Inside This Soft World was shot on a single North Coast autumn day and is fairly typical of how Dave and Nathan work.
“We try and be subtle and zig while everyone’s zagging,” says Nathan, who managed to zig and zag and find enough clear water to avoid a single other surfer appearing in frame.
“I’m not really the full-time camera guy so the shooting relationship is more relaxed. We rock up separately and I’ve always got a towel around the tripod and I slip in and slip out. It’s never a production. We try and stay incognito. Dave is the master sandbank bloodhound, he sniffs them out, whispers about a little corner at such and such and he always goes for a little surf check on dark to see what the sands doing for the following morning. We go to the spot with a million closeouts and one good one, as long as there’s nobody there.”
Unlike much of Nathan’s other work, there is no higher meaning with Inside This Soft World. It’s simply Dave, surfing on a Wednesday morning… which can be argued implicitly has its own higher meaning.
“He’s so unhurried with a real economy of movement,” offers Nathan. “You know how dancers talk about ‘first position’, that stance or pose where they can spring from? Dave has that down. His first position is easy on the eye and he can be standing there relaxed, unhurried, in first position then he’ll just drop a hammer and blow your mind. It’s hard for me to edit it out, it’s the space between the notes, that’s where the music happens with his surfing.”