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Paul Greene surf photo

This image of a solid winter swell won Paul Greene the Lineups category of The Inertia Film & Photo Challenge. Photo: Paul Greene

The Inertia

Well, The Inertia Film & Photo Challenge is all wrapped up, and the winners have been announced. The contest, which recognizes the work of up-and-coming photographers, was incredibly hard to judge. Submissions from all over the world flooded in, and whittling them down to the best was no easy task. Broken into four categories, the Film & Photo Challenge consisted of Lineups (presented by Parkit), Black & White (presented by White Claw), Emerge (presented by MiiR), and Short Profile Film. After much consideration, Paul Greene took the Lineups category with the stunning image you see above.

Born and raised in Santa Barbara, Paul’s work is heavily influenced by the nature and ocean he grew up in, as well as a handful of other photographers. “There are too many to list,” he said when we asked who those influential photographers were. “Chris Burkard, Nathan Lawrence, and Woody Woodworth have shot some of my all time favorite lineup shots, though.”

He started surfing at age 10, catching his first wave at Rincon. Even then, he says he felt compelled to take photos, and when he started shooting, and he never looked back. He’s been on our radar for years now — we ran a portfolio of his images back when he was just 16 — and he’s only gotten better with age and experience. Now, his photos have a uniquely Paul Greene feel. Dream-like but technical, full of whimsy and movement.

Lineups are something he’s always loved to shoot. “I used to spend hours looking at lineup photos in surf magazines as a kid,” he said, “and that must have had an impact because shooting lineups is one of my favorite things to take photos of.”

We can’t wait to see what’s next for him. Amid a field of so much talent, Greene was happy to win, to say the least.

“Seeing all the great shots in the final selection, I wasn’t really expecting to win,” he said. “I was also out of town and couldn’t make it to the awards. After not hearing anything that night about who won, I just expected I didn’t get it. Then the next morning I found out and couldn’t have been more stoked!”

See more of his work at PaulGreenephoto.com and follow him on Instagram.


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