Surfing With Animals by Luke Fraser
My name is Luke Fraser and I had never lived by the ocean till I was 21 years old. I grew up in Canada and Colorado; mountains were my childhood playground and I was greatly terrified of the ocean as a youth. Creating films and taking photos became my passion at 10 years old and I continue to do this to this day. When I graduated high school I took a gap year and travelled to New Zealand. It was there that I overcame my ocean fear and became addicted to surfing after riding a long left hander in Raglan. Over the next three years I surfed as often as someone could when they live and study in a land-locked state (Colorado).
I chose to return to New Zealand to study abroad at the University of Otago in Dunedin, partly in an effort to finally live by an ocean. In Dunedin I surfed and gave my first go at surf photography. When I chose to be onshore snapping photos, instead of being in the chilly waters, I noticed an abundance of wildlife surrounding each and every break I shot. Sea Lions, Fur Seals, Yellow-Eyed Penguins, and classic NZ’s sheep were the locals of the South Island beaches and points. When I thought about all the surf photos that I have ever seen in my life I realized that I have never seen a combination of wildlife photography and surfing. With this in mind, I set out to compose shots of these two things each time I stood on the shores. In some ways I feel as if I have created three shots that are completely original and have never been done before. These original photos are three photos that are apart of my mini photo series “Surfing with Animals.”