IN THE NAME OF FLAME: Arroyo Grande’s Chris Burkard wins the first annual Follow the Light Foundation grant

posted by / Photos / October 11, 2006


It’s been one year since legendary surf photographer, Larry “Flame” Moore, succumbed to a long battle with a brain tumor. He fought one of the most aggressive, relentless cancers known to man for almost three years, and – during that time — gave up little of the routine that made him one of the most respected photographers and photo editors the surf world’s ever known. One of his main mottos? Share his deep well of knowledge. Encourage the next generation. And give them the tools to go out and get the shot.

With this in mind, Flame’s wife, Candy, iconic photographer Aaron Chang and SURFING publisher Ross Garrett formed the Follow the Light Foundation, a non-profit group dedicated toward developing the next crop of talented young photographers. Over this past year, Follow the Light made a call for submissions, had each photographer state his/her goals or specific project plans, and picked a candidate most deserving of the annual ${{{5000}}} grant.

That candidate this year, thanks to a {{{review}}} panel including Moore, Chang, Steve Pezman, Steve Wilkings, Jeff Divine and Art Brewer, is 20-year-old Chris Burkard from Arroyo Grande, California. Chris was at a loss for words when he was announced the winner at last night’s celebration dinner at El Adobe in San Juan Capistrano. “I just….thank you,” he said, overwhelmed by it all.

Not only is Burkard a raw talent with a keen eye for light and composition, Chang noted he has the makings of becoming a photographer with his own, distinct style. In addition, his proposal for a book project of California coastal imagery impressed the judges. “But he may need to take a few more English classes,” joked Chang.

Burkard won over a field of notable finalists, including Puerto Rico’s Steve Fitzpatrick, SURFING associate photo editor Sammy Olson, Damea Dorsey and Steven Sandoval. All expressed their appreciation of the Foundation. “Exactly one year after his passing,” said Sammy Olson, “and we have this event in his name. Flame’s gotta be smiling on us right now.”

To see more of Chris Burkard’s work, go to burkardphoto.com.

For more information on the Follow the Light Foundation, go to www.followthelightfoundation.org

To buy the 30 Years of Flame book, click here.

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