In surf photography, it’s typically all about the location – a sun setting through the waves or the perfect green room – but sometimes there’s just someone who sees things differently. In the mid-90s Dustin Humphrey made a name for himself with his wholly unique vision for surf photography. One of his most memorable projects, the ‘Dopamine’ series reveals dramatically detailed scenes just below the water’s surface: shanty towns, naked girls riding motorcycles, a Beatnik graveyard, an entire bedroom floating upside down, all with surfers riding waves above. His photographic works turned the eyes of surfers across the world to some of the remotest and most challenging surf spots on the planet. Then, in 1999, to the surprise of the surf world he disappeared without a word. A few months later he resurfaced in Bali, and has been riding high since.
Passion rules Humphrey’s world. In the small beach village of Canggu, Humphrey revealed that he had teamed up with Australian surf wear giant Dare Jennings to found the Indonesian branch of Deus ex Machina, known as the Deus Temple of Enthusiasm – and enthusiastic they are. While their main focus is on custom motorcycles, surfboards shaping and hand printed clothing, anything can happen here. The sprawling complex surrounded by rice patties houses an art gallery, café, and bar, in addition to the bikes and boards. A weekly concert series grew out of friends getting together to jam, there’s Taco and Tattoos Tuesdays, and something as random as a photography class is likely to be spontaneously offered to anyone who hangs out there long enough.
Dustin Humphrey takes Freunde von Freunden on a tour of the Temple of Enthusiasm, discussing his travels as a young photographer with some of the world’s best surfers and the ambitions and passions that led him to Bali.