Gabriel Nivera

Pictures & Conversations

A collection of images and the stories behind their creation.

Ben Warner

St. Ives, Cornwall


One of the best parts of being a photographer is that when I am travelling, a trip can be both a holiday and a work trip - it can start as one and end as the other; and days which you have scheduled as down days turn into opportunities.  My surf lesson day  was intended to be purely recreational.  The plan was to do a morning class, grab some lunch, putter about St. Ives, and drink the day away - but all plans need to be flexible.  So after changing out of my wet suit, which was no easy feat, I asked my two instructors if i could photograph them and do a quick interview.  They said yes; probably because they just wanted to get out of cleaning wetsuits and I was just the man to get them out of that chore.

Here is the second profile of my instructors.


Ben Warner, 34

A true son of St. Ives, Ben was born and bred in this coastal hamlet. He "grew up with the ocean on my doorstep" so found himself in the sea since he could remember.  He didn't fully commit to surfing until his teenage years and then a girl came along.  He was a body boarder  but "an ex girlfriend's dad (a lifelong surfer) told me that no daughter of his was going to date a bodyboarder, so I made the switch to surfing permanently. I guess if anyone, I have him to thank for getting me into it."  

Going on 8 years as an instructor, Ben has a job "that i love with a bunch of guys that are also some of my closest friends. The ocean isn't bad as far as offices go!"  HIs favourite office is the Periscopes in Sumbawa, Indonesia where he spent the last winter.  For his next adventure, he likes "the idea of no crowds, a different culture and somewhere random that no-one I know has visited. Perhaps somewhere not typically associated with surfing. The wave quality would be a bonus. Maybe Western Africa. Senegal, Togo or Gambia."

At home on land as he is in the sea, Ben says that if he couldn't surf he would snowboard - having spent ten winters in Andorra - "l love the mountains almost as much as love the sea. I'd be hard pressed to choose between the two."