As the planet’s most abundant resource, water provides nourishment on a variety of levels. It serves as a healer, a thirst quencher, and to some, a home that fosters a strong sense of being. Such is the dwelling of Gaps Sabuero, a bodyboarder and photographer whose work was among the finalists in the 2016 Red Bull Illume competition. His introduction to photography was a family camera bought by his mother, with which a newfound passion sprung, and eventually a lifestyle.
Tragedy would strike the then-budding lensman when he lost his dad and his job, leading to him quitting his last go at earning a degree. Saddled with grief and frustration, he thought that he needed a new environment, one that does not come with the stigma of recent events and instead presents itself as a haven for his aspirations: bodyboarding and photography. He packed his bags and decided to move to Siargao Island. This bold move, as it turned out, was all he needed to excel at both, on top of long hours of practice and communicating with peers.
Being in an environment that he truly loved, Gaps drew inspiration from the water, the waves, and the laid back personalities whom he met. Not long after, depression and anxiety were gradually replaced by new ideas and fresh perspectives, which allowed him to hone his craft as a photographer.
Gaps’ photographs magnify the grit and technicality involved in watersports like surfing and boarding, characterized by bold hues and impeccable timing. Furthermore, he has a penchant for capturing waves, binding every intricate detail to form awe-inspiring figures that radiate with power, beauty, and at least a sliver of finesse.
For him, each shot is a fated moment, as he intends to highlight his personal tales in each of his photographs. He believes that beauty in images is subjective and is better defined by sentiment and the accompanying experiences behind each captured tale rather than fancy gadgetry.
By not shunning opportunity and opting to move to a healthier environment, Gaps Sabuero found his true home and a renewed zeal for living. He has claimed his rightful place by the water, on the waves, and in the heart of the ocean.