Vagabond Photographic Blog:
I recently had the chance to have a chat with the crew at Vagabond Photographic about the trip I went on with them:
Tell us a little about yourself and how you got into photography?
I had always surfed and body boarded so I bought a GoPro and a Knekt trigger. I was then shooting the stock standard shore break shots and having the time of my life. The thing that annoyed me was that I couldn’t control any settings. This meaning the camera determined how my images looked.
I messaged Warren Keelan in 2015 after discovering him on Instagram. He invited me to come and visit his gallery so after nagging my Mum and Dad to drive me down to Wollongong, I got to meet Waz. We spoke for ages in his shop, I was bombarding him with questions about different photos on his walls. I was absolutely amazed by what was possible within photography. I was seeing images of the ocean in ways I did not know it looked. After our chat he gave me a calendar which I still have. I still look up to Waz and I feel very privileged to call him a mate.
The next step was to get a DSLR into the water. This meant lots of saving and working. In 2017 that dream came true. My first ever swim with my camera was at North Beach in Wollongong. It was a solid 4 foot and I didn’t go further than shoulder depth as I scared I was going to lose my new set up!
What excites you about getting out there escaping & creating?
The exciting thing for me is the unknown. When escaping to a new place you never know what will be around the next headland. It could be a new secret wave no one knows about. Getting out of the house and packing up my 4wd for a weekend is one of my favourite things to do. Creating is an outlet, it's relaxing and it challenges me. When I have my camera in hand I am very focused on composing and creating a unique shot. There are minimal distractions when I am taking photos and most the time I am alone. I think it's great to have a time where there are no distractions and you are just focused on one thing.
What fascinates you about the ocean?
I haven’t and still don’t live near the ocean. I live an hour away from the closest beach (Wollongong). The landscape I am surrounded in doesn’t change from day to day or hour to hour as the ocean does. The subject (the ocean) is always moving whether it be a wave, the oceans surface or some backwash. This is the biggest fascination with the ocean for me. You barely see every aspect of the ocean the same one day as you do the next. As a photographer, I don’t want to take the same photo of a tree every day for instance. There are so many ways to show the ocean with your camera. With the use of different settings, you can portray the ocean to be angry/scary/intimidating or inviting and calm.
We had the pleasure of your company at our first Vagabond Escape & Create Gathering… What were your thoughts and how did you find the concept?
I thought it was a great weekend away, some of the highlights for me were -
The location: Ulladulla is a great location I had never been there before so that was very enticing. The campground was really relaxed. I loved just being able to rock up and chuck the swag out where ever you wanted. We had a communal fire where you go and cook dinner or have a couple of frothies and talk photo with the other guests. The creative guides knew which location to go to depending on the conditions. This meant for the best photo opportunity.
World class photographers: I loved getting up for sunrise jumping on the beach with Warren Keelan and Shannon Glasson. They are so knowledgeable and even after being in the water for 2 years now you can always learn something new. Having both of them there for a whole weekend gives you plenty of time to pick their brains.
Freedom: There was a set schedule of talks and shoots going on but you didn’t have to attend if you didn’t want to. You duck in and grab a pie from town if you wanted. Or you could go spend the day relaxing by the fire. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who wants getaway off the beaten track and learn some of the best surf/landscape photographers there are.
If there was one destination you could travel to and photograph where would it be?
Teahupoo, Tahiti it is one of the most talked about waves. The potential of scoring massive bombs or even 3 foot chopes is exciting. The beautiful backdrop of the mountains would make for a great shot I believe. The crystal clear water from what I have seen looks great. I have watched Ben Thouard’s film Surface and it was amazing to see this wave from beneath. I hope to see these one day with my own eyes. There is the chance to take photos and watch the pro’s like John John or Kelly from the water. That is exciting. I have never really seen many pros surf so I think that would be pretty sick. The videos of the spit reaching boats in the channel is exciting. I think the power of this wave and the sound of the lip hitting the water’s surface is one I want to hear in person. It is also where the remake of Point Break was filmed and that’s my favourite movie.
Australian Photographer Of The Year.
I was pleasantly surprised when my photos were ‘Highly Commended’ in the Landscape category of The 2018 Photographer Of The Year Competition (AUS/NZ).
I am very happy to be considered so highly, in a competition against more than 1000 photographers images.
I personally think this was some of my best work from 2018.
All 4 of these images were taken over two nights, one at Plantation Point in Vincentia and the other in Narrawallee. I am hoping to spend many more nights photographing Bioluminescence this year.
Cover of the Southern Highland Magazine + 5 minutes with interview.
I was recently contacted by The Southern Highlands Magazine. We exchanged the use of my image for their cover and they did a little interview on me.
There were 20,000 printed copies of this magazine.