Keith Novosel

I don't really know Keith Novosel... not in the traditional sense. I had heard of him, seen a few of his photos, read other interviews, etc., but we have yet to surf the same spot, or spend some time around a campfire together. And while I may not know him, Keith is an inspiring individual, a like minded logger and a fantastic photographer. Living in Oregon, Keith is able to surf spots I don't get down to that often - Pacific City in particular. And although he and his fiance (congrats, btw) recently traveled to mainland Mexico - surfing somewhere I fell in love with last winter - Keith is eager to explore other areas, expanding both his photographic and film portfolios in the process. So in an attempt to get to know Mr.Novosel a bit better, I sat down and came up with a couple of questions, to which he promptly replied. Follow the link to see what he had to say.

When did you start surfing?

I started surfing at the very end of high school/beginning of college, which was about 11 years ago.

Tell us about your first time...

I rented a board from a little surf shop in Florida. It was a fish, but I forget the length. The swell was about waist high and glassy, which in my opinion are the best conditions for learning. I don't remember all of the details of the day, but I remember the new feeling of it. I had boogie boarded and bodysurfed before, but this was different. Faster and more slippery... I managed to properly catch and stand up on at least a wave or two. I don't think I was riding down the line or anything, but it was more than enough to make me want to keep going.

What makes surfing in the Northwest so unique?

Surfing in the Northwest has actually been pretty hard on me. It's absolutely beautiful here, which is the best part. It's amazing to look at the trees, coastal mountain range, and lack of development while in the lineup. But, it's not ideal to live a couple hours away from a coastline with fickle conditions.

You have to really want it, and it would help to have a more flexible schedule. I can mostly only go on weekends, and I have to wait for the weekends that look somewhat decent. That, plus all of the other fun things to do around here, makes it so getting out one or two weekends per month about average. That has been rough at times.

How did you get into photography?

I started getting into photography about the same time I started surfing. My passion for one helped my passion for the other, and surfing became my favorite thing to do and my favorite thing to shoot.

Where do you find inspiration?

I find inspiration in magazines, films, on blogs, through friends, and just through whatever I'm experiencing at the time. It's really hard to give specifics because it can come from such a variety of places. One place to check out is The Magic Bus Collective. I'm inspired by a lot of the work and places shown there.

I've had lots of inspiration recently but haven't fully put it to use. Maybe it's building up for some really good photos soon.

Tell us something we don't know...

Did you know that penguins and polar bears never live in the same place? You probably know that, but some friends of mine and I were talking about that recently and it's actually somewhat surprising and interesting.

Other than the ocean, what interests you?

The outdoors in general... lakes, rivers, mountains, trees... I like fishing, sleeping in tents, campfires...

What have you been listening to lately?

My musical tastes don't change much over time. I like pretty mellow stuff overall. Alexi Murdoch, Mason Jennings, Bob Dylan, John Prine, Neil Young... Those are some of my go-to bands, but I like some faster funky stuff sometimes too.

If you were an animal, what would you be?

Great question. I think either a whale or a pelican. I'd be swimming or flying.

What's next for Novosel?

I have some ideas for projects (photo and short videos) that I'd like to do in the next year. I'm also getting married in April. Other than that, I don't really know what's next. I'm trying to decide what exactly I want to do "when I grow up" and am in the process of narrowing it down. I'm really looking forward to figuring that out.

Click here to learn more about Keith Novosel.