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This fall Patrick Trefz's latest book project "Surfers' Blood" reached number three on Amazon's best selling sports books. Published by Power House Books in Brooklyn and distributed by Random House, Trefz notes, "Pre-sales of the first run are sold out, we're going to re-print and are looking forward to stocking all the surf shops." Not bad for a bunch of surfing pictures.
Truth be told, it's not just a book with a bunch of pictures in it. If ever a surf photo were worth 1,000 words, it's Trefz imagery. In this, his comprehensive look back at the last 20 years of work, he's been able to capture an incredible amount of history and detail. Not one to chase the world tour circus around, he's sought out grittier subjects, which often tell a much more interesting and finite story about the lifestyle and pursuit that surrounds riding waves.
Based in Santa Cruz, Calif., his subjects range from Steamer Lane regulars, West Side enforcers and Maverick's chargers. Flea, Barney and the rest of NorCal's nicknamed herd have done their time behind his lens. But as the adage goes, have camera, will travel. Trefz's work on the road is telling; Harbor Bill living free and easy in Mexico, a diehard pack of Germans on the Eisbach in Munich, or a sun-bleached skull somewhere near Cojo.
"Surfers' Blood" is a book that surfers and non-surfers alike could spend ample time with. The skill and breadth of photographic knowledge is evident in Trefz's adept use of film. Yes, film. Remember that? But like a painter, his images are thoughtfully composed. And with an intuitive feel for what's meaningful to the greater surfing populous, his subject matter is relevant and interesting.