The New York Times' Lens section has a nice piece on the photography of Chris Bickford, who documented -- in stark black and white -- the surfing scene of the Outer Banks. You can view the article here; click here for the amazing slide show.
Bickford's project a"bout the local surf scene on the Outer Banks of North Carolina was all about firsts: his first time shooting in water, his first time capturing a fast-action sport and his first time conceptualizing completely in black and white.
" 'I struggled, but that basically worked to my advantage,' Mr. Bickford said. 'If I had shot the tack-sharp images you see in surf magazines, there wouldn’t have been anything interesting about it.'
"During the six months he spent on this project, Mr. Bickford, 42, was constantly pummeled by waves and sucked under them. Treading water while equipped with fins, a digital S.L.R. camera and an AquaTech waterproof housing, he looked for riders coming down breaking waves. Then he swam as close as possible.
"The result? 'After the Storm,' a little book with fantastical photographs that make you feel as if you’re engulfed in the wild tumult of a raging ocean. In one, the silhouette of a surfer is spattered with thick spray. In another, an ominous wave arches straight up into sky. And his portraits of locals, set on beaches against a backdrop of stormy clouds, are just as dramatic. ..."