In 1959, Tim McCullough moved from his birthplace, Avalon, on the small southern California island of Catalina (population 1,600) to the island of Oahu, Hawaii, where the population and economy was about to enter an era of explosive growth associated with statehood and introduction of the commercial jet airliner. Tim’s father, Reyn, had founded his haderdashery on Catalina 10 years prior and had determined Hawaii was the natural destination for expansion. In those very initial years, the family was to split their time between a few summer months in Avalon and the balance of the year in Honolulu.
In 1961, young Tim started surfing at Canoes in Waikiki under the wing of Rabbit Kekai. Having carried around a Kodak Brownie camera from early-on he had taken photos of seaplanes, boats, friends and landscapes surrounding him on Catalina. Having seen John Severson’s 1962 surf movie “Going My Wave” at the Kaiser Dome in the Hilton Hawaiian Village, McCullough’s photography interest became galvanized on surf photography as the next subject-matter to focus on.
Working three consecutive summers as a deckhand in Avalon for 50 cents, 75 cents and then $1.25 an hour, by 1963 Tim had finally saved enough to buy a Pentax – his first 35mm SLR camera – and a Soligar 450mm telephoto lens.
In combination with the trial and error self-taught technique early-on, Tim also benefited from the mentorship of noted Hawaii photographers Francis Lee and Larry Hata with his introduction to and refinement of telephoto photography. He experimented in color and black and white medium with many good and several not-so-good results as an early teenage photographer. Country destinations Haleiwa, Sunset, Pipeline and Waimea were the primary September through April winter breaks to shoot while December would present the annual pilgrimage to Makaha to shoot the International Surfing Championships. The spring, summer, fall periods would direct Tim’s attention to the town breaks of Ala Moana and Portlock, when swells would materialize and perhaps a trip out to the West Side to shoot Yokohama might be warranted. And then there were the winter trips to Maui in hope of catching Honolua in all it’s grandeur.
After growing up surrounded by and working in his father’s companies, Tim would assume leadership of the Reyn’s and Reyn Spooner family businesses in the late 1970’s. Over the next thirty years Tim would immerse himself within the business to cultivate and expand creative new products supported by a diverse customer base for these iconic enterprises.
Achieving many publications of his work in the 1960’s, Tim still enjoys seeing his images in contemporary articles, features and books associated with the period. Fully embracing the digital age Tim still pursues his photographic passion today with considerable material assembled from Africa, Asia, Antarctica the Pacific and our National Parks. Tim is in the process of archiving his early surf capture from traditional film medium to digital content with the intent of having a web-site available for interested viewers.
Publications Tim’s work has appeared within include the following:
Magazines & Periodicals
Forecast Outrigger Canoe Club The Surfers Journal
Standup Surf & Sail Journal Longboard Magazine
Nalu Magazine Japan
The Surfers Path Magazine U.K. Surfing World Magazine Australia
“The Soul Of Surfing Is Hawaiian”, Fred Hemmings, Sports Enterprises
“Eddie Would Go, The Story of Eddie Aikau-Hawaiian Hero”, Stuart Coleman, Mind Raising Press
“Da Bull, Life Over The Edge”, Greg Noll & Andrea Gabbard, Bangtail Press
“Greg Noll, The Art Of The Surfboard”, Drew Kampion, Gibbs Smith
“Miki Dora, All For A Few Perfect Waves”, David Rensin, Harper
“Miki Dora”, Alain Gardinier, Atlantica France
“All Those Summers, Memories Of Surfings Golden Age”, Michael McPherson, Watermark Press
“Surf Is Where You Find It”, Jerry Lopez, Patagonia Books
“Vans Off The Wall, Stories Of Sole From Vans Originals”, Doug Palladini, Abrams NY “Legends Of Surfing, The Greatest Surfriders From Duke Kahanamoku to Kelly Slater”, Duke Boyd, MVP Books
“The Ultimate Guide To Vintage Surfboards & Collectables”, Jim Winniman, US Vintage Surf Auction