B Y Simon Gonzalez
PHOTO BY Allison Potter
CONNOR BARTH IS USED TO HAVING LENSES POINTED
AT HIM. It comes with the territory when you’re a professional foot-ball
player. Barth, a standout kicker for Hoggard High School and the
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, enjoyed a nine-year career in
the NFL, where dozens
of cameras record every
attempted field goal and
9-year career as an NFL kicker
Barth last played in
the NFL in 2017. He failed to catch on with a team last year, but he isn’t
ready to give up on his professional career. He kicks a couple of times a
week to stay in shape while he and his agent eye potential job openings.
He needed to stay busy while he’s on hiatus from football. He passed
the Real Estate Brokers licensing exam and went to work, but he was
looking for something else to do in his free time.
“Everyone has to have outlets,” he says. “It’s good to find something
you’re passionate about.”
Ironically, the man accustomed to having lenses follow his every move
found his outlet when
he picked up a camera.
“I was looking to keep
busy, and I picked up
a really cool Nikon
camera,” he says.
Barth added a water-proof
FAVO R I T E THING
Nikon D750 camera with
AquaTech waterproof housing
housing from AquaTech that allows him to take his D750 into the
ocean, and he started taking photos of surfing buddies and the waves.
“I just got in the water and started,” he says.
It began as a hobby, a fun way to pass the time.
“There’s something about putting that camera in the housing and getting
in the water,” Barth says. “It was just a way to get away from the daily life.
I didn’t take lessons. Trial-and-error is the best way to learn.”
As he learned more and his photos improved, the hobby has become
a possible side business. He’s sold a few of his ocean images to area busi-nesses.
But making money is secondary. The most important thing is just
being in the water, camera in hand, capturing the beauty of the ocean.
“It became a passion,” he says. “I fell in love with the water and the
creativity. There is so much art in the waves. A normal person doesn’t see
the inside of the barrel. Every day is different. It’s so diverse.”
Connor Barth photographs Wrightsville Beach waves at sunrise using a
Nikon D750 camera protected by an AquaTech waterproof housing.
november 2019 54