Kanoa Zimmerman was born and raised on the surfers’ island of Kaua‘i, Hawaii. As his family relocated to Iowa, Kanoa picked up two useful practices: photography and Transcendental Meditation.
MEDITATION AND SURFING: “Transcendental Meditation has a restful calming influence for me,” explains Kanoa. “I think it’s similar to how surfing can be, in an ideal sense, without the crowds and people yelling at you or running you over […] It’s something that is less dependent on your environment. You can meditate pretty much anywhere and it’s nice to have that consistency.”
ABOVE AND BELOW: Much like his surfing, Kanoa’s photos have a timeless appeal to them. He’s shot for brands like Hurley, Patagonia and Quiksilver, as well as publications like Surfer Magazine and The Surfer’s Journal. While his surf photos have garnered recognition, it’s Kanoa’s breathtaking black and white underwater photography, which he is widely-known for.
BLACK AND WHITE: “A lot of the underwater scenes translate really well in black and white whereas in color you can get the monotone of blue,” Kanoa explains. “I guess because blue is predominant it can kind of trick your eye so all you see is blue and you don’t really see the different shades of blue. Whereas with black and white I feel like it brings out the tonalities — the changes in tones from black to white and all in between with the middle, light and dark grays — and I think that is one of the big draws.”
Text: Daniel Ikaika Ito.
Photos: Kanoa Zimmerman
Originally published in Contrast Magazine