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The opportune moment

Exploring the mind of photographer Ross Taylor, and his desire to capture what can easily be missed.

Words by Rebecca Hawkey

If you are unfamiliar with the inner workings of the surf community in Cornwall, then local photographer Ross Taylor may not be on your radar. Ross has built his reputation on capturing surfers in their element, be it on terra-firma or floating alongside them, shooting breaks from the coast of Cornwall to the mountains of Madeira. “That’s the great thing about living in a place like Cornwall,” he says, “I try and make the most of the beauty that’s on my doorstep.”

Ross is a practical man, honest and very matter-of-fact, maybe that’s down to his day job serving in the Armed Forces, but he’s also creative, he has an eye for composition, light, and framing a photograph that draws you in, eliciting an emotive response. Freezing a moment in time in a sport as fast-paced as surfing is easy, you push the shutter and it’s done, but getting the right moment, the opportune moment, is a skill not many have. It requires patience and respect for the sport and the craft. Whilst shooting surfing is a subject he does well, and it’s one he is known for, it’s not the only string to his bow.

Ross’ portfolio is diverse, but there is a common thread, perhaps one pulled from his days as a competitive snowboarder, and that’s adrenaline. It seems a natural evolution then, to go from being in front of the lens to behind it, a personal understanding of what it takes.

‘Extreme sports’ or ‘action sports’ are defined as activities that involve a combination of risk and reward, danger and excitement. While Ross does successfully dabble at capturing heartfelt moments between friends through portraiture or street photography, it’s the adrenaline sports such as surfing, mountain biking, trail running, road cycling, and skateboarding that intrigue him, pushing him to try new angles, new locations, to capture that split second. His end game? “I dream of one day being featured in the Red Bull Illume photo book.” This book is a collection of images selected from some of the world’s best, an international contest dedicated to adventure and action sports photography. An impressive goal, and given his determination, not impossible.

Until that day comes, Ross is content on doing what he does best; capturing that ethereal light on a dawn surf shoot with friends, working behind the scenes on a personal film photography project, and finding that adrenaline-fuelled moment we love to see.

Cornwall is unique, it is brimming with remarkable individuals that are dedicated to the pursuit of creativity, utilising their surroundings, and embracing what life in Cornwall is all about. Ross is a firm fixture in this community, and whilst he still gets inspired by other creators from a multitude of fields, he uses his platform to share the stories of others and shed light on the talent Cornwall has to offer. Prints are available on request, via the Instagram handle below.

Ross has and continues to put in the hours behind the lens, constantly studying the art of photography with an obsessive mentality. I have no doubt he will always find a way to see something others miss, opening our eyes to the overlooked.

@_rtshots on Instagram


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