I was never a ‘photographer’… a photo-journalist maybe. I liked editing magazines best, and that directed the pictures I took. You need more than surfing action to tell a story… and anyway, standing on the beach with a big lens is pretty boring. The photographs that I took of the world around surfing are what interests me most now. Really I was simply documenting my life and that of my friends. I was fortunate that some of the people I knew got to be famous. Everyone deserves a bit of luck, that was mine. My ‘career’ in surfing publications covers a fifteen-year period from the mid-1960s. I have what’s arguably the best record of the Australian contribution to the shortboard revolution, and that was occasionally drawn on by magazines, books and films. The rest of my archive lay undisturbed by anyone including myself. An interest in a wider range of my pictures as a social document has grown over the last decade. That’s a surprise, and a nice one. — John Witzig.
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