He's a man in a van searching and following the light for either the perfect shot or swell, as mother nature speaks to him. His research is extensive, from weather updates to locations in books to discovering the unknown. In the third week of September all it took was one tip from friend and Photographer colleague Larry Pierce, "Merk, It's going off".
Some would think a new swell was coming, but it was something much more. With his van loaded Dan was on the road for 18 hours straight only pulling over once to sleep for a few hours. Then he was up at 4am to seek his perfect shot. This location would reveal what exactly was "going off". The sunrise was peaking in the distance and it revealed the magic of Fall colors, but just then a sudden storm rushed the area with winds and snow. Dan hunkered down in his van waiting days for this storm to pass with also the worry that he had missed the opportunity of getting the shot since the winds could possibly remove all the beautifully colored leaves from their limbs.
As the storm passed, it left perfect conditions with no wind. The kind of conditions that surfer's dream of, yet it was in nature. As he exited the vehicle loaded with his tripod and Canon 1DX, 15-35mm & 20mm, for over under water shots, he photographed these special images.
DW / Dan, is there a common interest to what he photographs now vs surfing photos?
DM / I've been a water, ocean guy my whole life and the world is ever-changing
DW/ What was one of your favorite surfing photos you took?
DM / The photo I love is the one I took of MR at Off The Wall. Its the best shot and I really positioned myself and the angle of the photo gives the viewer a great perspective.
With over 73,000 miles on his Van in 2 plus years, Dan was heading back to California to rest and visit with his friend Larry Pierce aka Margarita Man and with one more quote:
"Everyday I Hunt". MERKEL
Photos / Merkel / Color / Catherine Gregory
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