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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Video short documentary "Dark Side of the Lens" directed by Mickey Smith for Ashtray Films


Watch the short film "Dark Side of the Lens" which offers a surreal, ethereal, passionate and personal glimpse into the life and motivations of an ocean based photographer - working on a magical, yet isolated, frozen and dangerous stretch of the Irish coastline.

The story of the photographer is a tale seldom told. Through poignant, poetic narrative, the film eventually transcends itself as an abstract reflection of one photographer’s ideals, to become a voice for the artform.
Indeed, the film itself becomes a visual poem of sorts, set in a mind blowing environment of epic heavy waves, strange sea life and monolithic stunning cliff lines. 

Land, sea and wavescapes illustrate the grandeur of this environment, and huge explosions of water bring it’s realities home, as the photographer swims through the epicentre of it all.
Through one mans translation of what it takes to create images that inspire, we also gain insight into the unheralded and misunderstood art form of ocean based photography.
The merits of the art form itself come into focus - how it is unique, the risks involved, the challenges faced, the highs and lows of the game.


The narrative delves into the reasoning behind risking your life for a photograph when there are meagre financial rewards, and illustrates what it takes to succeed in a specialist niche that demands such a strange combination of photographic and physical prowess.

The result is a unique, moving, and inspirational understanding of the nomadic lifestyle involved, and the subsequent realities of living it in the brutally cold big wave environment of Ireland. (artist's Facebook)


“The dark side of the lens. An art form unto itself. Silent workhorses of the surfing world…if I only scrape a living, at least it’s a living worth scraping.” 


Cinematography by Allan Wilson 
 Directed by Mickey Smith 
Interview with Mickey Smith "Surf Photographer and Filmmaker"




About Ashtray Films: Nomads and vagabonds. Runaway sons and daughters. Weather the storm together under one roof. Odd ball observers and sharp witted wordsmiths. An eye for natural lines. A knack for the magic in subtleties. We are The Astray - Instinct led, authentic to the teeth.

Winner - Best Cinematography, Rhode Island International Film Festival, 2011
Winner - Action Sports Category, Vimeo Awards 2012
Winner - G-Raid Driven Creativity award - Professional Category
Winner - Best Cinematography, 5Point Film Festival 2011 
Winner - Grand Prize - Chamonix Film Festival 2011 
Winner - Best short - New York Surf Film Festival 2011
Winner - Digital short of the Year, Surfer Poll
Winner - Relentless Short Stories 2011
Winner - Amstel Surf Film Festibal, Peoples Choice award 
Winner - Best short, Sheffield Adventure Film Festival
Winner - Best International Short, Canadian Surf Film Festival
Winner - Best Short, Waimea Ocean Film Festival


All Image Credits and Copyrights:
 "Dark Side of the Lens", Ashtray Films and Mickey Smith