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Cowabunga, Dude! Surf Photography Winner

Posted on Dec 21, 2022

Sean Michael Pritchard wiped out the competition in the waves to take home Surf Photographer winning prize

Hailing from Swansea, South Wales, Sean entered the Carve magazine contest among a host of impressive entrants. Though he’s from South Wales, Sean has inhabited far flung places, including New Zealand; the winning snap captured a surfer riding through the New Brighton Pier in Christchurch at sunrise.

‘Stoked’ to take the win, Sean is keen to emphasise the remarkable standard of surf photography. Like many of us, he points to the COVID-19 outbreak as the reason he started taking his passion seriously – “this was actually the first year I have entered”, he chuckles. “Being able to showcase the exquisite landscapes of both the UK and New Zealand has been a true honour.”

Top dog: Winner, © Sean Pritchard

Carve is Britain’s primo surf mag with five issues per year of ‘100% pure adrenaline’ (I couldn’t miss the chance to shoehorn a Point Break reference in there, sorry) and top photos from the surf world. Running the competition yearly, they receive hundreds upon hundreds of the best submissions.

Celebrating Britain’s and Irelands best photographers and their photos is the highlight of the year for the editors, says Steve England. “You don’t have to be a pro, you don’t have to have the best gear, you just have to have an eye for the moment”; a sentiment we couldn’t agree with more.

The photograph that initially caught the eye of the judges was taken by Sean whilst living in Christchurch, New Zealand. Entitled ‘Shoot the Pier’, the shot stood out from the crowd for the judges. Other images Sean entered as part of the portfolio included surf inspired shots taken throughout the South Island of New Zealand and Wales. Sean has written this helpful guide to learning surf photography.

Surfer riding the waves through the New Brighton Pier in Christchurch, New Zealand at sunrise
Surfer at Sunrise: © Sean Pritchard, Carve Magazine Surf Photography Winner 2022

You can get a sneak peek of the winning shots on his website or his Instagram page @pritchardsean.

Having relocated back to Wale, Sean is looking forward to exploring the country in more depth, with his wealth of experience to help him along.

You can view the full interview and winning photography portfolio in issue 215 of Carve magazine.

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