Karl Dedolph is a prolific street and documentary photographer from Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is a true student of the craft consuming about 2-hours of YouTube tutorials each day plus a regular workshop attendee. He’s trained with the likes of Bruce Gilden, Matt Stuart, Valerie Jardin and Brian Lloyd Duckett.
He’s also been a fan of surfing since hearing his first Beach Boys album as a child. Karl regularly attends the US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, California as a fan. But this year he decided to cover the even from behind the scenes, not as a sports photographer but from the perspective of an experienced street shooter.
So Karl asked us to help him option press credential for the event and offered to publish his article in Street Photography Magazine. That article in the October 2022 issue which you can find here beginning October 9.
Obtaining press credentials for a major sporting event like this was much harder than expected due to multiple entries involved. He was forced to jump through hoops by the event’s owner IMG, the World Surfing League and major sponsor Vans, Getty Images, and Make Waves Media.
After much wrangling and phone calls Karl did secure access to press area but he was restricted to a small area where the participants enter and leave the competition area. But he made it work by focusing his shooting on the participants and fans as they interacted outside the competition area. As Karl said he usually shoots on the street as a hunter, but this event forced him to fish for his shots.
And he did this in very difficult lighting conditions like Southern California sun at high noon. It seems that world-class surfing competitions don’t take place at the golden hour.
Anyway have a listen to Karl’s story about his street-style experience covering the US Open of Surfing.
A selection of Karl’s street photos shot during the US Open of Surfing event
When Karl wasn’t working the event he walked the streets of Huntington Beach in search of some compelling street photos. Here are a few from that week.