A love for surfing and photography join forces for La Mesa photographer

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Sitting on a long board, waiting for that next swell to come in is a surfer’s paradise. A connection to the ocean, the slow rise and fall of the water brings a serenity that can be seen and felt, even by those watching from the shore. La Mesa photographer Chris Mayer knows this well, falling in love with the surf at the age of 5. Little did he know then, that he would eventually bring two passions together and make a living out of it. Now in addition to his swimming and surfing gear, Mayer hits the ocean swells with his camera.

Sitting on a long board, waiting for that next swell to come in is a surfer’s paradise. A connection to the ocean, the slow rise and fall of the water brings a serenity that can be seen and felt, even by those watching from the shore. La Mesa photographer Chris Mayer knows this well, falling in love with the surf at the age of 5. Little did he know then, that he would eventually bring two passions together and make a living out of it. Now in addition to his swimming and surfing gear, Mayer hits the ocean swells with his camera.

With an eye that only a seasoned surfer possesses, Mayer captures the swells, barrels and peaceful life of the ocean, using the natural vivid colors, hues and saturations to create works of art. But he does not stand offshore. He is where he feels most comfortable—in the ocean.

A self-taught photographer, Mayer’s work is published in Surfer Magazine, the U-T San Diego, Surfline.com and other publications. He does not limit himself to surf photography though. With an entrepreneurial spirit, Mayer makes his way through life doing what he loves behind the lens.

His first introduction into photography came later in life while in college. He said it immediately became a passion and he began by investing all of his money into the biggest hurdle. Buying the equipment needed.

“I never took classes, but I bought books and read about how photography works,” he said. Then I just experimented and practiced and that is what it took. A lot of experimentation and practicing, over and over again.”

Mayer said he believes the digital age makes is easier to learn because you do not have to wait for prints to come back to see results.

“You get immediate feedback by looking at the pictures as you take them,” he said. “That is where the real education came by looking at a picture and realizing I need to change the settings, position or view to get the affect that I was looking for.”

For more than a decade now, Mayer continuously perfects his craft through working with photography in several venues. But he said he does not believe he would be as good as he is if it was not for his connection with nature, the ocean and the ability to shoot in his favorite environment. “After college I got a job as a photographer at the Wave House in Mission Beach,” he said. “It was generic photography, but it taught me the many aspects of it. Learning how to sell it, enhancing my communication skills with clients and ultimately making a product that they wanted to buy. You have to have that bundle deal to make an income.”

Mayer is creating a name for himself elsewhere. On a new social networking site Binteo.com that launched in San Diego in May, Mayer is one of six prominent photographers that shares his advice, gives tips on how to capture that perfect shot and share favorite photos.

“Binteo is different than other social networks,” he said. “It has the same concept as MySpace and Facebook, but it is more geared toward interests, not this is me and my life. It’s more like this is what I am doing and if you have similar interests, let’s communicate.”

A photographer for all occasions, Mayer can be contacted at www.mayeroptics.com or if you have similar interests, interact with him at www.bineo.com/profile/chris02885.

Whether using a long board, a body board, fins or just swimming in the ocean, Mayer is out in the ocean with his equipment always looking for a different way to capture that moment in nature or where man and nature meet.

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