Local Lens: Dave Nilsen

You can always make back money but you can’t buy back time.


Dave Nilsen



Seaside Park, NJ

Current town: 
Seaside Park, NJ


Do you surf?


Favorite thing about shooting?

Having something to go back and look at for each memorable swell.

How did you learn how to shoot surf photography?

I read a lot of articles on the internet and just went out and shot. After taking thousands of terrible images I eventually figured it out through trial and error.

Shooting set-up?

Essex water housing with backs for a 7d and 5d mark ii. Camera bodies 5d mark iii and a 7d. Lenses, Tokina 10-17 fisheye, Canon 50 mm, and Canon 100-400.

How can the surf community help you?

Keep surfing when it’s firing.

Best day ever?

Probably Winter Storm Stella last year, Wish I got a chance to surf though. (Shot all day)

Looking forward to…

Winter swells with small crowds.

Words of Wisdom?

You can always make back money but you can’t buy back time.

Best travel experience?

Working for a boat tour in Fiji.

Surf photography is…

challenging but rewarding.

Shout outs?

Sam Seeland for dragging me up and down the coast to score waves. Stu Johnson at Fiji Surf Co. for giving me the dream job for a summer. Jon Griffin for repeatedly inviting me back to work at Thunderbomb in Nicaragua. Surfline and ESM for giving me an outlet for my shots.



Dave Nilsen Instagram

Dave Nilsen Website

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