Rob is an experienced freelance photographer based in North Devon with a wide array of talents. He is part of the North Devon Journal press team charged with covering a broad spectrum of events and situations to tight deadlines.
“I love the diverse nature of the press work, I get to meet such a wide range of interesting people from so many walks of life. Covering North Devon for so long I’ve come to love the rhythm of the year, marked by annual events and feel deeply proud to be allowed to document so much of what happens in a rather special part of the country. With each assignment there’s the challenge to try and make a strong representative image, sometimes out of nothing, it’s about making a connection with the subject and getting insight and understanding to a story which allows you to get more and often lifts the impact of a published article. Sometimes I’m sure this is the best job in the world, other times my bank balance says its not!”
Rob’s other main passion is for surfing and the sea, which led to him dedicating a huge amounts of time standing in the rain on wind swept days snapping people falling about in neoprene. Along the way he set up specialist photographic company Extremeboardshots. With dedication and camera in hand he followed the swells and surfers, chasing waves across the West-country and beyond.
Rob now wears a fair few surf related hats, he’s been the North Devon Journal Surf correspondent for the last 2 years providing a weekly blend of surf news and gossip, biographies, contest reports usually complemented by one of his photos. Checkout the archives. He’s an occasional contributing photographer to Carve, Wavelength as well as other numerous publications and media platforms. He also somehow ended up as Croyde surf club media bitch/poster-in-chief/designer.
“The club is great, I really enjoy being able to get involved and do something positive. I volunteered to help make a poster for the boys at short notice a few years ago and it’s sort of snowballed form there!”
On top of all this he does a fair bit of web and graphic design work that draws on his talent for image creation and visual flair to produce eye-catching results.
Interview from the North Devon Journal
This week LINEUP profiles the man behind the lens . . . Rob Tibbles. The goofy-footed father-of-two was a founder member of Extremeboardshots.com and, as well a being a snapper for the North Devon Journal, he also heads up the GoldCoast Oceanfest photography team. He uses Nikon kit and looks like a wounded seal when out swiming with his water camera rig.
Name: Rob Tibbles
Surfs: Croyde and Woolacombe, but not as much as I should. If the waves are good I’d sooner go swimming with my water camera to get a good photo.
How long have you been surfing? 10 years.
What got you involved with surfing? Living so close to the sea, and the loan of a mate’s shortboard.
What’s your most memorable session and why? Going out at 6ft+ Lynmouth with my camera for the first time and getting run over by Steve’s 12ft board before being washed in over the boulders.
What is the best thing about surfing for you? The sheer enjoyment of catching a wave whether with my camera, my board or just body surfing.
What would you say to people wanting to get involved with the sport? Do it, have lessons, respect other surfers, get paddle fit and enjoy yourself – it’ll change your life!
Where else have you surfed in the world? Morrocco and France.
How does North Devon compare to other global surf spots? On its day, the waves here are as good as anywhere, and the scenery is awesome. It would be nice if the water were warmer though.
What’s the worst thing about surfing? Flat spells … and rips that leave you paddling on the inside looking like a kook for ten minutes.
Your opinion on hired equipment? It’s an important part of the local economy and something we have to live with.
What about surf schools, anything to say? We’ve all had to learn – what’s wrong with getting lessons from someone who KNOWS, rather than a mate who surfed once and has talked it up ever since.
Have you had any nasty injuries surfing? I’ve been lucky so far, but like most I’ve had my fair share of knocks and bangs and close encounters with rocks. Occupational hazard really.
Best wave you’ve surfed? It’s in Cornwall … it’s a righthand reef … it’s perfect – answers on a postcard anyone?
Are you sponsored? No, but I’m thinking of approaching Carling.
Anything else to say? I can’t wait for the next swell, hope to see you there, and remember to smile.Share