Ben Weiland, a family friend and talented graphic designer, was selected for his perserverance, passion and professionalism in going after the world's coldest waves. His video pulls viewers into the experience with a simultaenous sense of anticipation, dread and total amazement.
Field: Coldwater surf exploration
Affiliation: Arctic Surf, contributing feature writer to surf media
Location: Carlsbad, CA
Applications: International expedition videography
Why video as your chosen medium of expression?
I'm working on short films because I really enjoy telling stories through images, music, and narrative. Surfing is incredibly elusive and there tends to be a feeling of mystery and imagination about it – and a desire to capture a fleeting moment. Combining intense planning with spontaneity makes video a rich messaging platform.
What philosophy is behind what you shoot?
I'm passionate about the outdoors, communicating the beauty and challenges of remote places. I'd say exploration and adventure are part of my philosophy. There are many geological and meteorological conditions around the globe we don’t see that come together to create good surfing conditions, so we need to rely on indicators and signs. Being focused but flexible is critical.
Where is the most inspiring place you've shot to this point?
I spent two weeks in the Aleutian Islands this fall. It was an incredible experience; remote, rugged, and stunning. The weather there is so extreme, but when it clears up, its one of the most amazing places I've seen. Working to understand the ocean floor, where the swell is being made and where the wind originates are part of embracing the challenge of such an unexplored place.
Who has been one of your favorite subjects?
I enjoyed working with Keith Malloy in Russia and Norway. He has a genuine attitude and a passion for adventure, and he is a great surfer. His quiet confidence and a deep-seated desire to learn from every wave are inspiring, as is his humility.
What is next for you, skill development-wise and project-wise?
I'm excited to learn more about film-making and story telling as there's always more to be learned. I'm looking into Chile this spring, possibly a trip from the very north to the very south by car. As a travel writer, designer, illustrator and videographer, I’ve been fortunate to contribute to well-respected publications and surf blogs. Norway, Alaska, New Zealand, Kamchatka and the Aleutians are, hopefully, only the beginning of my wave-hunting career.