GALLERY: Behind the Lens with Jeremiah Klein

Magicseaweed

by on

Updated 26d ago

There are few people who graft as hard as lensman Jeremiah Klein. No matter the scenario, this is a surf photographer who will always be in the right place at exactly the right time – and he's been doing just that for the better part of two decades.

And that's not all. You see, Miah's as humble as they come, with an uncanny ability to truly listen and engage, to take in everything you're talking about and see all angles with refreshing positivity – a trait that's as engrained in his personality as it is in his camera work.

Forecast: Lowers

“Even when the waves are small, if the light is right, it makes an image special. Photography is all about capturing light. Winter sunsets in San Clemente are my absolute favourite. Here at Lowers you can see the sky is on fire. And even though the waves are small, it really just brings you in, makes you want to be there.”

“Even when the waves are small, if the light is right, it makes an image special. Photography is all about capturing light. Winter sunsets in San Clemente are my absolute favourite. Here at Lowers you can see the sky is on fire. And even though the waves are small, it really just brings you in, makes you want to be there.”

© 2020 - Jeremiah Klein

But it's the subtle moments that Miah manages to capture that make his work stand out. A photographer with the power to enter full stealth mode to capture the most candid of scenarios, which is exactly what you want from a solid photographer - someone you don't even know is there who can capture a natural frame without tainting the scene. Anyway, we decided to check in with Mr Klein to learn a bit more about how he got started, equipment and life as prominent surfing lensman – and did we mention he used to be a pro bodyboarder?

All captions by Miah.

How did you get into photography?
One fine morning back in 1998, Mike Stonis opened my eyes to the thrill of photography after we took turns shooting each other with his Canon EOS A2 in a water housing. Going to the 1 hour photo lab afterward and see how those glorious 36 shots turned out was more exciting than Christmas. That day was the start to my passion for photography.

What are your must-have pieces of equipment for trips?
My all time favourite surf trip, meat and potatoes piece of equipment is the 50mm lens. It works great in a water housing for action, tubes, lifestyle, portraits, line-ups, low-light and it’s small and unassuming. That and for comforts of home, lots of Tapatio packets. You never know when an exotic meal might need some spice to help it go down.

“There’s nothing like a good sunset shot, but if you add waves to that sunset shot…oooweee, now we’re talking.”

“There’s nothing like a good sunset shot, but if you add waves to that sunset shot…oooweee, now we’re talking.”

© 2020 - Jeremiah Klein

Tell us about your career path?
My surf photography career started soon after my love for the ocean and trying to ride the biggest barrels I could find. In 2000 Bodyboarding Magazine hired me as Photo Editor. In 2002 a group of friends and I published six issues of Option Magazine. From 2002-2006 Surfing magazine gave me an opportunity as assistant photo editor working under Steve Sherman and Larry Moore. In early 2008 I got the job as photo editor of Water Magazine (owned by Surfline) where I transitioned into photo editor of Surfline later that same year. Currently a creator and innovator for Vissla and senior staff photographer at Surfline.

“In 2018 while in Nazare, to document the big wave paddle event, I ran into JoJo Roper who was loading up a van with his boards at sunrise. He offered me a ride down to the beach and I obliged. This was the first wave that I saw that day. It’s a magical place.”

“In 2018 while in Nazare, to document the big wave paddle event, I ran into JoJo Roper who was loading up a van with his boards at sunrise. He offered me a ride down to the beach and I obliged. This was the first wave that I saw that day. It’s a magical place.”

© 2020 - Jeremiah Klein

First camera used?
Canon EOS A2 film camera

First camera owned?
Canon EOS 630 film camera and 28mm lens.

Who is your biggest influence?
This is a tough question because there are so many people who have helped shape my vision in how I see the world with my camera. At the start, Mike Stonis got me addicted to taking pictures, Scott Winer helped me to be more professional, Larry Moore told me to follow the light and Steve Sherman taught me the art of the decisive moment. But looking back to those formative years, Pete Taras really helped me the most by getting my first water housing, freely sharing knowledge about camera settings, pushing me to experiment and showing me how to creatively look through the lens.

"It’s images like this that really inspire me to keep going on trips and experience surf culture in different countries. These kids don’t even know what’s in their backyard."

© 2020 - Jeremiah Klein

Like the look? Purchase some of Miah's work here. A version of this article first appeared on Surfline.

“This was my first time shooting Mavericks and it was absolutely perfect. I know that word gets thrown around a lot, but this was seriously…it was…wow…it was pretty special. It all happened back in February 2016 while documenting this swell and my job was to cover the land angle at Half Moon Bay. Lucked into this vantage point at first light and was able to get Peter Mel gliding gently into an offshore dreamer screamer.”

“This was my first time shooting Mavericks and it was absolutely perfect. I know that word gets thrown around a lot, but this was seriously…it was…wow…it was pretty special. It all happened back in February 2016 while documenting this swell and my job was to cover the land angle at Half Moon Bay. Lucked into this vantage point at first light and was able to get Peter Mel gliding gently into an offshore dreamer screamer.”

© 2020 - Jeremiah Klein

“Ocean Beach is a very tricky wave to surf. When you check it, it looks perfect and when you get out there, it is hard to find those perfect waves you saw from shore. Add to the fact that when it properly breaks, it is a long hard paddle out. There are currents. There are a lot factors that need to come together to get a good ride at Ocean Beach. But as a photographer, it is great because you can stay safe and warm on the land. Cup of coffee in one hand and camera in the other, just shooting perfect dreamy waves that no one is surfing. Without a doubt it is the best mind surfing wave in the world.”

“Ocean Beach is a very tricky wave to surf. When you check it, it looks perfect and when you get out there, it is hard to find those perfect waves you saw from shore. Add to the fact that when it properly breaks, it is a long hard paddle out. There are currents. There are a lot factors that need to come together to get a good ride at Ocean Beach. But as a photographer, it is great because you can stay safe and warm on the land. Cup of coffee in one hand and camera in the other, just shooting perfect dreamy waves that no one is surfing. Without a doubt it is the best mind surfing wave in the world.”

© 2020 - Jeremiah Klein

“As a photographer, I’m always looking for images that are impactful or have some kind of X factor in them. Corban Campbell is that X factor. He’s always surfing hard and surfing fast and he’s pretty photogenic especially in waves of consequence. He always seems to get the craziest waves whenever we’re on a trip together. This wave in particular, I don’t think anyone else wanted it. Corban came, saw and conquered. And so for that, I salute you.”

“As a photographer, I’m always looking for images that are impactful or have some kind of X factor in them. Corban Campbell is that X factor. He’s always surfing hard and surfing fast and he’s pretty photogenic especially in waves of consequence. He always seems to get the craziest waves whenever we’re on a trip together. This wave in particular, I don’t think anyone else wanted it. Corban came, saw and conquered. And so for that, I salute you.”

© 2020 - Jeremiah Klein