It’s then that I realize the comfort in riffing with the rural community of Nova Scotians. Their honest, no bullshit, Clint Eastwood language is dialect the West Coast lacks and I’ve been missing it. It’s then that I grasp Logan’s antics. He’s got the mouth of a sailor, the temperament of a fisherman and the East Coast pride I wish I had.
Onshore, I meet Gordie's wife, kids and grandchildren. He see’s his family off and comes to meet Logan, and the boys. He joins us for a beer and fills us in on the history of generations, the land, and the other possibilities of waves. We exchange emails so Gordie can hold onto some photos from the day. He gives me his home address, offering us the cheapest snow crab we’ll ever find. Then he points behind him “Just drive up the hillside there and I’ll take you boys fishing next time you’re in town.” On the way home we decided to name the wave after him.
The man approached me with a confused look on his face. We exchange names and a handshake. “Gordie, Gordie Howley” he says. The fisherman tells me he’s lived here 35 years and never seen a surfer here before. Now excited, Gordy invites me onto his fishing boat to get a closer angle of the guys. I take him up on the offer and we bob around peacefully not saying much, as we take in the blue, green and grey.
In the morning we took off down the road and found a shoulder high left. I shot some photos on the sidelines as I watch Logan Landry land a couple airs. An old man drove down the valley in his blue beater pickup, got out and walked towards me. I waved politely, unsure if I was trespassing.
We collected wood with a hatchet then shot the shit over the fire and a bottle of whiskey, until the night fell. Then the rain fell. #spiltmilk #35mm
We pulled over to the side of the road, and hauled our gear through the dense forest that snagged at our clothes. Up a hill and over a field, we walked through the low lying shrubs to the edge of a cliff. There we had a beer and rested. It wasn’t until we stood up and saw the red spots on our clothes, that that we realised we were camping in edible bearberry bushes. #spiltmilk
To me, creating a photo where I feel a connection to the work and people involved is what authenticates one shot from another. At that point, it doesn't matter if I'm doing commercial work or a personal project. To me, what gives work soul isn't just a pretty image, but one that brings the characters traits to the surface. My favourite work is when I've unveiled moments in time where a facial expression, a human action or piece a of nature collide with beautiful light and mirrors my current state. "You're going to face yourself a lot, whether you like it or not."
Broken by the ocean.
We hop in a white F350 at 4am on our way to Cape Bretton. I slept in the back while Logan’s childhood friend Jetski Joe cracks a beer, then lights a joint as we get on the highway. I look out the window and watch the river’s move past. I doze off as the tiny valleys remind me of the old ski hills my family and I would snowboard on every weekend. The open plains, the wheat fields, the dark farm soil and smell of burning leaves remind me of my first ill prepared camping trip. Looking out the window I see lakes my dad and I would fish on - now he’s gone. "An unsettling feeling is creeping through the front door. A cold draft on a hardwood floor." Now I'm looking out the window and notice a small patch of dead trees that stand in a family of five. Shook and woken, I look to the windshield as Logan spots a wave.
A while ago I spent some time at Logan Landry's home in Nova Scotia. We surfed and traveled and I got to hang with some rad east coast fellas, as well his family. Here is a photo of Logan's Grandfather, Reginald, holding an antique gun in their barn. There was a small beam of light coming in through the stained glass window, so we propped a chair up on the 4ft. high pile of rickety stacked wood and took 35mm portraits of him and his grandson.
Vintage cars and motorcycles are spread throughout the driveway. We get out of the car and I’m welcomed with a firm handshake from Mr and a hug from Mrs. The crows feet beside her eyes scream as she smiles.
It’s Saturday and the next 80k are scattered with yard sales. It’s Sunday and every driveway entrance has a transparent pink plastic bag protecting the newspaper inside. It’s Monday and the kids wait in the rain for the yellow school bus. It’s Tuesday and we stop off at Logan’s grandparents farm.
On one side of the road a balding man has his shirt off, and is struggling to start his lawn mower. On the other side an assortment of gnomes stand at the front entrance of the house, with a plastic angel praying over. A neighbour steps outside wearing an oversized Molson Canadian sweater, and a hoses down some plants while looking in the other direction. Passing through the city I read through bar names- Gus’s, Toothy Moose, Dooly’s, Durty Nelly’s. We cross a couple bridges, watch the smokestacks rise, and park beside a tractor and grab a Tim Hortons coffee.
Even as a kid, I had a reputation. As soon as I was put in the school system I was branded a dumbass and placed in a special room with two or three other students. I was a nuisance to authority. I spent a lot of time eating lunch in the principal's office. I wanted to be outside. Words & photography extract from my "Bad Reputation" article Published in Desillusion Volume 2.
Photography navigated my life through the bullshit, allowing me to secretly expressed myself in a less harmful way than drinking and adrenaline. I placed undertones of anxiety, loss and regret in my work, while relating to my surroundings. By telling my story through photos and words it allowed me to connect with a lot of people who normally wouldn’t open up. Photography gave me a golden ticket into these people's homes and minds. Words & photography extract from "Bad Reputation", a new piece Published (in print) for Desillusion Magazine.
Soon we will hit flat ground.
Whats the secret to a good hike? Skinny dipping.
I fawking love surfing naked!!!
Don't lay my soul to waste.