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Neil Bradfield

 

Inspiration is a word too loosely used. Neil Bradfield’s work has been an inspiration to me for decades.

The color, the way he captures the raw essentials of the Atlantic Ocean and the high angles he uses that no other photographers even thought about.

Ask Lance Slabbert. Neil inspired and mentored Lance. It’s old news that Lance became a master surf photographer whose work graces the pages of countless magazines through-out the world.

It’s incredulous to me that Neil’s work is so rarely seen and acknowledged in South African surfing mags. Perhaps maybe that’s the way he wants it.

© FLANAGAN

Maybe it was my first Nikonos was donated to the crayfish at the bottom of OuterKom.

Or maybe it was the Mako shark that launched metres away while shooting JP at The Caves. Or maybe the hiding I got swimming out at Crayfish Factory when the horizon went black. The message was soon clear – shooting from the land was going to be a better option!

As I slide into “toppiedom” I still find myself shooting virtually anything that moves, from surfing to wildlife to street photography.

The journey continues and the memories get more vivid. Sleeping under a bush and unable to sleep watching stars all night at 60’s/70’s J Bay. “Smokkeling” many a night on the Vic Plateaux and bribing caretaker Morris with the currency of the day – Lieberstein.

And then the night Ken Liston and I spent in the Boswell-Wilkie circus tent with the ringmaster’s daughter at Port Alfred and then in the morning let the river mouth wash us out slowly to the break while we gradually gained consciousness!. But that’s another story.

© BRADFIELD