In the Bagel? Come and see the best of surf photojournalism at the Rockaway Beach Surf Club…
Each year there are two principal behind-the-scenes photographers on the North Shore. The Californian Steve Sherman, naturally, and maybe not so naturally given his geographical base, the New Yorker Justin Jay.
Justin Jay, yeah, that guy, the one whom I’ve given plenty of press in Stab magazine, first, and lately, BeachGrit. The same one who’s shot P Diddy and Jay Z.
Justin is one of those photographers y’can’t ignore; who catches moments, photos, that blur the line between artistic expression and candour. With an ancient fixed 35mm lens attached to a relatively modern Canon body and with an artist’s eye for colour correction, his photos arrest the eye.
Every year when he flies to the North Shore to independently cover the contest season, he carries a box of prints in his backpack to give to surfers he’s previously shot.
“I think it’s the right thing to do,” says the 42-year-old from the Lower East Side. “A picture does take a little bit of your soul in a sense, it’s why famous people wear sunglasses all the time. So if you take someone’s photo, you need to give something back, you have to make sure they get a print. Everyone has a fucking iPhone and no one has any physical prints any more. When you give someone a print from a year ago, they feel amazing.”
Opening this Saturday night at the Rockaway Beach Surf Club and running until July 6, is Justin’s exhibition 1000 images, all shot from his half-dozen or so seasons on the North Shore.
If you’re in town and don’t mind a little ride on the subway, Justin promises a warm welcome, a little chilled booze and photos that’ll make you believe surfing is the most happening show in town.