Tomorrow is a brand new day. A brand new opportunity to create your own future, a chance to carve a new path or take a step closer to your goals and ambitions.
I love the mornings, everything is starting fresh again. The world was asleep, and in those first moments of dawn, everything begins to wake. I don’t think I’ve ever regretted waking up early, sure it can be tough to drag yourself out of bed after a late night but those feelings are soon forgotten when those warm morning light rays grace your skin.
I was recently up on the north coast for work and had a few mornings off after the job to explore, I really didn't have any clue of where I was, or what was in store for me. Around each new corner, each new bay, was a secret the ocean hadn't yet told me about.
If it were my job, I’d say I have the best job in the world, but my art is decently priced and I don’t sell enough to justify calling it my job, but that’s ok, I like that my work costs people something, a little sacrifice for something beautiful that I sacrificed myself to obtain, and I also like that taking photos of this beautiful world is not my full time job. Why? Because I still treat it for what it is, a passion, I don’t treat it like work, if I did, perhaps I would not get the same result, instead I work towards and create myself opportunities so that i can get out and create in my own time.
This particular morning, I had my usual heavy bag of gear that I take with me, my Manfrotto Aviator, that fits my drone, DSLR, two lenses plus a telephoto. Pretty much covers the basics for what I might see on a morning stroll. I took track that I hadn't been down and walked up a headland that I’d never been up before in order to gain a higher vantage point and see what was around me. I was moving briskly so that I didn't miss any chance of a cracking sunrise shot… Upon reaching the top, I took some photos of the sun climbing above the horizon and floating into the clouds. It was warm and the sweat was dripping off me as per normal with the load I carry on my back. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted a little whip of light and water shoot into the sky.. ‘Backwash!’ I thought! One of my favourite things on the planet! I scurried down the hillside to gain a closer look, again it flared up. 4 feet, 5 feet maybe 6 feet in the air. It was hard to tell from an elevated view point. I continued to scramble down the hill like I was being chased by a bear.
“What is wrong with this kid” the few onlookers must’ve thought. What others thought of me wasn't occupying a single seat in my thought space though, I had my eyes on a prize. I knew the ocean was beckoning me and I was in a responsive pursuit.
Upon reaching the rocks below, I searched for a spot to get as low as I could as I climbed around the rocks to get a side on perspective to this restless beast. I searched for somewhere low because it looks best (in my opinion) when the flares breach the horizon line, it gives the subject more intensity.
I sat eager, patient and full of anticipation as the sets rolled in and crashed up against the rocks, recreating these 3-4 foot waves that stood up and challenged the oncoming swell lines. I’m not even sure why, but witnessing colliding energy is simply just one of the most fascinating things to me. What about you?
Without further ado, I’ll let the images tell the rest of the story.. each now available to order as fine art prints.
Shooting with the Canon Australia 5D Mark IV and the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8.
Now, you may be thinking.. where is this!!? Why have I not given away any locations in this story? Well, I’ll tell you why and I’ll keep it brief and as relatively light hearted as possible.
Being primarily a wave photographer, there's a few things that I’ve learnt in my time. I’ve learnt that being grateful for what I get is far more important than being regretful over opportunities I’ve missed. And I’ve learnt that we as photographers and humans are not entitled to anything, rather everything that is presented to us, is a gift. That being said, not everyone thinks this way. I haven't named any locations here because one: I want people to focus on the art and energy, not so much the place for this particular series of photos. And secondly, I respect that it may or may not (I’m not sure) be another photographers little secret spot and I don’t want to intrude on that relationship they have with it.
Now, I’m totally cool with secret spots and having your own little slice of gold that one can retreat to when the conditions align. I have that myself! What saddens me in this industry though, is when photographers develop a sense of entitlement, and they begin to think they own a spot, a place, a style of shot or even a style of shooting! I’ve been guilty of this myself but have since (for the most part) grown out of such an immature and emotionally unbalanced way of thinking. I’ve seen photographers (particularly surf photographers and surfers as well) they feel as though if they were “the first to capture it” or “come up with such an original idea” (which chances are they were most definitely not, as we’ve had so many original and creative minds go before us), they think that they own rights to whatever output is generated. It’s actually a sad truth to discover how many photographers seemingly ‘find’, ’discover’ or ‘come up’ with something and then attempt to protect it as there own.
You see, a sport like surfing and an industry like photography can quickly become a self absorbed and selfish path if you let it. Think about it, there’s only one person catching the wave, and there is only one finger going down on that shutter, there is no team environment and only one name can get the credit. It’s that kind of environment, with the lack of accountability, that can and will quickly rise into a dog eat dog mentality, full of bickering, gossip and slander. I’ve seen it too many times in my lifetime unfortunately. That is why, for the most part I keep the locations of the places I shoot undisclosed, as a simple effort to avoid fuelling any fires that I don’t need to be burning in my space.
Through experience, I’ve learnt to just enjoy each moment that we are ‘given’. And that to live such a life is a blessed experience in itself. Any other train of thought, is most likely heading in an unhealthy direction.
Enjoy this series of images that I’ve entitled “A Mornings Walk”.
Thanks for being a part of Thurston Photo!
"Fortress" | Buy Print (Full Crop)