Chased by a Giant, Print From Ben Moon by Ben Moon in Nelscott Reef

Love this photo by Ben Moon as much as we do? Want one of your own? You are in luck! Check out the collectible print in our shop, available in five sizes!

Modern Black photo frame (with clipping path)


Name:Ben Moon

Place you live: Portland, Oregon

Occupation: Photographer and filmmaker

Preoccupation: Connecting and collaborating with others, seeking to visually translate my observations of the surrounding environment.

Specific location this photo was taken: Nelscott Reef, a big wave surf break located 3/4 of a mile offshore Lincoln City, Oregon.

Tell us about Lincoln City: The Pacific Ocean and the Oregon coast are rugged and magnificent. It’s definitely my home away from home. I am considering finding a creative space to live there very soon.

Tell us about this shot: I was shooting from a single engine Cessna. Shooting surf from a plane is not ideal! The timing involved is exceptionally tricky with the continual circling – often you’re behind the waves as they break. I prefer to be out in the water on a jet ski as there’s more camaraderie, but the aerial perspective is unique.

Did you know it was going to be an amazing shot as you were clicking the exposure button? This ended up being a favorite image from the air that day because of the unusual perspective and the foam trails of one wave leading into the next. It’s an angle unlike any you would capture from the water or from land.

What do you love about photography? There is always something new to learn. Every day my perspective is expanded.

How do you see photography changing in the next 10 years? Technology is advancing at a staggering pace. I’ve shot album covers with my iPhone (for Brett Dennen’s latest, Smoke and Mirrors), sensors can practically see in the dark, and full frame DSLR cameras like Sony’s A7 series are becoming much smaller and lighter, and also more powerful. There are so many mediums to self publish work these days with Instagram and other social media outlets. All tech talk aside, the story told within a single frame is timeless, regardless of the tool used to capture it.

Can you offer a few tips to aspiring photographers? Document subjects that move and inspire you in your everyday life. Don’t sweat the gear, instead get out and make pictures. Be curious, ask a lot of questions. Study work that you find fascinating and create images that make you feel the same way. Surround yourself with those who you feel connected with and support you in a positive way. I definitely gravitate towards creative people; most of my close friends are musicians or artists. I’m constantly inspired and motivated by my peers.

Can you name three photographers who inspire you? Aaron Huey, David McLain and Scott Soens. There are so many creatives I could list here!

And why? Aaron Huey is an insanely gifted photographer, storyteller, climber, and activist who has been a longstanding inspiration for me. Aaron has traversed the entire length of the continental United States by foot and is a frequent National Geographic contributor. He has tirelessly documented and advocated for the native Lakota people on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, which is the subject of a Nat Geo feature story, a book, a street art project, and an intensely thought provoking TED talk.

David McLain is another Nat Geo photographer who has been an important mentor to me. He continues to blow me away with his humble demeanor and creative approach. His work constantly evolves and integrates the latest technologies available to tell the story.

Scott Soens is an incredible photographer and cinematographer who has worked on films that have had a lot of influence on me, such as “Shelter” and “180 South.” His portrait work is a big influence and he is equally comfortable shooting surf action from the water and fashion on land.

I’m grateful to call these photographers friends.

Check out this collectible print in our shop, available in five sizes!

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Name:Ben Moon

Place you live?

Portland, Oregon

A Perfect Day in Oregon?
Getting in a solid surf session in the morning and being back in time to catch a show at Mississippi Studios or Doug Fir.

Best place to eat and drink:

Eat: Harlow, drink: Savoy

Best outdoor activity?

Paddling my stand up board on the Willamette River is a great escape just ten minutes from my door. I’ve seen bald eagles, osprey, blue heron, and a doe and fawn all within a half an hour. I enjoy commuting by bike in Portland as it’s usually faster than driving. I also enjoy rock climbing at some of our local basalt crags, or driving over the mountain to Smith Rock. When the surf cleans up I’m usually at the coast.

Local Tip?

Get on a bike and explore. There is so much good food here it’s impossible to sample it all. Some of the best eats can be found without a huge wait if you’re willing to look.

If someone was visiting what must they do?

Watch people line up at Voodoo Donuts or for ice cream at Salt & Straw and then ponder the bizarreness of it all.

If Portland were a person or a character who would it be?

All I can say is that Portlandia has no problem finding new material here, it practically writes itself.