Lost and found is all
about the artists. It’s a
tribute to the original
style makers

Lance Trout

As a young surfer from Florida, Lance Trout dreamed of riding waves at the famed Sunset Beach. “I had always watched it on television. ABC’s Wide World of Sports would air surf contests there with the great surfers in the ’60s and early ’70s,” Trout recalls. He also gravitated toward photography at a young age, mentored by his older brother, a staff photographer for the local newspaper. In February of 1975, he landed on Oahu with a Nikon body and an assortment of lenses, a Century 650mm lens, a tripod, and the offer to use his friend Chris Lundy’s surfboards. “I finally got to photograph Sunset Beach on my first North Shore photo experience. I was inspired to try to get some stills of what I remembered seeing on TV. A few days later, when I was able to go surf Sunset, I got pummeled and decided to photograph the bigger days and work my way up to surfing it.” A freelancer with Surfing and Surfer from ’75-’77, Trout then joined the staff of photographers at Surfing Magazine through 1980, spending season after season in The Islands. “Photography was the perfect hobby to have in those beautiful lands and seas of Hawaii.”  

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Ralph Cipolla

Camera hobbyist Ralph Cipolla photographed his brother and friends surfing around their hometown breaks of Point Pleasant, New Jersey. Trips up and down the East Coast and to Puerto Rico furthered his passion for riding waves himself, as well as capturing the power and speed of the era’s stylish single fin surfing. He soon scored a published photo of David Balzerak at Wilderness in Surfing Magazine’s 1977 World Travel Issue. Late that same year, Cipolla took his first of three pilgrimages to shoot the best surfers on Oahu, Canon AE-1, 400mm lens, and 20 rolls of film in hand. “I traveled to Hawaii in the fall of 1977 with my good friend Dick Meseroll, who was a staff photographer for Surfing Magazine at the time. I paid some heavy North Shore dues by having some of my camera gear stolen in less than a week after arriving in Oahu; but luckily I’d insured all my gear before I left home. Eventually, I stretched a two-month trip into five months, living on Pupukea Road where Foodland was built. I was in awe of the waves and the surfing being done on the North Shore.”

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Shirley Rogers

“When I moved to the North Shore in 1971, there were very few women living out there,” remembers Shirley Rogers, a Hawaiian born surfer, model, photographer, and actress. “It was like the Wild West, and even being local didn’t help – my first Nikon setup was stolen from my house! Thank God they didn’t get my Century lens.” Being one of the only local female surf photographers offered Rogers a slight advantage when it came to behind-the-scenes access: “The boys were more open and available to ham it up for me,” she recalls. “I was able to get some really great candid shots of them.” But scoring action shots from the beach was intensely competitive: “I had to prove I was serious about it. I guess standing eight to 10 hours a day in the hot sun and dragging 50 pounds of camera equipment, tripods, and lenses through the soft sand for miles earned some respect! Even more so when my pictures got published in the mags.” By the mid ’70s, the entire professional surf world descended upon the Seven Mile Miracle every winter, and it was impossible to miss a gorgeous, bikini-clad woman behind a massive lens. Lo and behold, inspiration easily found her: “Jack McCoy and Dickie Hoole asked me to shoot their Century lens at Waimea Bay for their surf mag, BackDoor, because they were doing water shots for their movie, In Search of Tubular Swells. The rest is history!”

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Col Albert Benson

Colonel Albert Benson was a true icon on the North Shore. After serving in multiple wars, he retired to Hawaii with his family and became interested not just in photography, but also in filmmaking, contributing to films like Cosmic Children and Free Ride. Using both his movie and still cameras, he captured timeless moments of the evolution of surfing through the 1960s and 70s. His kindness, generosity, and open-home policy for traveling surfers left a lasting impression on the North Shore. He embraced and lived the definition of aloha, and his contributions to not just photography, but to the community of the North Shore, will never be forgotten.  

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Larry Pierce

Growing up in Hawaii, Larry Pierce started surfing at age 14. His first shots came in ‘67 when his brother gifted him a Nikonos. “I can recall during the high school days on Oahu photographing Kaisers Bowl on the south shore, tracks on the west side….and eventually shooting on the North Shore in the early 70’s” Pierce remembered. He moved out to the North Shore in 1975 and immediately knew he wanted to photograph surfing for a living. He made a couple of submissions to Surfing Magazine and soon received a package with 6 rolls of Kodachrome from Larry “Flame” Moore. He and his wife eventually moved to Colorado, where his lens turned to winter sports. Pierce is still passionate about surfing and surf photography, which he still shoots on his yearly surf trips to Baja. “I truly feel blessed that I’m still pursuing a photographic career at 64. I love it!”

