Highly Esteemed Photographer Dies the Best Way Possible

Highly Esteemed Photographer Dies the Best Way Possible

As jarring as it is to acknowledge, we all die. And the manner in which we die is something that many of us have probably contemplated at different times over our lives. For legendary photographer and publisher Allen Margolis, he passed away doing what he loved with those he loved.

They say that the only inevitable things in life are death and taxes. However, if you're rich enough and well-connected enough then the latter is something you can probably avoid with a little bit of imaginative accounting. So that leaves us with death. It's not the most pleasant topic but the sad reality is that it happens to all of us at some time. And this week the highly esteemed surf photographer and East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame inductee, Allen Margolis, passed away in his home state of Florida. As sad and shocking as the news was, I was somewhat comforted by the fact that he died out in the ocean, surfing with friends. As his long time friend and co-founder of the highly reputed Eastern Surf Magazine, Dick Meseroll said:

Allen went out the way we’d all hope/dream: riding your last waves out in the ocean among friends

In this day and age of sensationalism and hyperbole, terms such as "legend" and "pioneer" and "respected" are thrown around far too freely, in my opinion. However, in the case of Margolis, they are words that are certainly warranted. Indeed, a simple look at his life's work and accomplishments are testimony.  He was the co-founder of Eastern Surf Magazine, as well as co-founder of the quarterly Surf magazine. As well as that he co-published Waves of the World and was also inducted into the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame in 2014. He is perhaps best known for shooting handheld with a hulking Century 650mm lens and getting incredible results when others failed to match him with the use of a tripod. His work was ever-present in magazines of the day and he will always be remembered as someone who had a huge influence over budding surf photographers from that era.

He might not be a household name to people outside the surfing world or even those outside the East Coast, but he will be missed by those who knew him and worked with him.

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32 Comments

Leigh Miller's picture

I believe that's .... "Taxes, Death and Trouble"..

But I digress...good article.

Iain Stanley's picture

hahaha the last one finds me far too much!!

Vladimir Vcelar's picture

When I go, I want to go with a bang and not a wimper. Imagine dying at ICU with tubes up every orifice, gasping for air and not knowing what the hell's going on, but the pain and relatives wanting to know if they're in your will. No-one will ever think on their death bed "gee, I sure wish I spent more time in queues". No thanks! Better to die doing what you love best and go straight to the great studio in the sky than live a life of pointless mediocrity.

Iain Stanley's picture

sure got that right. Though I'd love to go out with a bang after having seen my family

Simon Patterson's picture

I reckon the best possible way to die is at ground zero of an atom bomb. In a split second you change from going about your normal daily business to being vaporized into nothing. You wouldn't feel a thing, even for a microsecond.

Iain Stanley's picture

personally, yes. From a family perspective, it would be horrible to go that way without saying goodbyes. Oh, how I've mellowed since I've had children!!

Simon Patterson's picture

Interesting how having children mellows (most of) us who become parents!

Death sucks at any time, but it does seem that grieving can be made (slightly) easier if it starts before the person dies. However, from the perspective of loved ones who remain, I don't think there's a "best possible way to die", because death itself is the thing that sucks.

Iain Stanley's picture

yes absolutely. Though the irony is that, depending on your beliefs, you never see the impact your departure has on your loved ones. I'd hate a long, drawn out demise but I'd at least love to give everyone a goodbye kiss and access to all my passwords!!

Simon Patterson's picture

Good point, I'd not thought of the passwords issue. There was that guy a while back who was the only one with the bitcoin (or similar) password to millions or billions, who suddenly died. It is impossible to recover the money! Mind you, someone has to be holding the money, as something of value has been exchanged to create the bitcoins.

I share a lastpass account with my wife, so unless we both go suddenly in the same horrible accident, we've got the password thing covered...

Iain Stanley's picture

I need to get a system like that too. I’m an only child so won’t have people fighting over my possessions but I’d at least like the comfort of knowing nothing was left in the hands of banks of govts coz my family never knew it existed. What’s the “lastpass” thing?

Simon Patterson's picture

Lastpass is an online password storage vault. Knowing the master password gives you access to all your other usernames and passwords. There are quite a few such services but we started with Lastpass and have been happy with it.

Simon Patterson's picture

RIP Mr Margolis. Condolences to his family and friends. Always especially tough for those left behind when someone dies suddenly and unexpectedly.

Ben Bezuidenhout's picture

The best way is in your sleep. After sex with the one, you love of course :-)

Iain Stanley's picture

yes I could think of worse ways. Wouldn't be a particularly pleasant experience for the one waking up next you though!

Timothy Turner's picture

How you die is not important, where you go afterward is, we have no control over how, where, or when. The ONLY thing that matters is ones relationship with JESUS and GOD that will determine where you will be for eternity.

Iain Stanley's picture

well I guess the quote that I highlighted in this article suggests that how you die is important to some people. Many of Allen Margolis' friends felt the way he died was ideal considering his life and his life's work.

Timothy Turner's picture

The only way to really know how and when is to commit suicide, but that's just foolish.

Iain Stanley's picture

Would probably take care of the when too....

Vladimir Vcelar's picture

I'd laugh my ass off if the Christians got it wrong and Muslims were right! Just make sure you've deleted your browser history first.

Timothy Turner's picture

The only way to know for sure is to die. Who wants to go first.

Please keep your personal religious views off of public forums.

Timothy Turner's picture

Point taken, but we just had an article about a photographer defending her own right to deny service to an LGBTQ client on religious grounds, sometimes it's a fine line.

Spy Black's picture

I rather die on my motorcycle on the road than in some nursing home wearing a diaper full of shit. At least I die living...

Timothy Turner's picture

Ok so go ride your motorcycle 100 mph into a brick wall, hopefully you will die and not survive as a quadriplegic. I work in ems and I have seen many people attempt suicide and end up living another 10 years pissing themselves.

Spy Black's picture

I didn't mean suicide.

Timothy Turner's picture

of course you didn't, the only way to answer the great mystery is to get to the end of your life, we are all going to get there some day, the only problem is we won't be able to tell anyone.

Iain Stanley's picture

Funnily enough I know a guy who did exactly that. His friends said “great way to go” while his family lamented the fact they never even said goodbye when he left the house.....

Spy Black's picture

This guy didn't either...

Mark Sawyer's picture

"Dies the Best Way Possible"??? I'm thinking a single shot to the head by the Secret Service after strangling Trump to death with a roll of 35mm film. Just one more advantage of film over digital... :)

Leigh Miller's picture

That's the president of our country you're talking about....inappropriate. Especially here.

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