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Monday, January 12, 2009
Updated: June 15, 1:50 PM ET
Lens Cleaner: West Coast Edition

Cory Lopez and Jason Kenworthy have been working together for years, which may be why they get results like this.

Jon Coen's right. We could sit here day in and day out spouting off nonsense about boardshorts and shark autopsies, but we're not idiots, we know it's a visual culture and that without a few good photos you'd never even give us a second thought. So to follow Jon's lead, I'd like to take a second to hype you up on the photogs and filmmaker that are helping to get things started over here on the West Coast.

You may have seen a shot or two of Jason Kenworthy's on the site already, and if you haven't you will. "Worthy," as one writer friend affectionately describes, is pretty much like "a psycho ex girlfriend." He calls at odd hours, leaves threatening messages, has a tendency to be somewhat emotionally unbalanced, and well, maybe I should stop there so he doesn't choke me out. In all seriousness though, Worthy (or Worthless, or The Vulture, or Goose Cock, or whatever else you want to call him), is damn good at what he does. A staffer for Surfer Magazine, and mentor for the burgeoning Nike 6.0 surf team, Worthy got his start shooting video. After producing the Andy Irons flick Raw Irons, along with a few others, he made the jump to stills...and has been making other photographer's lives miserable ever since. Currently he's on walkabout in the Land Down Under. He disappeared shortly after New Year's to lend support to his 6.0 riders at the World Junior Championships, and two weeks later he's off the grid. He keeps sending me these cryptic messages telling me that he sent photos and wondering what the f**k am I doing not posting them. Well, while he's out chasing kangaroos I'm still waiting for the shots.

Tom Servais has spent nearly 30 years shooting on the North Shore, and while fresh faces like Australia's Anthony Walsh come and go, Tom keeps snapping frames.

As of late we've also been using some of Tom Servais's work. A longtime Surfer lensman and former photo editor, he's a man who puts a premium on the good things in life. You'd probably have seen more of his photos on this blog by now, but he'd rather be playing golf, fishing, mountain bike riding, windsurfing, snowboarding, trolling for girls half his age, anything but spending the day on the computer. Needless to say, it's hard to find any sympathy for him when he gripes about "everything being digital now." Last year he estimates that he spent 11 weeks on Tavarua, combined with about four weeks in Australia, and eight on the North Shore. I swear, he must have done something right in an earlier life.

And then there's Mr. Matt Wybenga. He shot the stuff on the San Clemente Mafia that was posted the other day, and has a movie out right now called Destination Unknown. Below is a little sample of some of the work he's done with "da boyz." At the moment Matt spends his days filming when he can, surfing his little secret bank when it's good, and then to pay the bills at night he jocks a tow-truck and repos cars in some of LA's more tourist-friendly destinations, like South Central and Watts. "It pays the bills," he admits. Hopefully in the coming weeks and months Matt's going to be towing less and filming more.

So that's a little look at a few of the fellas here on the Westside. We're just getting things fired up over here, so stay tuned.