“Adventures in Light” showcases acclaimed photographer Ted’s remarkable body of work on a visual journey spanning four decades of adventure travel.
Grambeau is much more than one of the world’s great surf photographers. “Adventures in Light” captures the spectacular diversity of his work, from perfect waves to high fashion, insightful portraiture to fine art, astute reportage to exotic travel.
Ted’s staggering body of work, which has graced magazine editorials and advertising campaigns for decades, is brought together here for the first time in over 240 pages of imagery to fuel the surf adventure urge in all of us. It is fair to say there is not a more widely-travelled, well-rounded, technically skilled and artistic photographer working in the realm of adventure travel and action sports in the world.
Ted flew into Guernsey in late 2017 to work alongside The Potting Shed throughout the creative process. Editing such a colossal body of work was a daunting one so Ted’s input at this stage was invaluable. A criteria of “Contrasts” was set as a guiding principle for the selection process. In other words images were juxtaposed against each other, playing with notions of scale, colour, contrast and pace to create both emotional responses and a cadence to ensure that every image gets the focus it deserves.
Our job as designers and custodians of this catalogue of work was to be as invisible as possible and let the images do all the talking. To this end a strict grid was set in place and colour was avoided in all areas, including the heavily debossed cover. The idea being that there is so much colour coming from the photography any ornamentation would simply serve as a distraction. No one image could possibly define such a diverse body of work so the cover acts much as a treasure chest does, hiding all the gems inside, building anticipation.
Ted’s personal philosophy neatly mirrors that of his long-time collaborator, surf company Rip Curl, captured in its ongoing campaign, The Search. Many of Ted’s iconic images are drawn from the rich archive of Rip Curl’s early Search trips to some of the most remote surf destinations on the planet. “The Search offered me a platform and a philosophy that was tailor-made to what I already believed in – show and don’t tell. We were always at great pains to not reveal where we surfed, not to reveal places but to inspire people to go on their own search,” says Ted.
“To me, Ted is like the godfather of the Search. He’s always been the guy who gets incredible shots, has great relationship with all the surfers and has blazed trails to so many new and amazing waves,” says three-time world champion Mick Fanning.
“If there was one character who was already on the Search before it even began it was Ted Grambeau,” says Rip Curl co-founder Doug “Claw” Warbrick. “Ted’s photos had already become among our favourites at Rip Curl – so evocatively depicting the joys and challenges, the rewards and deprivations, of the path of the hard core surf traveller.”
Over 20 years, the Search provided the opportunity for Ted to fully indulge his twin loves of adventure travel and photography, resulting in some of the defining images in surfing.
“Ted’s images are like a kaleidoscope of many of my favourite and most indelible memories and it’s been a privilege to work with him,” says Mick.
Claw concurs. “Of all the products of the Search, this lavish journal of Ted’s photographic journey over the past four decades is one we are especially proud of.”
For Mick, Ted’s been a constant presence, a steadying hand and a valued friend throughout his career and this collection is one he especially treasures. “We are bombarded with so many images these days and it’s easy to get jaded and miss the magic,” says Mick.
“Ted reminds us of the beauty and adventure to be found in the world all around us every day. We’re lucky to have him.”
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