The Inertia

We have a highly skilled team of some of the world’s most respected surf photographers (including Jean Paul Van Swae of Surfer magazine and professional surfer Otto Flores) leading a specially designed workshop on action surf photography through the School of Visual Arts. This eight-day intensive is not only a unique opportunity to learn the technical skills and equipment necessary to shoot surfing and other water-related sports, but also offers a rare opportunity to become immersed in the surf culture of Rincon, Puerto Rico.

You will learn about the equipment for a variety of situations, from in-water camera housings and extreme fish-eye views to normal and telephoto lenses and on-location strobe lighting. Techniques such as panning with an auto focus lens to keep action sharp will be included. We will explore which cameras work best in and out of the water for action, flash photography with water housings, and remote flash photography. Proper equipment maintenance, how to prevent leaks and how keep your gear safe and dry will be covered.

Throughout this rigorous workshop, participants will have the opportunity to photograph professional surfers in action from both land and water. There will be an emphasis on water safety and etiquette, while at the same time learning how to read and anticipate both style and movement and ultimately, to capture peak action.


And when the surf is not cooperating, we will delve into location portraiture and fashion as it relates to surf culture. Using natural, reflected and strobe lighting techniques we will photograph “real people” from the local surfing community. The goal is to bring out the true characters of surfers in a natural setting. In addition, we will engage beach lifestyle, fashion and swimsuit shooting in and around the water.

As a whole, this workshop will foster a holistic approach to practicing the art of action surf photography and its intersection with nature, beauty and movement. There will be group critiques and discussions on what makes images successful as they relate to surfing.

Tuition includes double-occupancy accommodations, daily Continental breakfast, workshop sessions and transportation to and from off-site visits. Airfare is not included.

Note: A range of specialized in-water camera equipment and on-location strobe lighting will be provided. Students are required to supply their own memory cards, storage devices and/or laptops and a medium or heavy-duty tripod, as well as a lightweight wetsuit (2mm spring or vest), rash guard and swim fins.

This workshop is open to photographers interested in pursuing the genre of action surf photography. Participants must be experienced swimmers, and proficient with DSLR cameras and digital workflow.

There are only a few spots left, so click here to register now.

For further information contact Michelle Mercurio, associate director of arts abroad, via e-mail:; phone: 212.592.2073; fax: 212.592.2017.

*Space is limited and completed applications are processed as they are received.


Join The Inertia Family 

Only the best. We promise.