Often seen sans clothing, and towering above tourists with trident in hand, Poseidon is the Greek god of the seas. But my favorite image of Poseidon isn't one where he is static, it is one where he feels eternally in motion, riding his chariot on top of the waves, proving that he is at one with that which he is said to rule.
Bereft of chariots, and armed only with a ritualistically painted and carved piece of wood, foam, or polyurethane, surfers try to recreate this feeling of being with something that much larger. They pay daily homage to the god of the seas, and his many oceans. It is a symbiotic relationship; the surfer has a deep reverence for the ocean, and the ocean in turn provides sustenance, both physical and mental. The ocean offers freedom, but it offers many dangers, for two of the most feared monsters in Grecian mythology live here: Charybdis, and Scylla. Sirens are said to perch among the rocks, waiting for sailors, or perhaps for surfers who stray too far from their path.
The ocean is eternally beautiful, fickle, dangerous, overwhelming and unforgiving. Yet Ryan Tatar, surfer and surf photographer, manages to capture and bottle its ferocity, and its serenity. He captures those moments where men and women, with only a board to guide them, claim the ocean as their own. A Detroit native, he heard Poseidon's call long ago and has traveled the world. His photography stretches from California to North Carolina, to as far as Bali and Brazil. His photos are gritty and retro, yet full of clarity, even when washed for effect. No part of the surf culture and life is off limits: from the birds that circle the sun-kissed crests of waves to the flourishes of surf and waveboard design.
Bring one of his photographs into your home. Feel the sand brush your cheeks, feel the waves massage your toes, see the rainbow of blues and greens dance across your eyes, and hear the call to ride with Poseidon.
Top: 2nd Century B.C.E. mosaic flooring of a bath in Ostia Antica, Italy
Bottom: Photo courtesy of Ryan Tatar
Visit Ryan Tatar's website here: