MysticSail’s Director of Photography—-> Ben Anglin
Action Sports by AnglinImage:
How I came to be- The short version: I grew up in New York, studied Ecology after High School then moved to Yellowstone post graduation. I then headed to California’s Eastern Sierra mountains for a few years. Then I traded the high elevation for the beaches of Santa Barbara where I studied photography and digital media. After my tour at Brooks was over I moved to LA to work with some amazing and talented people. Now that I’ve sailed 1/2 way around the globe documenting the maiden voyage of the Natural Mystic’s first year, I have returned to the USofA . I hope to resume sailing on the lovely Natural Mystic someday, but in the meantime I’ll be to get back to shooting and lighting commercial photography.
The Long Version: I was born and raised in Ithaca, NY. As a kid, I enjoyed all things active. Once I was old enough, after relentlessly persuading my parents, I joined the peewee football league and became totally immersed. Football continued to be my one of my many passions throughout high school.
I spent summers skateboarding and riding dirt bikes and roosting all over Upstate NY. But it wasn’t until I strapped bindings on my feet and rode a board downhill, that I found the purest sensation I had ever encountered. It turned out that my love for snowboarding would guide me for the next several years of my life.
After high school I chose to study Ecology in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. I thrived up there; hiking, camping, canoeing and mountain biking in the warm months. I lived in close proximity to Whiteface ski resort, so in the cold months I would rally my car, mastering the art of the hand-brake slide on my way to go ride. Just a short drive to the East provided me an escape to Vermont where massive resorts like Killington and Sugarbush gave me the sensory overload I had become dependent on. Once I graduated, I chose to move west where I could play on a bigger scale. I made Mammoth Mountain, California my home where I could enjoy all the action sports I had grown to love.
For the first two winters, I worked for ski patrol and did construction during the summer months. After a couple years I was shooting stills for magazines and companies in the snowboarding industry. I also lent my artistic eye to production companies, doing filming and video for snowboard movies. After several years I began to crave more. My love for photography and filmmaking had surpassed my passion for snowboarding and action sports. It was time to for another change in scenery. Guided by my will to master photography I chose to relocate to Santa Barbara where I enrolled in the world-renowned Brooks Institute of Photography. During my first week there, I met Kyber and immediately formed a strong friendship. I joined him on his J24 for Wet Wednesday regattas and I had a blast tacking up and down the Santa Barbara shoreline. I really hadn’t sailed much before that. I had sailed lasers when I was a grom at Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia and I had helped crew a yacht back from Catalina to San Pedro but that was just about all the time I spent sailing.
Once I finished my studies, I continued living in SB working as a freelance photographer and assisting high-profile photographers in Los Angeles. I soon found out that Santa Barbara is no place for an aspiring commercial photographer. With an abundance of Brooks students willing to work for free, building a photo business there was a bad idea. So I traded the paradise of Santa Barbara for the urban decay of Los Angeles. I settled in where there is an abundance of work in the entertainment industry. I still managed to book jobs in the architectural and fashion industries to help pay the bills. I continued to assist on big production shoots for a variety of A-list photographers and directors. I was a gaffer with the best lighting company on the market; Briese where I worked with a great team. 5th and Sunset studios hired me to grip for them and manage the studio when production companies would shoot into all hours of the night. I had full access to all available studios and equipment whenever I lined up a shoot so it worked well for me. After eight months of fighting traffic, dodging wildfires, and suffocating in smog I got the call from Kyber. The Natural Mystic was floating in Newport Harbor and almost ready to rock. So when October ’07 came around, I boarded a plane Eastward to meet up w/ Tybur and Kyber…” that’s their real names!”
Here are some words I wrote after my first passage aboard the Natural Mystic.
Brilliant blue surrounds, leaving terra firma behind
On a sea you can’t suppress, society unwinds
No common ground, this liquid infinite so unfamiliar
Monotonous views, horizon strews all angles similar
As nature’s force bears down, I feel at ease
While I’m out here making sense of the confused seas
Atlantic refugee on an ocean waging war
En route to nirvana- a dream worth dying for
Lightning could strike and I’d be the only one to see
In the turbulent entropy of these surging seas