A Candid Look into the Life of a Hellman: Derek Dunfee does it all | Surfs big waves, shoots photos, + creates zines
We had the pleasure of interviewing Derek Dunfee a few years ago. He had just come from his part-time job fish mongering and had probably surfed a life altering wave the day before and put out a zine the day before that. It’s always strange interviewing someone like Derek because sitting before you they seem like a mortal human. Soft spoken, kind, etc. But then you see the monsters they tame in the ocean and they are far from a normal person.
In a couple words Derek is an amazing human interested in all that life offers. These days it is more about creating photography and art out of his passion for big waves and it seems whenever someone has the abilities to surf those waves themselves they bring a unique eye to it.
Breakfast honcho Morgan Maassen asked Derek a couple questions and showcased some of his photos.
2. Describe your medium & process for your photos…
I love water photography! I’ve been working on a long-term big wave project so I have been mainly shooting photos. I made two 60 page zines that covered 10 years of big wave photography called “DEKKA Volume 1” and 2 (2004-2014). I had a few photo shows and parties to share it, also enlisting the help of the artist ‘Sketchytank’ help me with the logos and design. Recently I made “DEKKA Volume 3”, which covered the past three years of big wave surfing. I focused on capturing the best big wave action photos, getting as close as possible. In my older zines, I shot a lot of portraits and landscapes, where as now I’m spending a lot more time trying to nail different big wave action photos.
Last winter I packed up my water housing in a back pack and paddled from the beach to shoot Mavericks. I really wanted to capture the big wave surfers POV by taking photos off my surfboard. It was a really crazy paddle out, but I took it as a personal challenge. Every wave my backpack would catch and drag me backwards… I love to surf big waves and I want to share that perspective. This winter I started hitching rides out on a jetski or boat because I’m out there all day and I’m trying to prepare a little better, bringing water, food, extra batteries and cards.
Sometimes I swim in big surf too, if it’s too dangerous to have my board, such as at places like Puerto Escondido, Mexico.
💀 Photo: @derekdunfee check out👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻 @morganmaassen asked me some questions about my photography for the @breakfastcultureclub , go check the link in my bio!👆🏻 Thank You!!☕️ • • • #surf #ocean #waves #surfing #surfers #sanfransisco #beach #sun #water #sand #nature #photooftheday #beautiful #seashore #shore #fun #clouds #cloudporn #sunset #instagood #amazing