WELCOME TO THE BEATING HEART OF YOUR ADDICTION
WE ARE THE SPIT
THE TRADE WINDS
THE HOWLING GALE
WE ARE BACKWASH
A few years ago I ran into Ingo on an isolated beach in the NW of Iceland. He was there with an American chap chasing the favourable conditions and the four of us shared waves at the spot Chris and I had lucked upon through word of mouth. Ingo openly shared his knowledge of the area, it's history, inhabitants and anecdotes of past trips to the region. His dedication and understanding of the country was clearly evident however it wasn't until afterwards through conversation that we learnt of Arctic Surfers. In a business where information is your greatest commodity, the tips we were given for the coming days became that much more significant.
Fast forward a few years and Tom Cockram set out to capture the dedication and lifestyle Ingo and Arctic Surfers have turned into a business in this beautiful new film. In a country that's renowned for its immense landscapes and scenery, Tom manages to capture a unique perspective of Iceland through the eyes of a surfer dedicated to its coastlines and ever changing weather patterns. Tom shed some insight on the imagery (which really speaks for itself) and the premise of the trip:
Tell us a bit about your background and work?
I work mainly in advertising photography with a mixture of lifestyle, portraiture and sport for various brands and magazines.
However working to commercial briefs has given me the passion to go and shoot my own personal projects which mainly focus on characters or landscapes around surf.
For a recent personal project I visited the surf and motorbike festival in Biarritz, Wheels & Waves. This body of work became an exhibition documenting the people and stories of the festival, exploring the passions of surfing and riding.
I grew up in Jersey in the Channel Islands surrounded by beautiful beaches and nature and surf. I surfed off and on growing up but it has now become a huge passion of mine and over the last few years I have found I am constantly drawn back to the ocean. Now when planning personal projects I'm always trying to involve some kind of adventure and surf.
How did the project come about?
I had heard about people surfing in Iceland and was intrigued by the landscape there so I started researching it and came across Ingo and the Arctic Surfers. I got in touch and we started talking about initial ideas and then I went away and put together a team to start building the project. An art director friend (Stephen Owen) and I drew up the story board and we began to plan a trip.
I have been wanting to move into shooting more moving film and this felt like a great way to start that off: a story about cold water surfing and the passion and dedication which goes into it. Ingo's story felt very fitting and unique.
Yeah that must have been a tough process trying to shoot both stills and video?
As this was my first directing piece it was hard trying to shoot stills at the same time but I managed to find the right balance which worked for both at the start on the trip.
It was pretty fustrating at times seeing the amazing light change through the landscape and wanting to capture it on both.
The soundtrack really lends itself to the piece. Was that an active effort on your behalf?
The soundtrack is 'Machineries of Joy' by British Sea Power. They have been a band I've loved for a long time and their sound felt perfect for this project.
I haven't worked with them before but I got in touch with the band and they liked the idea; the track fits so well with the landscape. Would love to do more work together in the future.
Have you got an plans to head back to Iceland after this trip?
I would love to go on another surf or snow board trip enjoying the place. I felt like we only saw a small part of this amazing country, there is so much to see and do.
Backwash Issue Two is a surf anthology featuring Japan, the photography of Chris Burkard and Sergio Villalba, Hamish Laing and Woody Gooch. Kalani Lattanzi swims at Nazare, whilst Amy Kotch surfs barrels whilst pregnant and John Peck knee paddles out as he has done since 1958.Purchase