The Dark Side of the Lens

I never set out to become anything in particular, only to live creatively and push the scope of my experience through adventure and through passion.

You may have seen this before as it’s been out for a while. I, for one, until yesterday had not. I found the monologue running behind the visuals simply beautiful. If you’re a photographer or a filmmaker or a surfer or just want to lead a creative life, whether for money, glory or any other reason, this video is for you. Yes that’s pretty much everyone.

[thx @joeyg_]

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Kalyan Yasaswi says:

here is the transcript to help you guys:

Life on the road is something I was raised to embrace. Me Ma always encouraged us to open our eyes and our hearts to the world, make up our own minds for experience of being inspired. I see life in angles, in lines of perspective, a slight turn of the head, the blink of an eye, subtle glimpses of magic other folk might pass by. Cameras help me translate, interpret and understand what I see. It’s a simple act that keeps me grin’n. I never set out to become anything in particular, only to live creatively and push the scope of my experience for advenrure, of a passion. Still all of it means something to me, same as most anyone with dreams. My heart bleeds Celtic blood and I am magnetized of familiar frontiers: broad, brutual, cold coastlines for the right waveriders to challenge. This is where my heart bleeds hardest. I try to pay tribute to that magic through photographs, weathering the endless storms for rare glimpses of magic each winter is both a bless’n and a curse I relish. I want to see wave ride’n documented the way I see it in my head and the way I feel it in the sea. It;s a strange set of skills to begin to acquire. It’s only achievable through time spent riding waves, all sorts of waves on all sorts of crafts, means more time learning out in the water. Floating in the sea amongst an ocean swell, you’ll always learn something its been a life long classroom teacher of sorts, and hopefully, always will be. Buried beneath headlands, shaping the coast, mind blowing images of empty waves, burn away at me. Solid ocean swells powering through deep cold water.Heavy waves… waves with weight. Coaxed from comfortable routine, ignite the imagination, convey some divine spark. whisper the possibilities, conjure the situations I thrive amongst enough to document. We all take knocks in the process: broken backs, drownings, near drownings, hyperthermia, dislocations, fractures, frost bite, head wounds, stitches, concussions, broke my arm… and that was just the last couple of years. Still look forward to getting amongst it each Winter though, cold creeping into your core, driving you mad, day after day mumbling to yourself as you hold position and wait for the next set to come. The Dark Side of the Lens – an art form unto yourself not us: silent workhorses of the surfing world. There’s no sugary cliche. Most folk don’t know who we are, what we do or how we do it… let alone want to pay us for it. I never want to take this for granted, so I try to keep motivations simple, real, positive. If I only scrape out a living, at least it’s a living worth scraping. If there’s no future in it, this is a present worth remembering. For fires of happiness or waves of gratitude… for everything that brought us to that point in life, to that moment in time to do something worth remembering with a photograph or a scar. I feel genuinely lucky to hand on heart to say I love what I do. And I may never be a rich man but if I live long enough, I’ll certainly have a tale or two for the nephews. And I dig the thought of that.

Mary says:

Wow, I am amazed at this video. Thank you for your message to follow passion with courage and innocense…

Jon says:

Wow, absolutely inspiring, such visuals and I’m not a surfer, but I can appreciate the beauty.

Nick Girard says:

moving words and moving visuals. thanks for sharing.

– Nick


I had the pleasure of working with Mickey at a surf festival here in the UK, for Rip Curl.
Not only is he a massively talented guy, but he’s also a gentleman. If you liked this, check out his other movie, titled “Powers of Three”, that will get your blood pumping!

wow, I’m pretty much speechless…Thanks for sharing

Jeroen says:

I loved the work. Beautiful. Great to see somebody following his or her passion. Would have loved it even more if it had been just about surfing or surfers. We are in fact looking at a photographer photographing another photographer. Maybe somebody can turn that into a documentary too. Am I alone in this?

Fantastic video. I’ve seen this a few times, and everytime it touches me ina stronger, deeper or different way. I love this quote:

“Most people don’t know who we are, what we do or how we do it; let alone want to pay us for it.”

