Surfing the Canary IslandsPhotographer Guillermo Cervera has taken photos in conflict zones from Afghanistan to Sudan. To refresh his mind after photographing war, he shoots one or two surf assignments a year. He recently spoke to Outside about how and why he does it in "Galleries We Like: Surfing the Canary Islands."
Surfing the Canary Islands"I need to keep my mind fresh. If you keep on doing war and war all of the time, I think you’ll get a little crazy. I have many friends that do war photography all of the time, and I don’t want to be like that."
Surfing the Canary Islands"I love the water. When I get in the water, it lifts my spirit. I was in the water since I was a kid. My mother would go to the water, my father too."
Surfing the Canary Islands"It’s because you think different with the camera in the water. You have to think in a completely different way."
Surfing the Canary Islands"Being in the water when the waves are big, that’s my favorite."
Surfing the Canary Islands"The Canary Islands is a great place. It’s like Hawaii, but on this side. It’s closer to me. Hawaii is far. I went once to Hawaii, and I arrived after 14 hours of flying to San Francisco. I say, I am almost there, and I got into the plane and they say, no, seven more hours."
Surfing the Canary Islands"When you get in the water, you just forget where you are. It goes away."
Surfing the Canary Islands"I had one picture that was really hard, because there were really, really crazy waves in the Canary Islands. There were three photographers in the water. One of them went out of the water because it was really deep and it was kind of dangerous. The other went out also, one hour after, because it was really big and really dangerous, and the wind was offshore, so the spray was going all over and the camera would not focus [on the surfer]. So it was really, really tricky. I saw a huge wave, and it came over me. It can be bad when that happens. But the camera just took the picture automatically. When I looked at the camera, I thought that it was really difficult and weird—that was what happened."
Surfing the Canary Islands"Whenever you spend that much time in Afghanistan, you end up stressed a little bit. I go the sea, I do photography, I sell it, and it’s good—but I would do it anyway."
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