A Surfer Turned Photographer Captures the Wonder of the Ocean

Hawaii-born Daniel Fuller’s meditative photography rolls into Malibu Pier



At Ranch at the Pier’s Surfrider Gallery, pro surfer turned photographer Daniel Fuller presents an alluring take on the ocean under moonlit sky in his new exhibit, “One Evening in Malibu.” Overlooking the surf and sand, the upper-level gallery features ten large-scale prints—visions of lavender blue skies, blurred horizons and waves in motion—that photograph much like paintings.


The artist with three of his works, on-view at the Malibu Pier’s Surfrider Gallery. Photo by Alice Bamford.


“Waves act as brushstrokes, applying layers upon layers of life to this luminous and sometimes ominous nightscape,” says Fuller, who spent nearly 20 years as a professional big wave specialist and picked up photography while documenting his travels around the globe (his work has since been exhibited in galleries from New York to Los Angeles and San Francisco). “By capturing the flux of activity, of being alive, and watching this timeless dance of perceptual change—the massive shifts of weather, water and air right before me—I find an intimate space of possibilities and wonder.”








Born in Hawaii, Fuller has surfed the most challenging point breaks both locally, on Oahu’s famous Pipeline and Maui’s Jaws, and across the globe, from Bali to the Maldives and even Teahupo’o, a remote Tahitian village known for the world’s “heaviest waves.” Fuller is used to seeking the calm in the storm, those split moments when the 20-foot barrel opens up and he can glide on through. In that sense, the pivot from extreme sport to ocean photography seems a natural fit, and his captivating prints, which are often described as spiritual and meditative, are proof of it.

“My heightened perception of the controlled chaos in nature has increased my awareness of the beautiful mystery of the sea and its cosmic universe,” says Fuller in his recent tome Liquid Horizon: Meditations on the Surf and Sea (Rizzoli New York). Copies of the book adorn a windowsill in the gallery, while white cotton tees with prints of his work lay across a central table.

The gallery’s opening night in early July drew family and friends for an intimate soiree, complete with colorful Liquid Horizon-themed cocktails from Malibu Farm. In just one week, three of his poetic seascapes, all captured with slow exposures and moonlight exclusively, have already sold. On view at One Gun Ranch’s Surfrider Gallery through September. Free to the public. Open daily 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.


Feature image: Photo by DANIEL FULLER.


July 13, 2022

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