Jack de la Mare is a 19 year old student from the Northen Suburbs of Perth, Western Australia. He studys photography and graphic design at Curtin University of Technogology in Perth. Jack spends his time being inspired by fellow artists, in particular photographers, who choose to photograph one of his true passions, the ocean. To capture the essence of his subject in a different light is what Jack strives for. Though he understands many of the images you will find in this collection are not yet to a professional standard, he hopes to give you an insight and a glimpse of the standard he would like to achieve with his photographic work.
I suppose you could call this a contents page, though this book hasnâ€™t been set out into seperate departments as such, these are just a number of my favourite spreads that you may particulary enjoy, as well.
A little about myself.
Im only getting to grips with the fact that this whole book is a bit like a feature in a magazine, all about me, answering questions for a double page spread seems daunting enough let alone having to entertain you with something other than photographs for 50+ pages. Well Iâ€™ll give it my best but do bear with me, most of, if not all of the photographs found amongst these pages feature the ocean, and people who like myself, look to the ocean as an outlet for many things, leisure, sport, art. The ocean is a canvas which many people from various walks of life use to express themselves. For myself I use a camera, I like to capture the moments that often will be overlooked. You see an image of an enormous wave with a person cocooned in the barrel within and you canâ€™t help but imagine the view they must be enjoying. But nobody photographed the moment before that, the moment when you could cut through the tension in the lineup with a knife because everybody knows that the upcoming heroics and borderline stupidity could result in substancial injury, even death. The moments that people tend to forget can often prove to be the most interesting when captured through a camera.
This image would probably be one of my favourites in the book, I ventured down to the beach in front of my house having not taken photographs in a while, I go through a lot of love/hate stages with photography, sometimes I hate every image I produce and therefore leave my camera untouched for weeks at a time, other times I find I can get something out of alot of the images I take, and find myself shooting on a daily basis. This day was not one of those. I picked up my camera for the first time in a couple of weeks on a gloomy winter evening and headed down to the beach, this was the first photo I took. Photography for me is all about conveying a mood and this image I think to the moment that I took it, summed up my mood towards shooting photos for a number of weeks leading up to it. I got home half an hour later and found nothing in the other photographs from the evening but this one stood out to me, and consequently I found myself leaving the house with a camera in hand for many weeks after.
This photograph was taken at a place known as Gas Bay, Margaret River, Western Australia. I enjoy this photo, not so much for the photo itself but more for the memories it brings back. This was my first time surfing in Margaret River. Well known amongst the world surfing community, Margs hosts some of the most world-class surfing breaks known to man, I was lucky enough to have a friend who lived down there and a talented surfer himself, he showed me the area and I quickly found myself in love with the place. The waves, the town, the people, even something about the bitter cold in the winter, I loved it all. Only a 3 hour drive from my front door, Margs is a place I have visited a number of times since that first weekend in March 2011, a number of the photographs found in this book come from the famed 50km of coastline between Margeret River and Yallingup, Iâ€™ve no doubts Iâ€™ll be visiting it again many times yet.
There is alot to be said for making impulse decisions. I left uni at around 5pm this day and on my way home noticed what a stunning afternoon it was, not a breath of wind, not a cloud in the sky. I remembered I still had my camera bag in the back of my car, instead of cruising on up the freeway towards home I exited at Karrinyup road. Ten minutes later I found myself in the Trigg carpark, the swell was pumping, the sun lingering over the horizon, maybe only twenty minutes of good light left, at the most. I dashed into the water rigging up my housing as I waded through the shallows. Ducking and weaving through oncoming surfers (as is the norm at the constantly crowded Trigg point) I made it out into the lineup. The sun was rapidly on its way down, as I admired my front row seat to such a fine afternoon this guy paddles past me, we exchange pleasantries, and he paddles back out. I snapped this photo of him, among many I got this afternoon I would say its my favourite, everything just fell into place perfectly for this shot. Iâ€™ve been approached by a couple of agencies for use of this photo, most recently, Sierra Nevada, a well known US brewing company who make a tasty pale ale, asked me to use this shot in their 2012 lookbook.
This is, dare I say it, is perhaps my favourite spread in the book. Both of these photographs were taken 12 hours apart, the left was shot late on a Wednesday afternoon at a secluded break outside Gracetown in the South-west. We had driven down at midday, picked up a friend in Margs and then went on the hunt for waves, we turned up at Cobblestones about 5-oclock with 40 minutes of light remaining, with a sprint through the dunes we caught about half an hour of waves before darkness fell, I shot this photo moments after the sun dissapeared. The photo on the right is of my friend James, a talented bodyboarder from Margeret River. This photo was taken the morning after the last photo. The weather took an unexpected turn for the worst and we were forced to look for a sheltered break to surf. None of us had surfed here before despite it being a mere 400 metres from Windmills, a popular beach we had all previously surfed at. The boys only stayed out here for 20 minutes, something made them feel uncomfortable about being there and they decided the waves were not worth staying out for. When they came in I asked them why, James said ‘I dunno, It was weird, just didnt feel right, and it looks pretty sharky with this weather, not worth it.’ I can testify to having that ‘sharky’ feeling, when theres something you feel just isnt quite right, and when surfing in WA, when you get that feeling you tend to leave the water quickly. Only 8 weeks after this day, a young man was taken by a great white whilst bodyboarding, only a couple of kilometres from this break.
