Crystal Thornburg surfing in Central California. Surf trips come up rapidly, as quick as the swells that show up on surf maps, and the photographers and editors who cover them very seldom have a lot of time to plan their work. Grant Ellis has been the photo editor for Surfer Magazine for almost seven years. He started as a surf photographer and followed professional surfers around the world for three years, having surfed from the age of 8. Surfer works with a large number of photographers and surfers to find and produce the stunning images in the magazine. Ellis says that he can track the swell as it moves across the Pacific or Indian oceans through the emails from his photographers around the world. And if big waves are the greatest thrill in surfing, getting an image in Surfer’s Big issue is the ambition of most surf photographers. Because surf images reflect the many nuances of light and water, editors at Surfer do rounds and rounds of color proofing to make certain each image is just right. The wave comes through, and they do their best to catch it.