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Bob Barbour

Born in Santa Monica, California, Bob Barbour was surfing Malibu by age 13, and was already taking pictures. “I had an interest in photography in high school,” he says, “but it wasn’t until I went to college at SDSU that my interest peaked. I had the great fortune of having Gene Kennedy as my photography teacher, and he taught me far more than simply the technical aspects; he opened a door that allowed me to look at the world and subjects with a unique confidence.” Barbour’s surf and photo passions led him to Hawaii, where everything came together: “My first trip to Hawaii was really a surf trip with my friend, Chris Hale. Even though I was just starting to shoot surfing, I took my gear along, hoping to capture some good shots. When I came back to California, I took the slides up to Surfing and showed them to Flame (Larry “Flame” Moore). As it turned out, they used a few images, and I made enough to pay for my trip. That was the first of many, many winters on the North Shore.” Through the seasons, Barbour perfected his personal water housing designs there, one of his trademarks. A stalwart staffer for both Surfing and Surfer during the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, Barbour has garnered a reputation for his natural lighting, exquisite eye for detail, and the patience to capture each frame as he imagined it.

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Dan Merkel

Dan Merkel has been one of surfing's legendary lensmen for 30+ years. Dan "the Man Mountain" (nicknamed by Gerry Lopez) is responsible for some of the "Free Ride" era's most memorable images. His insatiable appetite for the best shot has had him on the go ever since. Abandoning still photography for commercial cinematography in the late seventies and into the 80's and 90's on projects like Big Wednesday, Endless Summer II and countless other films have benefited from Dan's keen eye and unwavering drive to be the best he can be. Today Dan still lives with that passion with his camera and subjects and is either seeking the perfect light or even on his water mat shooting surfing and ocean features.

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John Jones

“I got into photography to capture those chicken skin moments when nature just puts on a show,” reminisces Santa Cruz, California, native and Hawaii resident John Jones. Inspired by the iconic images of Don James, a dentist from LA who shot surfing from the 1930s to ’60s, Jones figured: “If dentistry gave him the freedom to pursue that, it’s something I should look into.” Most of Jones’ surf photography started in the late ’70s, when he finished dental school and moved back to Hawaii for good. “I mostly shot my South Shore friends, like Buttons, Mark Liddell, Larry Bertlemann, Michael and Derek Ho. I tried to get shots the full-time photographers weren’t getting, like outer islands, hot amateurs, local rippers, scenics, girl surfers, and lineups. I gave away a lot of my shots and, as a result, ended up with more than a few new dental patients.” Jones would reschedule his dental practice and take off work whenever a really good swell or contest was expected, or take a three-hour lunch to shoot Ala Moana when The Bowl was breaking. “Photography was really a hobby and I did it purely for the love,” Jones admits. “It is so much fun, but the pay is very low.” In 1983, Jones’ photo of Simon Anderson at Pipe landed the cover of Surfing Magazine. “It was the first US cover shot of a surfer riding a thruster,” he says. “There was also a poster of me at Ala Moana in Surfing’s “Poster Annual” taken by Warren Bolster around 1974–– I don’t know of any other surf photographer who has both shot posters and been in one.”

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Larry “Flame” Moore

Larry “Flame” Moore became a dedicated surfer during his teenage years, despite living inland in Whittier, California. Moore attended college at California State University at Long Beach, majoring in health education with a minor in photography. He was passionate about photography, surfing, and sailing, with dreams of shooting his own surf movie, and he was never without his cameras. Photography wasn’t just a hobby or a profession; it was a way of life. In 1976, Moore became Surfing Magazine’s photo editor, publishing images under his legendary alias, “Flame.” Moore played an integral role in giving many blossoming photographers their start, mailing them rolls of film and encouragement. Sadly, Flame was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2002 and passed away three years later. In 2006, Moore’s immediate and surfing families established the Follow the Light Foundation to support up-and-coming surf photographers with awards and grants.

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Tim Bernardy

“I graduated from high school in 1970 and lived in a VW bus at Ala Moana Park that summer, surfing the South Shore but not shooting it,” says Southern Californian Tim Bernardy. “I picked up photography at CSUF while working toward a journalism major and started shooting on our trips to Ensenada.” Bernardy cut his chops with black-and-white film, which he developed and printed himself. He quickly found his groove using his favorite Nikon FM camera and a Century 500mm f/5.6 long lens, shooting Kodachrome 25 whenever possible. “I was one of the first surf photogs to capture travel in Mexico––not just the waves, but the people and culture. The surfing world media was focused on Hawaii and surf stars, but we were interested in travel. I remember the first time Flame gave me film for a trip––six rolls of 36 Kodachrome exposures and 10 rolls of black-and-white for three months in Mainland Mexico. Surfing Magazine published a six-page article titled ‘El Faro’, featuring my photography.”

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