The statement of a true artist. Money and recognition are nice, but it’s never the driving force behind true art.

jetgreen1 says:

Nice vid. Bad Middlesex accent…No groupie lapdog comments needed here.

Janine says:

WOW… that just blew my mind!
Just amazing!

Very inspiring! You can feel the passion of the people behind this video and I applaud them for that. Thanks for letting us see your experience!

I hadn’t seen this one either – very inspiring to keep on keepin’ on! thanks Chase.

Jim says:

Thanks very much for the post. I loved seeing a photographer get out into the elements and experience with his camera what others rarely experience. The video takes us with him on his trek to the waves!

sevi says:

I like, beautifull

Skip Gue says:

Brilliant inspiration to never take for granted!

David Walker says:

As both an active photographer and surfer, i found this video to be super inspirational. by far my favorite short film. I wanna suit up now and hit the 38 degree water on the east coast, catch some waves, and take pictures of some surfer friends

max says:

actually…his voice sounds like the frontman of “the streets”!!!

CB says:

I watch this whenever I need to get motivated or creative. Amazing!

Alex says:

Yeah Chase! Great find and super inspirational reminder of what’s important in this world. Each of us has a film like this inside of us. Seek adventure. Be wilder.

Donelle says:

Breathtaking and beautiful!

“if i only scrape a living, at least it’s a living worth scraping.”

That phrase absolutely stuck with me!

Curro Mesa says:

Great video! Thanks for sharing with us all.

ecrams says:

amazing…simply amazing….

Weston says:

What an awesome video. I really like the dark color tones. Thanks for sharing.

Clint says:

This was made by one of my mates, he has some more brilliant video and stills on his blog if you are so inclined to check them out.

YES, I was shown this a while ago by a surfer friend who has moved back to Ireland, while we were discussing films made on hdslrs and I have been looking for it online ever since, didnt watch it with the audio first time though, makes it much better with the audio narrative, cheers wanted to show lots of people this but couldnt remember what it was called

Bimal Nair says:

Cheers to the thousands like Joe who live away from the usual rustic world to live a life of adventure and fulfilling passion!
Thanks for sharing Chase. I enjoyed watching it :)

That was simply beautiful Chase – thanks for sharing. Been to some of those places and in and out of some of those waves – this is resonant as a way to live your life and chase your vision. Just awesome.

Tony says:

Came across this some time ago and I was blown away. It’s awesome that you’re sharing it with those who have not had the fine fortune of seeing it yet. It blows me away every time I see it. The footage, the scenery, the editing, the music, it’s all so awesome. It makes me want to go out and create my own adventures, stories, and visual images more and more every time I see it.

Pega says:

What to say…
It’s a really great work, I consider it a masterpiece.
Thank you for sharing.
Ciao from Italy.

Adam Pinnell says:

Outstanding work! Very inspirational!

Elena says:

Precious video and Inspiring!
thanks for share!

David Spady says:

I love the video. I think you’ll love this one in the same genre.

It’ll bring tears to your eyes.

geoff says:

Thanks for sharing that. I really enjoyed it.

Ben says:

@ Mike and other with difficulties to understand the text.
I found a transcript here :

Dave says:

Thank you Ben!

Mesmerizing video and poetic verse, beautiful.

Tracy Faught says:

Anonymous Tuesday – 1st of February, 2011 at 3:12 pm #

Stunning!!! Magical, moving,inspiring!! LOVED it!! :O]

Sory, misssed putting my name in there above. lol!

Anonymous says:

Stunning!!! Magical, moving,inspiring!! LOVED it!! :O]

Can always rely on you Chase to share top quality, totally inspiring content. This photographer and Clark Little should get together and make a feature film, produced by Jarvis Productions??? …

vegar says:

Those klages are sick!! What an inspiration!

eric von lehmden says:

Thank you for this. Absolutely breathtaking. i love creative people.

Florian says:

Man, these are wise words! Truly one of the most impressive short films I’ve seen. Great stuff!

Felix says:

Love it!! It’s amazing!!

