November 21st, 2012

Steve Sherman A Groupie or A Photographer

We do not know when the fasination began as it seems that Steve Sherman (photographer) has kicked it in overdrive in the past 5 years or so “documenting” Kelly’s every move at a few select contest. Steve is a senior photographer for Surfing Magazine where he stepped down from photo editor to be back in the field where his heart is. For about a year now Steve has attached a GoPro camera to the top of his still camera body to venture into another medium.

On November 15 Surfing mag posted a day in the life of Kelly Slater that was videoed by Steve here.

The readers react with some of the following comments
t-sherms ruins everything
what a dork
shit style
pro ho
try not to talk
pathetic attempt

We reached out to one of Steve’s peers and a photographer who has always looked up to Steve’s work Jack English. “First off I have always enjoyed looking at Steve’s photos in the magazines for the past 20 years. Such a much needed break of images when viewing surf mags filled with surfing action photos page after page. Anyone can stand on the beach and take a surfing action photo. Steve has gained an all access pass to where only the surfers are allowed. I give major credit to Steve based on the fact that he is so passionate at what he does as I know I am the same way when I get a good photo. As a photographer their are no rules on how you shoot or they way you shoot. If other people are happy with my work, then great, but I first and foremost have to make myself happy. Now has Steve crossed the line from being a photographer or a groupie? I think Steve has crossed the line in a weird way from being a photographer to leaning more towards a Kelly Slater fanatic”.

What about the video, your thoughts? “I watched the whole thing and I actually enjoyed parts of it. Again Steve is an artist and people wrote him off for the “shaky camera work, bad audio, bad exposures, bad camera”. On Steve’s behalf that is clearly the look he is going for. Trust me if Steve wanted the everyday look then he could had achieved it. Back to anyone can stand on the beach and take a surfing photo. Steve got something know one else could. I think Steve’s approach by meeting Kelly at the pre-dawn hours we’re to copy and hope to achieve the scene from Kelly Slater in Black & White when Kelly was siting at a table eating cereal. The footage (lifestyle and action) of Kelly in Black & White is a classic and cannot be redone. So on that Steve did not achieve anything great or memorable.

What did you like about the video? “I actually liked the shakeiness to the surfing action footage. Would I want to watch a 30 minute clip of that style of shooting, no! For a little 13minute vid it worked. The shot of Taj and Yadin is pretty classic when Kelly passes by in the competitors area”.

What didn’t you like about the video? “Their are two perspectives to view this video. If your a fan of Kelly/Steve then you may enjoyed it. On the other end viewing it from non-fanatic of Kelly/Steve perspective (another photographer). I am a photographer who has also dabbled into video. I can shoot water, land and photojournalism with the best of them. When I view this vid from a “photographer” side here are my thoughts. You really want to film Kelly putting peanut butter on bread and expect to get some usable footage out of it, but he didn’t. Everything just seemed so forced and not so natural in a way where Kelly just talked to the camera because it was there. Videoing the dog and asking Kalani (Kelly’s girlfriend) about it. The video (lifestyle) looks more of that from a crazed fan then from an artist. Steve’s no Jack McCoy (legend cameraman). Jack McCoy’s work was A+ getting the surfers (including Kelly) to open up to the camera naturally. Surfers spoke to Jack and his camera as almost as they truly respected him and what he had to say. Where Kelly’s reaction to Steve was far from that. Hearing Steve talk into the camera is a little annoying as he never really had anything smart sounding to ask or to add so on that note he should of edited his own voice out.

In the end I think Steve can only learn from this experience and the video. He made this because he wanted to. Nobody made him do this. He was not hired by anyone on this project so on that note he had nothing to really loose. He will continue being a KS fanatic and that is fine as Kelly is oviously enjoying the company. I think this has effected Steve’s work over the years and I would like to see him step back and do what he used to do. I loved the old foggy prints that he made from his parents house in the dark room, but again Steve is an artist and just like a musician they want to change and not sing the same song over and over again.

Steve (the cheerleader)

Steve (the photographer)

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