Reel Talk: Dylan Gordon

Dylan Gordon, staff photographer for Surfer Mag, doesn’t usually mix photography shoots with video shoots. He recently released a new short from a couple of early morning sessions with Troy Mothershead so Cy caught up with him for some details about his craft.

As a staff photographer for surfer magazine, do find yourself shooting a mix of stills and video when on assignment or do you like to keep it separate?

Majority of the time I will only shoot video if I have an exact project in mind. For most of the video projects I’ve shot for the magazine, I will spend 90% of the time shooting video and then gather the stills I need to package with the video when I can.

Dylan Gordon surf photography

Dylan Gordon surf photography

What tripod, cameras and lenses do you like shoot with?

I shoot entirely on Nikon systems for stills and video. For stills I use a D3s, for video I use a D800. My main lenses are 24-70, 50, 80-400. The sticks I use are manfrotto with a 504hd head.

Your new short film featuring Troy Mothershead is great, did you have that piece in mind before that session came together or was it a spur-of-the-moment decision?

This piece was simply inspired by the desire to attempt filming with Troy as the majority of what we’ve done together is either just shooting stills or surfing. I wanted to film with him locally and had light coming through the pier in the morning in mind, so we talked about it a little bit and two early morning sessions later, we were done.

Processed with VSCOcam with k2 preset

What editing software do you use for video? What about stills?

I edit with both Final Cut Pro 7 and Adobe Premier.  I edited this film with Premier as I hadn’t used it for a while and wanted to play with the color grading tools.

I use Photoshop CS6 for stills.

What advice do you have for photographers looking to shoot video of surfing?

Good glass and a good tripod. Tripods are hugely underrated and can make a world of difference in the quality of a project.