Thatcher says:

Yeah, I forgot about this. Thanks for posting it! And there’s a snowboard movie out called “Cheers” that has a minute long slow-mo portrait of a rider as the heli is taking off behind him. Epic.

Will Alan says:

Absolute beauty. Thank you very much for this.

Stephen says:

I first saw this on scott serfas’ blog ( a couple months back. Simply mesmerizing every time I watch it.

Absolutely superb stuff. True inspiration that really comes from his heart and soul, just like it should be.

Wayne Yuan says:

This video is incredible!

Thanks for sending that our way. I am certainly going to pass it on to all my followers.

Chase says:

thanks rob – please do share it!

Brian says:

thanks for sharing this Chase!
epic, and awe-inspiring

Jerard says:

Mesmerizing on every level. Reminds me of Mike Horn and his philosophies of life and living. “The average human only has 30,000 days in a life.” Get busy living!

I also love these two quotes that Michael noted:

4:50 “I never want to take this for granted, so I try to keep motivation simple, real and positive.”

5:28 “I may never be a rich man but if I live long enough I’ll certainly have a tale or two for the nephews, and I dig the thought of that.”

Thanks for with this clip Chase.

Baxter says:

Hand on heart-I love doing what I do…..

Christian says:

An Amazing piece of work….need to go shoot now.

Christel Rooth says:


This was one of the best short film i ever has seen, you really have catched the feeling of the nature.

But i have too tell you, you are saying that you never will be a rich man, in my eyes you already are a rich man.

How many kan do this, and how many really can feel the nature like you.

Best reagards Christel

Simply stunning! Thanks for sharing.

Cornelius says:

Oh great!
I was there once, but more like a tourist on top of the cliff.
Ireland, Cliffs of Moher – really wonderful place to be.
I will come back.

craig b says:

Like you said, seen this quite a while ago. Being a surf photographer this video is super inspiring. Heck. Its inspiring just for any photographer. Needs to be watched in hd for the full effect. The scenery is just jaw dropping.

Really incredible. We always need more of that! :) Thanks!

Guasch says:

awe-inspiring. proved that there is more to everything in life.

his key words got dug deep inside my brain while i was induced with fantastic visuals and sounds, well combined elements.

Arfi says:

Amazingly brilliant!

Alvin Toro says:

Loved it. Thanks for sharing the inspiration.

Ana GR says:

Impressive, incredibly poetic, both words and images.

Incredibly inspiring monologue and arresting visuals!!

Found this on your Twitter. Thank you for posting.

Mike says:

Is there a transcript of the monologue anywhere? I can barely make out what he’s saying over the background music. :(

Dave says:

“Is there a transcript of the monologue anywhere? I can barely make out what he’s saying over the background music”

Me too, I always have a difficult time with accents. I caught a few things he said, but couldn’t follow most. What about a closed captioned version?

Ryan says:

Over the top! Thanks for the post Chase.

Paul Grey says:

Wow, amazing must watch video!

Ben says:

Yeah… I came back from Hawaii a while ago and saw this, and was hit by it on all the levels you mentioned. I went in expecting pretentious pseudo-philosophy, and came away in awe at the talent and energy that went in to it. It remains probably my favourite short film.

Dammit. Now I need to work even harder.

Dane says:

A bodyboarder makes another impression on the world!

michael says:

Two quotes that I found to be quite impactful:

4:50 “I never want to take this for granted, so I try to keep motivation simple, real and positive.”

5:28 “I may never be a rich man but if I live long enough I’ll certainly have a tale or two for the nephews, and I dig the thought of that.”

Thanks for sharing Chase, I haven’t seen this yet either. Very well done.

Mike Folden says:

This is amazing! The narration, footage and music are all stunning. I loved every bit of it. Thanks so much for sharing the inspiration.

Clay says:


Patricia T. says:

Thanks for sharing this one, Chase. Awesome, beautiful… inspiring just to find your passion and keep doing it, no matter what. Good timing.

christian says:

Great video. Thanks for sharing chase.

DanielKphoto says:

Absolutely a beautiful video! Thanks for sharing with us :)


David Angel says:

Yes! This is one of the most inspiring short films I’ve seen. Beautifully shot.

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