love to shoot in any kind of crazy lighting or weather conditions. Dense fog, snow storms, or the golden sun peering through the clouds just after a rain squall. I am constantly following surf forecasts and weather patterns, trying to figure out when the best time to shoot is. One of the best feelings in life is watching everything you anticipated come together with perfect timing through the viewfinder.

4A secret right handed break in Central NJ.

Zappo: What is your 5 year plan? Where do you see yourself in the upcoming years?

Lukasiewicz: I hope to do a lot more traveling. There are so many places I want to experience, numerous surf spots I want to go to. Mainly warm places, but there are some cold water spots on that list as well. I imagine it may not all be surf photography in the next five years. I have been working alongside my brother with product still life and videography recently. Got a lot of projects and ideas in the works and I can’t wait to share them.

Zappo: How has surfing and its culture changed your life?

Lukasiewicz: I’m sure everyone remembers their first wave. After I rode my first wave, I knew what I wanted to for the rest of my life. I don’t know where I would be without surfing and photography. To me it’s complete freedom. It doesn’t matter how bad of a day I could be having, when I am out in the water floating on my board or swimming with my camera; my attention turns towards the horizon while everything else just drifts away.

5Shawn Zappo lines up the the wave of the day in Monmouth County.

Zappo: What is the greatest reward you receive from photography?

Lukasiewicz: Just being able to capture my unique point of view of the world, then sharing those moments with everyone. I have met so many people, seen some amazing places and have had incredible experiences since I immersed myself in photography. Most of it never would have happened if I didn’t have a camera in my hand. It’s amazing to see the different decisions I have made pending whether or not I have my camera in hand. One of the most rewarding things is simply just seeing people’s reactions when I show them one of my photographs.

To see more of Christor’s work visit christor.photoshelter.com.

Photo at top: The early morning sun breaks through the clouds on Doomsday in Monmouth Beach

 

 

One Response to “AN INTERVIEW WITH SURF PHOTOGRAPHER CHRISTOR LUKASIEWICZ”

  1. Bryan DePaul says:

    Good stuff kid!

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