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Portfolio: Rob Henson’s artistic take on the prosaic wave pool point-and-shoot

Rob Henson, the staff photographer at the BSR Surf Resort is becoming an artist. But he won’t admit to it. Between 16-hour days shooting and his no-frills Texas sensibilities he has little room to embrace the fancy stuff.

We tried to out him as an artist by throwing out terms like “composition” and “texture” regarding this latest batch of photos but he didn’t bite. Pushing further, we asked if he’d been studying, researching, maybe hitting museums.

“What have I been doing differently lately in my photos? I have been doing nothing.”

But the transformation of Rob’s photos from flat wave pool point-and-shoot to speed blue and golden light couldn’t have been sheer luck. Capturing steely concentration on the surfers’ faces wasn’t a fluke. Rob was working at his craft. He just wouldn’t admit it. We pressed on.

“I mainly use my Canon 1DX-II on this stuff and I recently found a used 1DX-III for a hell of a price and picked it up.”

We countered that a fancy camera is good and all, but that great photographs don’t take themselves.

“I’ll just tell you straight up, my days are so busy from start to finish that I’m dealing with my regular customers and basically I have to go kind of with the stock shot, yeah, I have to make sure and get the coverage for them. But when brands come through for shoots, that’s when I can play around and experiment and just try different angles.”

Yes! He finally gave in. A little bit…

“There’s a guy that comes up here occasionally named Jimmy Metyko who is a legendary photographer from back in the day. He was one of the first Texas surf photographers to actually get Texans some coverage in Surfer Mag. He has the most insane speed water shots. When he has come up here, I’ve definitely sat with him a lot and chatted with him. But I’m not ready to just go out and post a bunch of speed blur shots just yet because I know they’re not quite where I want them to be.”

Inspired, we asked directly if Rob was practicing his art at BSR and working on new things…

“So basically, you know, to answer your question, I’m not necessarily working on anything. But one of the beautiful things about being here is that the pool’s not going to change. But I can change the angles and just, you know, try different things. And if it works then great. I might stumble onto something that’s incredible or it may just be crap. You just don’t know. But I definitely like to experiment whenever the pressure’s not on for me to get content.”

Check below for some recent photography highlights. You can check out Rob Henson’s Instagram here.


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