Gateway to Heaven

FROM A VERY YOUNG AGE, nature was a big part of Doug Hollenbeck’s life. Six years after being born in  New York City in 1963, with his father and brother he hiked the Appalachian Trail, Beartooth Mountain, Yellowstone and Yosemite National Parks. That same year he was given his first camera. Beginning with that pocket instamatic, he developed a love and respect for the great outdoors and a desire to photograph it.

It wasn’t long before Hollenbeck  grew  from the instamatic to using his father’s Leica CL range finder and then for his 14th birthday, he was given a Canon A-1.  After a trip to Colorado three years later, Hollenbeck returned home with many rolls of film. When they were processed, the owner of the photo store encouraged him to have an exhibition and suggested that he attend the Brooks Institute of Photography. Five years later, after a stint as a ski instructor in Waneatchee WA, Hollenbeck enrolled in Brooks Institute. 


After three years he graduated with a solid education in photography as well as a taste for windsurfing.  In Vail CO he began working as a ski tech in a local ski shop. About that time, at the age of 26, he sold his first photo to “Men’s Health Magazine.” It was a double page shot of his brother David windsurfing on a lake in New Zealand.

Not long afterwards, Hollenbeck began spending summers windsurfing and photographing in Maui as well as the Gorge. Today he travels the world capturing on film his passions for skiing, snowboarding and windsurfing.

RAINBOW across THE SAND: Another perspective of Ho’okipa during the 1994 Aloha Classic. This little beach has nurtured every one of the world’s best windsurfers. (enlarge)
Waves of diamond FLAKES: Skiing was Hollenbeck’s original passion but the development of snowboarding has brought the many peaks around the world into the photographer’s focus. From Tienshan, Uzbekistan to Mt. Olympus in New Zealand, the exploits of some of the top snowboarders are chronicled by Hollenbeck’s cameras. (enlarge)
MOMENTS OF TERROR AND ECsTAsY: The conquest of JAWS, Maui continued in 1997. Among the new faces to challenge the monster was Sierra Emory, US-31. (enlarge)
RIDING AN UNFORGIVing BEAST: Anders Bringdal S-10, takes a prolonged flight on the back of one of JAWS’s best. The explosive uplift wind generated by the crashing wave rips the sailor from his gear and his sanity. (enlarge)


Twilight sailor: Ivan Van Vuuren hopping over table mountain in Big Bay, near Capetown. The windsurfer’s lifestyle of the rich and famous goes hand in hand with the photographer’s skill. Travel and destination articles such as South Africa have become an easy way to get magazine exposure for sailors while spelling adventure for photographer Hollenbeck. (enlarge)
A CELEBRATION OF NATURAL HIGHS: Hollenbeck’s photographs are the visual diary of a windsurfer’s passion. Through the camera, he has carved a profession that bears witness to a dynamic communion between man and nature. His photographs remind us of our play in the fields of this planet’s majesty. (enlarge)

by Doug Hollenbeck

Based on Maui, Doug Hollenbeck travels the world capturing on film his passions for skiing, snowboarding and windsurfing.