weather report: swimming with the sharks 🦈

close your eyes and it’s almost august. we caught up with a sweet trio: ny photographers alex dupkin and lanna apisukh and illustrator david leutert.

and in honor of a few shark sightings in these parts, we screened jaws in between rockaway radio beats and sips of our endless summer energy (one of our #1 mantras). rising temps have us h–a–w–t- but we’re always pushing through the best we know how.

check it : ny-based surf and ocean photographer alex dupkin

ROCKAWAY: Where are you from?

ALEX DUPKIN: I was born and raised on the south shore of Long Island, NY.

ROCKAWAY: When did you start taking photographs and what caught your eye from an early age? Any inspirations from other artists?

AD: My childhood mainly consisted of drawing and watching movies! From an art perspective, I found those things came naturally and my love for photography came about in unison with my passion for surfing and adventure. I really enjoy watching surf/travel movies like “Under an Arctic Sky” by Chris Burkard. My goal is to be the camera they send to the unpopular places. Overall I try to stay pretty out of the loop on what everyone else is doing. For my own sanity.

ROCKAWAY: What do you love about photography -- and how do you get into the flow?

AD: I think what draws me to all forms of art is the ability to tell stories or depict emotion. A lot of my photos are captured in moments that are impossible to recreate. Often times the product of stressful situations involving speed, danger and coincidence. Where I find the most success is in those situations, where I rely solely on my instincts for safety. It’s there that I find my flow, the absence of hesitation, between moments.

ROCKAWAY: What's your advice to someone who wants to learn how to take a picture?

AD: The best thing about photography is that it’s subjective. Take pictures of the things you find yourself staring at even without a camera. Capture those moments, and as long as the lens cap is off it might just become something you’re proud of. While there is a “correct way” to operate the camera, my personal experience urges me to stress the importance of coloring outside of the box if that is what looks good to you.

ROCKAWAY: What do you love about the water — both as a photographer and surfer?

AD: So many things. But one constant has always been the water's ability to make me feel unimportant. What keeps me coming back as well is its ability to teach me about myself. Every time I paddle/swim out I am confronted by not only the physical challenges of the ocean but the mental obstacles as well. I learn to process fear, assess my failures and feel happiness thoroughly.

ROCKAWAY: What's your summer mantra?

AD: If you want to take better pictures live a more interesting life!

and we caught up with ny-based photographer lanna apisukh (follow along on ig). we luv s8er kidz.

ROCKAWAY: Where are you from?

LA: I’m based in Brooklyn, New York. Grew up in Florida and lived in Seattle for many years before making my way back to the east coast. New York City definitely feels like home now after living here for more than a decade!

ROCKAWAY: When did you start taking photographs --- and what caught your eye from an early age? Any influences?

LA: I picked up a 35mm point and shoot film camera in high school and became fascinated with photography since then. I also studied photography in college and took darkroom classes and art history. I loved learning about the pioneers of photography, especially early color photography from the 60s and 70s.

ROCKAWAY:  Where are your favorite places to point a camera in NY?

LA: I love the energy in Chinatown and exploring the insides of people’s work and living spaces around the city. I started photographing events inside The Met and that has been one of my favorite spots. Youth culture and skateboarding are some of my favorite subjects, so naturally I enjoy shooting at skateparks around the city too, especially the street courses in Bushwick near my home.

ROCKAWAY: What do you love about photography -- how do you get into the flow?

LA: Photography connects me with fascinating people and places. Every assignment is an exploration. To get into the flow, I usually research a bit before I start.  I like to scout, get the vibe and have a chat with my subjects before I begin photographing. That kind of puts everyone at ease – as well as myself. Then I start the process, usually by following my instincts and framing up what looks good or interesting to me that can help tell a story or give my viewer a sense of the place/person/thing.

ROCKAWAY: What's your advice to someone who wants to learn how to take a picture?

LA: These days, photography is super accessible. You don’t need to go to school to learn. There are loads of free tutorials online.  Developing your style and visual language will come with time and practice like anything else. It’s ’s helpful to study the work of other photographers. Get inspired through photo books, gallery shows and engage with your local photo community. Having a supportive network can really help ignite your creativity.

ROCKAWAY: Skaters, food, drinks, and humans of all races, shapes and sizes --- what do you love about your subjects?

LA: I love the variety! Whether I’m photographing a young skater, a food story or an immigrant family down the street that runs a dry cleaner, I find that I’m always learning something new and feeling even more connected to my community through my photography and that is why I love doing what I do.

ROCKAWAY: What's your motto for summer?

LA: Go outside - and stop to smell the flowers! 

and the last fire of the month, nyc-turned-berlin illustrator and lettering artist david leutert.

ROCKAWAY: Where are you from?

DAVID LEUTERT: I was born and raised in Nuremberg, Germany. It’s a beautiful medieval city in the state of Bavaria where people wear lederhosen unironically. When I was 28 I moved to New York to pursue a Master’s degree. One of my favorite things was taking the subway to the beach — either to Coney Island or the Far Rockaways. Sometimes I'd take a random day off, bring my sketchbook down to the boardwalk and just draw.

ROCKAWAY: When did you become an artist and what inspires your work now?

DL: I’ve always loved to draw.. Back in high school I'd always doodle and draw caricatures of my teachers.. Now I know I was practicing for my future career. At first I didn’t know how to become an illustrator, so I went into graphic design. I really just wanted to be a freelance illustrator and be my own boss. These days I’m still inspired by the same things: comics, music and traveling.

ROCKAWAY: What kind of visual diet did you have growing up?

DL: Growing up, I used to be obsessed with skateboard graphics, comic books, record covers and Saturday morning cartoons. When I realized that there were people who got paid to create the things I loved, my mind was set. I tried all kinds of creative practices over the years, but drawing was the one thing I never seemed to get tired of. So I turned it into a career.

ROCKAWAY: What do you love about color and storytelling through graphics?

DL: I tend to work with limited color palettes, because I’ve always been fascinated by screen printing. It teaches you to think economically. Storytelling is at the center of everything I do. . Whenever I start a new project— even if it’s just a simple poster — I always consider the story I can tell with it.

ROCKAWAY: How do you balance work and play?

DL: Not very well. But it’s actually been getting better lately. I've learned the importance of making time for personal projects. Those are the pieces I’m most proud of — I have full creative freedom and the ability to develop new styles and techniques. Personal projects tend to lead to actual paid jobs. It’s crucial to always ask yourself: “What do I enjoy creating? What type of work brings me joy?”

ROCKAWAY: What is your motto for 2022?

DL: Don’t die.

love thy…farmers market

we like to think of this as our outside community bodega. since 2016, our good buddies at rise (rockaway initiative for sustainability & equity) have organized rockaway market street promoting local produce, baked goods, crafts and our plant-powered cans. come see us!

addy: under the a train bridge downtown @ beach 60th street 

saturdays 10am-2pm (thru october 22nd) 




@djtanknyc bringing that end of july heat :

summer dopamine




“We’re gonna need a bigger boat” - Sheriff Brody

SHARK ATTACK! THE ultimate ‘70s summer blockbuster follows the hunt for a great white killer shark off the coast of Cape Cod. A sheriff, a marine biologist and a salty old seafarer head out on a boat and a classic man vs. nature battle ensues. We’re suckers for composer John Williams famous two-note score and the super campy mechanical shark special effects.

founder freestyle flow :

heat’s been on. got me slow. watch for sharks + stay cool.

rock on. x b

<< ps we got some fancy racks set up at stop & shops, grab some cans when you see ‘em. let’s keep it moving! >>

where the streets meet the beach. @drinkrockaway