Photos by Joseph Sloggy.
Meet California’s Joseph Sloggy – blogger, surfer, photog, foodie, philosopher.
“This shot embodies my hopes and vision for our trip to New Zealand. Perfect, big, empty surf. This day, the conditions really came together perfectly. We had to walk about 45 minutes across farmland. The waves were 8-10 feet and flawless, to top it off there was not a soul around.”
So, where are you now and what are you doing?
Since the New Year my girl/best friend Brittany and I have been making our way through New Zealand in a 1989 Toyota Townace, complete with a retrofit bed and a coat hanger-antennae. Equipped with surfboards, fishing poles, dive gear, hiking boots and rain jackets, we’re on the prowl for desolate coastline, uninhabited countryside, hospitable strangers, and anything else the good ole’ US of A no longer readily offers. Everything we own fits under the bed. We’re spending less here per month than we would have back home in a week, and that certainly ain’t due to a cheap cost of living (gas is nearly $7.00 a gallon). So many people I look up to have been shaped by the time they once spent as dirtbag travelers. We sorta just dropped everything and went for it.
“Being from California, I hadn’t seen the sun rise over the ocean. On this east coast morning, I managed to snap a couple with the beautiful back lighting before we paddled out. I shoot all my photos with a regular old point and shoot digital camera. Recently I have been nerding out with holding an optical lens held in front of the camera’s. I think it gives a nice crisp, vignettey effect.”
You’re into more than waves and boards – tell me a bit about your philosophy on food.
I’ve always been a fat kid at heart, maybe a little bit for real too; I’ve just always had a big passion for food. In college I worked on farms, and cooked in restaurants to make ends meet. My field of study (agriculture and sustainable food systems), as well as the food scene around the Bay Area really fostered my view on our society’s relationship with food. I found myself in a constant struggle not to get caught up in the sea of self righteous yuppies, who can afford to eat in a way that agrees with nature. I have recently found myself thinking more and more about the importance of food access and the distribution of fresh, healthy food to everyone. I’d be the first to tell you to eat locally, seasonally, organically, and non GMO, but we also need to keep looking for ways to make that possible for every one. I think any step in the direction of self sufficiency is a great start.
“Kahawai is affectionately called “every mans fish” in New Zealand. It tastes great, and you can catch it most anywhere. In New Zealand, it’s commonly cured with brown sugar and salt, then hot smoked. After we caught this one, we decided to give it a go. We managed to rig up a smoker with some stuff lying around the van. The campsite where we were, had wild plums growing all around. We chipped up some green branches up for fuel, and I must say were quite pleased with the result.”
What inspires you?
Getting out of my comfort zone and the bubble of familiarity. As a child, my mom would take my brother and me to places in L.A. that most parents might be hesitant to out of concern for safety. She still emphasizes the importance of having a well rounded perspective of the world and how others live. I strive to continue this in my everyday life, both at home and abroad.
The dinner table with loved ones.
What makes a great surf photo?
If you were watching someone surf and you split a split second into 100 split seconds; one of those split-split seconds is where a good surf photo might lurk. Unlike a movie, where a continuous visual feed effortlessly conveys the flow, grace, drive and style, that is so essential to good surfing, capturing all those elements via a static medium is pretty tough. An image that can capture and reveal all those in one single moment, is a great surf photo.
Tell me something you learned from a wave.
Like a lot of things in life, if you try to fight against a wave that’s holding you down, you’re only gonna get your ass whooped. It’ll let you go when it’s ready to let you go. Until then, you must find it in yourself to humbly submit, and know you’ll get a break sooner or later.
“Found this little seal high up on the rocks above a beach we were diving. A friendly reminder of how present the cycle of life is, particularly in the ocean.”
Top surf spot on your wish list.
When I get my time traveling machine, my first stop will be First Point, Malibu, circa 1950…I just hope all the other yo-yos haven’t gotten theirs yet.
What’s your vice?
If I told you, I’d probably be arrested.
How would you define love?
Either crispy pork belly, or a perfectly ripe avocado…probably the pork belly.
“This is Uni (Sea Urchin), I got while diving in California. It so intricately beautiful up close. It’s really briney, like licking a seawater popsicle. In the winter, when the water is really cold, it has a wonderful buttery richness. Most commonly found on sushi, I like it on toast, in a risotto or just by itself with a splash of lemon.”