Water photographer Ben Thouard’s new photo book, “SURFACE,” takes you on a visual journey inside and underneath Tahiti’s best waves.
What’s your favorite image in the book?
There are a few, but one is defnitely the cover. I shot it over a year ago and I decided not to show it to anyone. I didn’t want to just release the photo on social media or on the web—which was really hard to do for one year. Nowadays with social media, when you shoot something it’s almost instantly online.
That’s another reason why I really wanted to work on this book: today everything is on Instagram, everything is online, everything is posted right away and it lasts for 24 hours and then your photo is done. It’s forgotten. As a photographer, it’s a really good tool, but it’s also really frustrating. I didn’t want to work on a collection of photos for Instagram. I wanted to work on something tangible.
Interview by Ashtyn Douglas
more in Surfer Magazine
volume 59 – Issue 5
On the cover:
While 99.9 percent of surf photographers spend the majority of their time aiming their lenses at what happens on the face of a breaking wave, Frenchman Ben Thouard has made a career out of capturing the ocean’s beauty beneath its surface. “This photo was taken at Teahupo’o last year,” says Thouard of the sub-surface image on page one of this issue. “I was exploring the underwater world, not giving too much attention to the surfers, and more to what happens under the surface. The light reﬂecting on the bubbles underwater fascinated me. At some point, I dove under water and just let go a ton of air while diving under the wave so when I turned back to shoot the waves I would have all my bubbles into the frame. I decided to focus on the bubbles and have a surfer in the background. It took me a few tries until I got the shot.” Photo by Ben Thouard