The Inertia

Surf Photographer Ryan Tatar

A portrait of the artist: Ryan Tatar.

Ryan Tatar is a surfer and photographer currently based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Humbly contributing to the surf scene, he documents a unique and quiet view of surf culture around his home breaks and on the road. Growing up in Michigan – far from surf cliques – he moved to San Diego, California several years ago and has been traveling coasts riding waves and documenting various facets of surf culture. His main body of work, entitled Sea-Tribes, is an ongoing photo essay “inspired by the ocean and marine layer…documenting various pods of surfers and coastal landscapes.” Ryan works with anyone that interests him, shooting local surfers, unnamed passers-by, and folks like Cyrus Sutton, Michel Junod, and Thomas Campbell.

Armed with an eccentric collection of photographic equipment and a vintage blue suitcase full of expired Polaroids and slide film, his subtle images have caught the attention of many on the fringes of the surfing world. His photographs are taken on fully manual equipment, most without light meters or instruments of proper exposure. The colors are unique to the film processing technique (various slide films processed in C-41 chemicals and Polaroid).

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