Freelance photographer Leonie Ferry took the plunge and moved from Germany to live on the wild rural north west coast of Ireland. Here she captures life during the second lockdown showing how surfers are prepared to get back up and try again. 

In water I feel hugged. I’m part of something, I feel like I belong. It gives me an awareness of the moment that few other things can give me. Photography lets me focus and make things visible.

It takes time to observe what is out there and to decide what to focus on. Which story to tell? To whom? Surfers are my idols. They seem endlessly resilient to me forever getting back up and trying, and I admire that. Surfers know how to take a wave, they seek them.

Living in rural Ireland opposed to a city in Germany brings its differences. Life is more humble. The land is more exposed to the elements, the light changes quicker and you can see the storm coming. Storms are plentiful in Donegal, which is in the North West of Ireland, and after storm Lorenzo I was drawn to the shore to watch the waves rolling in. Big wave surfers were already there. Seeing their love for the sea and their smile made me lift my camera to capture it. Now, the second wave of the pandemic has arrived in the North-West and lockdown is back, I felt it was time to catch a smile and pass it on. There is no shorter distance between two people than a smile. And a surfer’s smile is infectious.

Follow Leonie on instagram and check out her website.