5 MINUTES WITH WITH RAY COLLINS
After reaching out to world renowned ocean photographer Ray Collins asking for an interview, I was nervously surprised to get a message back saying 'thanks mate, sounds great.' I say nervously because talking to Ray is comparable to me as a youngster meeting an All Black - thats how much respect and admiration I have for the guy. Needless to say I was packing myself prior to the interview, but, once I started asking questions, Ray's easy going nature and our common interest in the ocean gave way to a really relaxed and insightful interview.
Who is Ray Collins?
Its kinda weird when you strip it right back, but, I guess I’m an artist or a photographer - but that doesn’t necessarily make me who I am as a person. I dunno, I’m just a 34 year old man from Wollongong. I’m a husband, I’m a dog owner. I’m someone who try's to better themselves everyday and learn from their mistakes. Yeah, and I just had my first coffee of the day.
How did it begin?
In 2007 I was working at a coal mine and injured my knee which laid me up on the lounge for a couple of months. Unable to do the things I’d normally do I thought I’d challenge myself mentally and photography seemed kinda cool and something I’d always wanted to dabble in. Initial subjects were my dog, but, when the physio said I could get back in the water I bought a water housing to take photo’s of my friends surfing and it grew from there really. There was no real plan or anything, it just evolved organically.
What is surf photography to you?
For me its surface deep. Its the surface, its the membrane, its the liquid covering of the ocean and I don’t really delve too much further down than that. I treat it like a living thing and I aim to take portraits of it in different kinda light with different kinda lenses, and in different kinda moods. I steer clear of your typical palm trees and white sand kind of vibe and like to show it a bit more angry and kinda dangerous and dark, moody and stormy. For me currently, thats what ocean photography is, but, its evolved to this place and it will evolve more in the future.
Whats your favourite thing about it?
Once you push that button down that moments gone and will never be seen again - so freezing moments is my favourite thing. All of the other things that come with it like getting to travel and spending days at the beach and making it my life is all a bonus too.
Whats your inspiration?
With so much ocean imagery circulating online I’m inspired by so many people, but, two things that will never change is water and light - which are by far my biggest inspirations. The way they interact is what drives me to peel my blankets back at 4:00 in the morning to hop in the ocean.
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