During medical school a great summer job opportunity presented itself.... A Beach Doctor at the States Ave tent in Atlantic City, New Jersey. It was then, in 1968, that my appreciation of ocean lifeguards began and with it a lifelong passion to capture the stamina, bravery, strength, beauty, and competitive drive of Lifeguards thru photography.
Of special interest have been the competitions, featuring both the men and women Lifeguards, featuring all our South Jersey teams, Beach Patrols up the coast, and national teams around the country.
I usually have a favorite subject matter for the day. A special color of the uniforms or boats, beach mood, or possibly which competitors have that special feel of charisma, or unique visual image. I appreciate the beach at the time of our local races, usually held late in the summer afternoons when the lighting is just beautiful. I get there early enough to photograph the warmups which allows me to chose my subject matter of the day.
The lifeguard culture has been present since the early 1900s. Our lifeguards save lives every day, but once their work day is over, they become very serious about their competitions against other beach patrols. Professional lifeguards have been trained to identify the different motions of the ocean, which is a skill I have acquired that gives me an advantage when taking photos which require ANTICIPATION, a theme that characterizes my work. What's going to happen when that boat gets to the wave?
"I am a retired Physician living at the beach in South Jersey's Ventnor City.
And, I look forward to editing my favorite shots.”
The photographs represent more than 35 years of competitions locally and nationally." – RUSTY SILVERMAN
"There is a mist surrounding memories of summer at the beach, the action blurred by the static of sand or the waves’ unrest. Most mysterious of all to the average beachgoer are the lifeguards, aloof and omnipotent. They are the beach’s royalty. Observers can compare them to the ocean; like the sea, they possess strength, stamina and beauty. They live by an unfamiliar code and tell time by the turn of the tides.
Every summer, the lifeguards meet to battle the sand, waves and each other for the glory of calling themselves the champions of the beach. They compete on boards, in boats, swimming, running, and alone amidst the waves in races that have generational history.
Enter the world of the summer lifeguards of South Jersey and those brave guards around the world through the lens of Rusty Silverman; an Atlantic City-based photographer who has been capturing moments in the lives of the local and national lifeguards for decades. His pictures are as timeless as the endless, immortal days of summer."
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