Israel is well known for a few pumping setups. Yet, while it isn't going to win any prizes for the most epic session in history, it is slowly cultivating a burgeoning surf scene. And where there's surf, there's also lensmen down to capture all that happens in the drink.
Right here, we're stoked to introduce Amit Schestowitz – a Tel Aviv-based photographer who has a highly double-tappable Insty feed. See HERE.
We checked in with Amit after a few of his snaps caught our eye, talking surf culture in Israel, the importance of Insty in building a following and some of his top shots from across years gone by. Dig in.
MSW: Tell us a bit about yourself, where did you grow up? And how did you get into surf photography?
AS: My name's Amit Schestowitz, I’m 26-years-old from Israel. I was born and raised in Haifa city Israel, on the last two-years, I lived in Tel aviv. When I was at school, I remember having notebooks with surfing pictures, I watched them all the time. When I was 11, I started surfing and eventually I got into the world of surf photography when I was 16 or so.
I got my first camera with a 18-55mm kit lens, I went straight to the beach with her and since then, I've been hooked.
How’s the surf scene in Israel?
The surf scene in Israel is really changing. There are so many surf clubs now that are teaching kids to surf. Although, the surfing aren’t that great, and good surfing days are rare to find, our junior surfing team, managed by the great Ben Tsarfati, has made some great results. Currently, Anat Lelior is in the second place on the 2018 Junior Europe tour.
How do you get stoked when the Med’s running flat?
When the sea is flat, it is usually time to think about the next trip [laughs]. Or go back to the archive, go through the pictures and look for whether I missed a particular frame.
Where’s your favourite place to shoot?
It really changes. I like to explore new beaches. For me, there is nothing more exciting than getting to the beach and thinking how I will get my vision out there. I usually have a frame in my mind and when all the conditions connect, then it can really happen.
Your Insty account is packed with shots from Hossegor, do you get over to France much?
I just love this place, it's really magical and highly recommended, especially around the time of the Quicksilver pro event - it's really a surf festival.
Do you have any other jobs to help support your passion for surf photography?
Yes, I’m also in the fashion photography industry, and entrepreneur in the real estate business.
What does surfing mean to you?
Surfing for me, is a place for pure soul and no limits. The fact that no wave will never be exact as the wave before and after, kinda excites me.
How important is an active Instagram account when looking to crack into the biz?
I highly appreciate the platform, as a place for expressing yourself, you know? The exposure is worldwide and you can make an immediate impact.
Talk us through some of your top shots.
1) Haifa city, the hometown
Amazing crazy afternoon, this winter. That provided great dramatic conditions.
2) Hawaii, Pipeline
A day I will never forget, first time I met the “real” ocean.
3) Netania, Israel
This picture was shot on the first competition in Israel and on the second year, I had the honour to see it developed and presented at the contest.
4) France, Hossegor
First day of the quicksilver pro. It was a foggy early morning, I remember standing on the hill and thinking to myself 'that long exposure is exactly the right thing'. After an hour the sea became very rough, and the contest stopped.