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Coronavirus: Surf photographer on ‘stark’ lifestyle change

A surfer riding   Coronavirus: Surf photographer on ‘stark’ lifestyle change  112577598 albee layer jaws maui hawaii 2019Image copyright
Si Crowther

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Si Crowther usually works as a photographer around the world taking images like this one in Hawaii

A surf photographer who would normally spend his time travelling the world has spoken of feeling “claustrophobic” at being stuck in a flat during lockdown.

Si Crowther’s work capturing windsurfing and surfing images for magazines and events has taken him to Hawaii, South America and beyond.

But with no events on the horizon and global travel uncertain, the 46-year-old has been staying in Ipswich, where he lives alone in a ground-floor flat.

“It’s been a stark change,” he said.

Mr Crowther said the pandemic had wiped all future work from his calendar.

“As it stands, the future feels really uncertain for me, I’ll have to wait and see how the surf and windsurf industries emerge from lockdown,” he said.

Si Crowther  Coronavirus: Surf photographer on ‘stark’ lifestyle change  112577594 si crowther peruImage copyright
Si Crowther

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The photographer has been in his flat in Ipswich since lockdown began

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Si Crowther

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Mr Crowther said he had “lost all my mojo” to pick up a camera during the pandemic

Mr Crowther has furloughed himself from his own limited company and taken a mortgage holiday, and instead picked up some work cleaning and stacking reclaimed bricks from a local barn conversion.

He said he had “lost all my mojo” to pick up a camera, adding: “I don’t know what to take a photo of.”

Ordinarily, Mr Crowther would have a series of events lined up around the world, and would always have his “emergency bag” packed when he was in the UK ready to jet off on last-minute jobs.

The former telecoms engineer went to Hawaii for a windsurfing tour at the end of November and had stayed until mid-January working on shots for magazines.

He came back to the UK with the intention of “catching up on the accounting and business side of things”.

A humpback whale calf  Coronavirus: Surf photographer on ‘stark’ lifestyle change  112577694 humpback whalecalf 1 tonga 2018Image copyright
Si Crowther

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Some of his jobs would see him jet off to warmer destinations at the last minute

Maui, Hawaii  Coronavirus: Surf photographer on ‘stark’ lifestyle change  112577602 kai lenny hookipa beach maui hawaii 2017Image copyright
Si Crowther

A snorkeler and dolphin  Coronavirus: Surf photographer on ‘stark’ lifestyle change  112577696 makenzie and the dolphin maui hawaii 2017Image copyright
Si Crowther

He was due to fly back out to Hawaii on 14 March, just as the pandemic started to hit the UK.

But Mr Crowther’s travel insurance would have expired during the trip and he was unable to renew.

And he was also due to shoot in Japan for the first time the following month for the Professional Windsurfing Tour.

Si Crowther's friend Christine underwater in Hawaii  Coronavirus: Surf photographer on ‘stark’ lifestyle change  112922212 8d3f83ae 3723 4fb3 a58c 0470ecf5f071Image copyright
Si Crowther

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The last photo he took was of his friend Christine swimming underwater in a dress in Hawaii

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Si Crowther

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He has since adapted to life back at his Ipswich flat and has picked up some local work

Mr Crowther said adjusting to spending most of his time in his Ipswich flat had been a “little tricky” and he had felt “claustrophobic” initially.

He also fell ill not long after lockdown started, and is still not sure if he had Covid-19 as he has not been tested.

But he said he had made use of the time in his home town “doing those jobs you never get around to”, including DIY and transferring 15 years’ worth of photos from a collection of portable hard drives, and getting out on his bike.

He said he “can’t wait to get shooting from the water again”.

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