LA photographer and gallery owner Ed Freeman wants to takesurfing photography to a higher level. Which is not easy, given the vast cultural archive of imagery associated with perhaps the most photogenic of sports.  Surf shots are fun to look at, documenting a unique convergence of raw natural beauty and human skill, grace and fortitude.

For his new show, Freeman tries to position his images outside the realm of documentary sports photography. He calls it “surfing photography as fine art”, and acknowledges up front that “this is not reportage photography…I’ve taken all the liberties in editing and retouching that are permitted to artists but forbidden to journalists.”

Freeman starts with a series of amazing images taken on Oahu’s North Shore. His artistic refinements and digital enhancements turn these into jaw-droppers. The stated goal is to capture not just the grace and beauty of surfing, but it’s spiritual heart and soul.

The show opens June 11 and runs all summer at the Ed Freeman Gallery. It’s at 945 Chung King Road in downtown LA.

Images courtesy of Ed Freeman