South Florida doesn’t always have waves, but when it does, it’s beautiful, and when it doesn’t, you can hop on a plane and be in the Caribbean or Central America by lunch. Which is how Nicola Lugo has established himself as a world-class photographer from this under-represented region. If the barrels don’t come to you, go find them. “I have always been drawn to big tubes and the rawness of the ocean,” he says. “What a different world the ocean is compared to what we’re used to on land. The connection between the surfer and the ocean, it kind of gives you a different perspective on life.”

Date of birth: 3.14.79

Years shooting: 10

Preferred camera equipment: D3s body and fisheye for water. On land, my trusty 300mm 2.8.

Current residence: Lake Worth, Florida

Stomping grounds: South Florida, OBX, Long Branch, New Jersey and Costa Rica

Favorite subjects: Someone who will pull into big barrels day after day

Social: @nicolalugo