Who shot that: Master photographer, Peter Taras

The photo editor of Surfing magazine is, in fact, one of its greatest artists.
By Derek Rielly

Peter Taras, from San Clemente in California, is that rare photo editor whose skills exceed most of the photographers whose work flows through his desk. Taras' photos are so multi-faceted, so technically sharp and so well thought-out, they remain impressed in your consciousness long after the magazine page is turned or the website clicked through.

Taras’ favourite photographers: “shoot very simple photographs that have an immediate feeling to them,” he says. “There are reasons why they shoot, and the photos say that. There's so much photography out there that doesn't say anything spiritually. This is the hardest thing to do in photography, and I think those moments are really what photography is.”

Taras says he gets inspired by going to galleries and photo-driven websites. “Staying away from Instagram and Facebook for true portrayals of photography is important because that’s the whole photo porno thing, and it's just not being delivered in any intimate setting whatsoever,” he says.

On a technical level, Taras uses Canon equipment but says that his favourite camera is the D4 Nikon.

Pro tip: use your keyboard to jump between photos
Julian Wilson by Peter Taras
Julian Wilson wafts the tail, taking full advantage of the front foot traction pad.
Julian Wilson by Peter Taras Julian Wilson, with full deck kit, in Hawaii. “The front pad makes this photo. I love it that he's using it,” says Taras. “A great fashion moment from Mr Julian Wilson.” © Peter Taras
Jarad Mell by Peter Taras
Portrait of Jared Mell.
Jarad Mell by Peter Taras “This is Jared Mell, probably a little buzzed, hanging out in his room,” says Taras. “He has all these red lights in his room. I thought it was a cool look so I grabbed my camera and shot a couple of him.” © Peter Taras
Eric Snortum at Blacks by Peter Taras
Eric Snortum pulls into a good-sized barrel at Blacks Beach in San Diego.
Eric Snortum at Blacks by Peter Taras Eric Snortum, tubed, at Blacks in San Diego. “A longer, thicker, wider board will do a lot for you out there. Eric was getting into sets way quicker than anyone this day.” © Peter Taras
Dillon Perillo by Peter Taras
Portrait of Dillon Perillo.
Dillon Perillo by Peter Taras “Dillon Perillo showing off his feminine side,” says Taras. “It almost looks too good on him.” © Peter Taras
Kolohe Andino by Peter Taras
Kolohe Andino does an air at dusk at a little known spot in Northern California.
Kolohe Andino by Peter Taras “Kolohe Andino, 2010, up in Northern California. This wave doesn't really break anymore. Alex Gray got a cover here and ever since then it's like it has been cursed. Pretty spooky swimming out here this late in the evening.” © Peter Taras
Beau Foster by Peter Taras
Beau Foster poses with girls in a stairwell for a portrait for Surfing Magazine.
Beau Foster by Peter Taras “Beau Foster, Luke Davis and Evan Geiselman are the pretty boys of surfing. It was pretty scary when you actually got to talking to these guys about some of the stalking taking place,” says Taras. “Here's a film noir shoot that was based loosely off that theme with Beau.” © Peter Taras
Rainy Hawaii by Peter Taras
Rainy day in Hawaii.
Rainy Hawaii by Peter Taras “A rainy day in Hawaii. It was raining so hard that it's one of the rare photos where you can really tell that's its raining,” says Taras. “One of my favorite photos ever was a photo that Jeff Flindt shot in Tahiti of Bobby Martinez. It's nice to show surfing in some different weather.” © Peter Taras
Alex Knost in Hawaii by Peter Taras
Alex Knost walking out to surf at Rocky Point in Hawaii.
Alex Knost in Hawaii by Peter Taras Alex Knost, Rocky Point, Hawaii, December 2014. “I see a man walking towards the edge of the earth. Behind him money, security, and friends. In front of him I see the horizon and an ocean of opportunity,” says Taras. © Peter Taras
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