by Fitzroy Surf Co. | | | 0 Comments

To capture the most recent swells around the country we work with some incredible photographers to ensure we can share these magic moments with you.

Suzanne Reed from Zephyr_revolutions sat down with us a while back to share some of her amazing skills and now we think we should introduce to you another talent behind the lens. 

We have worked with Surfscapes_of_Cornwall for a few months now and he has delivered some fantastic shots of our friends in the water around Kernow.

Take a seat and lets talk photography.


Name:  Mario Cortes
Place of birth:  Tunbridge Wells, Kent
Equipment:  Fujifilm Finepix S1 – Soon to be investing in a mirrorless DSLR.
Home town: Truro, Cornwall

What got you into photography? 

Honestly I don’t know?!  But I remember that I used a compact camera once at the beach and by pure luck got a great shot off the pier at Porthleven of a bodyboarder taking a right.  I guess that’s where it started as after that I was never without my camera.  I’ve always had the water in my veins and the freedom you get being out there on the water is simply amazing. 


I’ve since invested in another camera and will soon be adding a ‘mirrorless’ to my collection!!  I have had pictures published in Carve Magazine and on their Instagram feed (along with other surf brand feeds) which I’m happy about.  Recognition is what motivates me!

Where would you want your photography to take you?

If you were to ask me where I want this to take me……………..  I’m looking for a sponsor (camera brand, surf equipment, magazine etc.) - I would love to be sponsored and take shots for the benefit of others as well as myself.  That’s the goal!!!!!!!  If anyone reading this likes what they see, let me know!!


Tell us about a normal day for you when heading out with your camera.

  Firstly, my rule would be to look in advance at projected reports/weather forecasts to see what could be coming in, where and when.  When you know you have a day fixed in your mind and the location you want to go, my routine would be as follows:

  • Make sure the camera’s battery is charged.
  • Make sure you have the correct tide times.
  • Always make sure I have a paper and pen handy (surfers do talk to you and always want pictures if you have them).
  • Check the weather!!

When I get to the beach/location, I always check the light to look for the best angle and check where the main body of surfers are.  Once I have that, I set up the tripod and snap!!!!  I always look to shoot more unique shots rather than the run of the mill ‘surfer on a wave close up’!  A lot of people do this which is ok, but I think it’s important to get some of the landscape in to as this adds another level to the shot.  My goal has always been to stand out with something a little different from the rest and hopefully a lot of what I do projects that! 


I was a bodyboarder for over 10 years but after a layoff, have decided to take up the challenge of stand up.  I’ve now got a 7”4” Gulfstream.  Progress is being made but it’s slow!!


What do you prefer, surfing or photography? 

Both equally. I know I’m better at photography than surfing – That I can confirm!!  But my surfing is important to.  My challenge is always to reach a competent level at whatever I do – surfing is no exception but I know this will be my biggest test of all the hobbies I’ve ever done!!  

Do you have a crew you follow?

No crew, just me!!  Well, it’s going to be a big shout out for ‘Magicseaweed’.  Well that and a small shout out for BBC weather!!  I’m pretty good at anticipating where the waves might roll in.  Cornwall has 3 main coasts (North, South & West) with a very small 4th (East).   2-3 days after a storm in the North Atlantic, we normally see some swell.  We had some great waves in January 2018 which was a result of storms/low pressure in the Atlantic.  We are lucky down here in good old Cornwall as we do have the different coasts and an abundance of locations you can go.   

What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen and had your camera? 

Wipe-outs are always good.  Sometimes the look on the surfers face says it all!!  I’m sure mine is the same!  I was once asked to take a picture of a surfer with a snapped board – I think it gave him credibility as it was a big day in the water!!

What’s the difficulties of being a photographer?

The main difficulty would be the light.  Light can be your friend but also your mortal enemy.  The low winter light on the south coast when shooting locations such as Porthleven or Praa Sands can be difficult.  However, it can also be worked around (if you know what you’re doing).  The local surf photographers tend to know how to work the light issues all year round as we have ‘spots’ where you can just pitch up and snap!  The north coast doesn’t have those issues as the light works for you in most cases.  The only other difficulty photographers/surfers have is the lack of swell – that’s no good for anyone!


Words by Mario - Surfscapes of Cornwall

We can happily tell you Mario is going to e working with the brand going forwardand we look forward to seeing more of his crazy skills behind the lens.



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