Dark Side of the Lens: A Poetic Short Film by Surf Photographer Mickey Smith

Dark Side of the Lens presents the art and inner voice of Irish surf pho­tog­ra­ph­er Mick­ey Smith. The six minute film lets you expe­ri­ence Smith’s aes­thet­ics trans­lat­ed into beau­ti­ful prac­tice. (“I wan­na see waverid­ing doc­u­ment­ed the way I see it in my head, and the way I feel it in the sea.”) But then it rather poet­i­cal­ly cracks open the per­son­al phi­los­o­phy of the artist:

I nev­er set out to become any­thing in par­tic­u­lar, only to live cre­ative­ly and push the scope of my expe­ri­ence for adven­ture and for pas­sion… The raw bru­tal cold coast­lands for the right waverid­ers to chal­lenge – this is where my heart beats hard­est…

Most folk don’t even know who we are, and what we do or how we do it, let alone what they pay us for it. I nev­er want to take this for grant­ed so I try to keep moti­va­tion sim­ple, real, and pos­i­tive… If I only scrape a liv­ing, at least it’s a liv­ing where I’m scrap­ing.… If there’s no future in it, this is a present worth remem­ber­ing.

The aes­thet­ic choic­es. The per­son­al deci­sions. It’s all what’s hap­pen­ing behind the cam­era, the place no audi­ence sees, the “dark side of the lens.” You can find the full tran­script of Smith’s com­men­tary after the jump…

A final note: Dark Side of the Lens was born out of a project called “Short Sto­ries.” Estab­lished by Relent­less Ener­gy Drink, the UK-based project chal­lenged film­mak­ers to cre­ate their own mini opus, to explore and cel­e­brate “no half mea­sures” in film. Find oth­er shorts here.

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Comments (10)
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  • Robert says:

    That’s one of the best ‘surf videos’ I’ve ever seen. Real­ly cap­tures the feel­ing of being immersed the wet, cold ocean — and lov­ing it. Remind­ed me of surf­ing north­ern Cal­i­for­nia as a kid, all alone, in the fog. Great work!

  • Davor Bakovic says:

    This is fas­ci­nat­ing and beau­ti­ful video work.Some scenes,like rain drops on the surface,waves over­pow­er­ing all,dive under the sur­face into the quite and green.
    Some­times music is too loud and dis­turb­ing author words.I watched it time after time let­ting frames and sounds fill space around me.Thanks for this link !!Davor

  • Kristin says:

    this video is awe inspir­ing. dark, beau­ti­ful, bru­tal with strong accents of light. his words slug some­one look­ing for a rea­son to fol­low their gut. I have watched it mul­ti­ple times and will watch it again and again. hon­est and straight from a pump­ing warm heart.

  • jbaysurfer says:

    “If there’s no future in it, (at) least it’s a present worth remem­ber­ing.”

  • Real­ly cool video dude! real­ly inspir­ing to see..That’s real­ly the life for the love of out­door adven­ture. Great job two thumbs up!

  • remosito says:

    By far my favorite short at this years Euro­pean Out­door Film Tour! Just had to find it and the text online.

    Ques­tion: Does­n’t he actu­al­ly say: “If I only scrape a liv­ing, at least it’s a liv­ing worth scrap­ing.” and not “If I only scrape a liv­ing, at least it’s a liv­ing where I’m scrap­ing.”

  • Sönke says:

    thank you so so much for that!

  • Wendy says:

    Tuck­Wil­low. It has called me for over a year. I final­ly looked it up. I’m Irish. Why did the words Tuck Wil­low wake me? Call me? Haunt­ing video. Stun­ning video. Mas­ter­piece.

  • Mike says:

    Cor­rec­tion, he says “If I only scrape a liv­ing, at least it’s a liv­ing worth scrap­ing”

  • Andrew says:

    I love the video, I espe­cial­ly love rain falling on the ocean sur­face, very inspir­ing, and inspires me to become an even bet­ter pho­tog­ra­ph­er, and adven­ture more. very beau­ti­ful, very wise, and so heart warm­ing. I thank you.

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