Jim Sullivan is used to aiming his camera lens at a beautifully plated dish prepared by an acclaimed chef or a colorful piece of produce. The San Diego-based photographer and culinary school graduate has contributed to Food & Wine magazine, Michelin, and several cookbooks. But a pandemic project that he started in 2020 led him to a new muse, and into the subculture of surfing’s dawn patrol: the waveriders who brave paddling out into chilly waters and catching a few sets before sunrise.
“I wanted to do something documentary-style here in San Diego,” Sullivan says. “Secondly, I wanted to do it in a more artistic flair, something similar to Trent Park’s Crimson Line book.” He photographed surfers at beaches throughout the county, and now his “Dawn Patrol” series has become an ongoing project. “It’s a little out of my comfort zone since most of my work revolves around the culinary world,” he says. “My hope is to continue to document this group of surfers over time, to create a body of work that represents that time of day through my eyes.” - Marie Tutko