Chris Bickford – Legends of the Sandbar

Christopher Bickford

Legends of the Sandbar

Legends of the Sandbar is an homage to the surf culture of the Outer Banks of North Carolina, written and photographed by Christopher Bickford. It is an ode to the wild and wooly weather of the Banks, their shape-shifting sandscapes, their salt-battered architecture, and the commitment of a waterlogged band of misfits to a life lived on the fringes of American civilization. It is a portrait of a place, a people, and a passion, a drama set upon a wayward string of earth dangling on the edge of the continental shelf. It bears testimony to the raw beauty of lives lived close to the edge, the kinetic artistry of surfing in a challenging aquatic environment, and the ragged glory of a boondock community tuned to the savage power of the storm-tossed Atlantic Ocean.

The book version of Legends of the Sandbar, a culmination of 8 years of work, is available now for pre-sales. in addition to roughly 200 photographs, it includes 15 written pieces ranging from oral history to geology, meteorology, and memoir. The final version goes to print in Italy in March. Follow me on Instagram @chrisbickford to get an inside look at the printing process. Pre-orders are extremely helpful to offset printing costs. Advance buyers who order before March 1 will all be listed in the book as sponsors.

Purchase your copy here:




Christopher Bickford is is a photographer and writer currently based on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. His work has appeared in National Geographic Traveler, the New York Times, Outside Magazine, Time Magazine, Surfline, Milepost Magazine, Outer Banks Magazine. His work has been syndicated in publications worldwide, including Sawasdee (Thailand) The Bomb (South Africa), Photo (Brazil) and Vision (China). He is currently represented by the National Geographic Creative agency.


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Christopher Bickford

11 Responses to “Chris Bickford – Legends of the Sandbar”

  • I like everything about this, the surf pictures in particular are Stella.

  • Some really fine work here chris. I prefer the non surf shots mainly myself (there do seem to be a lot of action shots, but then thats what the thing is about i guess) but they are all of a real high quality. sepia tint really goes well and does not ‘age’ the work at all. I will order a copy soonest and i am sure it will sell out in no time.

  • The Book site seems to have issues about accepting my money.
    I tried both credit and debit cards (not even stolen ones :) ) and the sites payment page rejected them both multiple times.
    Is this a U.S only shipping deal? something else?

    let me know if I should try again.

  • this is really, really great stuff.

  • A MUST have book. Great pictures!
    Have ordered the book, it worked.

  • The book looks great and really does give the viewer an insight into what it must be like to live on, and surf off, the Outer Banks.

    Chris, your Instagram pages look great too, but how do you protect your work using Instagram when you grant Instagram a ‘non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use the Content that you post on or through the Service, subject to the Service’s Privacy Policy’ (to quote from their terms and conditions)? I know that many photographers use Instagram (and I’ve looking at it too, obviously) so any insight from anyone would be useful.


  • Congratulations! Really great, dynamic photography.

  • Mike R,
    I was hoping to see more discussion of the Instagram phenomena.
    Giving away rights to your images seems counter to the way I think.
    Chris, nice book.

  • I’ve been traveling for awhile and have accessed the net only on my phone. I refuse to do more than glance at the thumbnails of a burn essay on my phone, but a glance is enough to tell me this is a surfing essay. It was surfing and Surfer Magazine that motivated me to become a photographer. I’ll be back home with my iMac 27 in a week. I look forward to having a good look then.

  • WOW!WOW! WOW!!!

    I am so glad I resisted the temptation to go ahead and look at this and the following three essays on my iPhone, but waited until I got home to my 27″ iMac.

    Fantastic! I love everything about this. I mentioned how it was surfing and surfer magazine that inspired me to take up photography on the far north redwood coast of California, but unfortunately, a year after I did so my father moved us inland and I never truly developed either my surfing or surf photography skills.

    This does put the lie to a popular conceit we on the Pacific coast held about Atlantic surfing – that is was tame and mild by comparison, hardly a challenge at all. You have certainly proven this conceit false.

    My initial reaction is that this is the best body of surfing work I have yet to see. For sure, I will buy the book.

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