One of my favourite aspects of being a water based photographer is being able to shoot underneath the waves. A view not frequently experienced and even less frequently captured by a camera, photographs from under the sea can provide to a vast number of visual appeals. Shooting in really clear water is the key and Iâ€™m blessed to live in a state where shooting at locations with crystal clear water is easily accessible. Sometimes the results from shooting underwater can vary from straightforward surfing shots to strange and abstract visuals that board on fine art photography. This photo was taken on a sunny January morning at Scarborough beach.
I would love to give you a cool story about this here photo but unfortunatley I dont have one, and seeing as Iâ€™m not in the business of lying about one Iâ€™ll tell you this is just a photo within the barrell of a wave that I prefer over others of its kind. It was shot at Scarborough beach in late 2010, enjoy.
As mentioned in my contents page, this image comes as one of my favourites in this book. Taken only 3 minutes from home, It is just a snapshot from when I went to check the surf one day, the lone figure pictured in the surf is my good friend Adam, whom I was meeting here that particular afternoon. I am a big fan of ‘moody’ looking photos and this to me is one of my moodier images to date. Funnily enough this spot is also my current workplace, at the Ocean Reef Sea Sport Club, where I am a kitchen hand. The view you see in this photo is near enough to the exact view I have when I’m in the kitchen at work.
Sometimes, well, alot of the time, swell charts are a let down, gone are the days when you jump in the car and drive to the beach to check the surf, you can find out exactly what its like by just checking your computer, but said charts have proved too often to be unreliable. Hopes are up, expectations gained and more often then not youâ€™re left let down when you get there. This day was one of them, everything suggested the afternoon would have amazing waves with favourable winds, well both proved to be wrong. But I stuck around because the cloud formation and strong light suggested the sunset would be a great one, and that it was. I spent 20 minutes on the beach and snapped numerous photos, this was one of the first, you can find a couple more from this evening on pages 44-45.
This shot of Alex Halsey represents a number of things to me. It is without doubt, one of my favourite bodyboarding photoâ€™s to date. The level of surfing Alex is showing, the composition, the black and white. I dig every little thing about this photo. Yet it brings about other not so positive feelings as well. This shot was supposed to be used on the back cover of a magazine, as an advert for Alexâ€™s fin company. We were set and ready to go, it had been agreed between myself, the magazine and the company this image would be run. Unfortunatley at the last minute I was snaked by another photographer who got a similar shot, nothing I could do, he agreed to sell his shot at a much cheaper price and the magazine compromised on the quality of the shot for the cost benefit. Two months later the magazine was released with the other photographers image upon the back cover. I was a bit devastated at the time, It would have been my first run in a surfing magazine and meant a tonne of exposure to my work. Nonetheless, I managed to get my first run four months later, funnily enough, with a photo taken this same day. A double page spread of my good friend Lewy in Movement Magazine.
Lachy Hill is a close friend of mine, here he is pictured high above the lip at our home break, Mullaloo point. I think this was the second time I had ever used my water housing and we were stoked to get such a strong image so quickly. It was the start of what is a really productive relationship me and Lachy share, whenever we go out to shoot photos, he knows what I’m after and where I’m going to be positioned and I know his surfing well enough now to predict what he’s going to do on a wave and exactly where he’s going to do it.
2011 Something I think many water photographers seem to forget is that there doesnâ€™t have to be a big swell and pumping waves to take a good photo in the ocean. Take this shot on the right for example, a couple of my friends called me late on this february evening to come down to the beach for a snorkel, I jumped on my bike and rode the 5 minutes to meet them there. I thought it might be interesting to perhaps shoot something a bit different so I brought my camera along as well. Sure enough after half an hour in the water and with the sun descending past the clouds, I snapped this on my paddle back in. This photo has proven to be a favourite among people to have viewed my website and I have even had a couple of requests to have it printed.
This photo is all about luck, it was taken at the well known break in Yallingup known as ‘Supertubes’. Supers is one of those waves that on its day can be near perfect, this day wasn’t one of those but the waves were sure as hell big and powerful enough for me, as it was only my 2nd or 3rd time shooting from the water in this part of the world. I was shooting fisheye and managed to get a couple of shots I was really happy with, I didn’t even know I had taken this until I looked through the photo’s a few hours later. If you tried to actually take this photo no doubt your efforts would be in vein, it was by pure chance I managed to get the timing bang on to capture the scene from both behind the wave and the land in the same frame. I would absolutley love to get a similar image in a location with crystal clear water, the result would be stunning, hopefully I haven’t use up all my luck!
Some people love surfing by themselves, they think its good for the soul or something, being out there by yourself, just you and the ocean. Ive done it a few times and to an extent I agree, surfing by yourself is like a complete separation everything else going on in your life, but in saying that, its just not as fun. Surfing for me is all about having fun, and there isnâ€™t many things I enjoy more than being up at the crack of dawn, or staying out well after the sun has set, sharing good waves with your friends. That to me is where the fun is had, this phot I guess kind of summarises that, a front row view to a beautiful sunset, sharing waves and laughs with your friends, what more do you really need?
Jack de la Mare