Orphans

Rob Gilley

Previously in denial about his photographic past, Rob Gilley now rummages through his trove of mediocrity.

Every surf photographer has them. Images that are precious. Photos that are especially dear. Personal favorites. Gems. Nuggets. The kryp.

Quite often these kinds of images get star treatment from their creators. In the old days, photographers adorned slide mounts with red dots, checks, asterisks, and even exclamation points, and now photo editing software comes with a multi-faceted array of digital colors and stars to flag favorites with.

Opportunities to draw a photo editor’s extra attention are as rife as ever.

But unfortunately, not all starred images get to shine. Whether it’s an off-season image, or a photo that doesn’t fit a current editorial theme, stellar images get rejected all the time. Nuggets fall through the cracks constantly. Gems go unpolished, and there’s plenty of kryp that never gets to leave the proverbial baggie.

Below you will find six such images. Gilley’s orphans in search of a good home. Kryp resurrected from the crypt.

Delusions of grandeur: what I thought might be an opening spread, or a cover for the Surfer’s Journal, or a father’s day card ended up languishing in a dusty slide page until now. Photo: Gilley
Freddy P., Joel Centeio and I scored fun, rippable waves in Mexico a few years ago but the photos never got to see the light of day. Fred’s afterglow punt. Photo: Gilley
A close-but-no-cigar “out” from a Rincon aerial shoot. Photo: Gilley
Joel Tudor was into alternative boards way before it was fashionable, and photos like this had little editorial value at the time. Photo: Gilley
My thinking is that this Brad Bricknell wrap-around power gouge looked too much like a Margo turn to get used. Photo: Gilley
Snap stalls are one of the least photographed moves in surfing, and maybe a little too subtle visually to get used by literal thinking editors. Mikey Todd. Photo: Gilley