Cameron McFarlane: More than One Way to Catch a Wave

I love how you never know what your in for with the ocean, its constantly changing and surprising me…

Images by Cameron McFarlane - Interview by Teo J. Babini

There’s always that one kid in every crew who acts as the designated photographer, like Rocket from “City of God”. Surfing brought Cameron to the camera, but his eyes couldn’t stay away from the ocean, which continues to inspire his work, with or without the boards.



Tell us a bit bout your career as a photographer and how you got started.
I started photography when I was in high school, every day my friends and I would be at the beach surfing and taking turns photographing each other. After a while I bought my first SLR and taking pictures than surfing. It’s just progressed from there. Although I never studied photography in high school I managed to win the ‘ILFORD – Digital Category’, which is based all through Australia, that encouraged me even more.



Most of your work deals with the natural environment, specifically water. Can you enlighten us as to your particular interest here?
I love how you never know what your in for with the ocean, its constantly changing and surprising me… As the waves are coming in I usually create a picture in my head of what I think it’s going to produce. Usually it beats all expectations and does something magical.



Do you have specialized equipment for this type of shooting?
I use all different types of photographic gear such as an Aquatech Water Housing, which allows me to take my Canon 5D Mark III in the water. Different lens ports for the water housing to allow me to use different lenses for different conditions, such as dome ports for fisheye lens and I use a zoom port for my Canon 70-200 2.8 IS II.



Human subjects tend to sparse, if present interacting with the bigger picture. What role do they play in the scenes you capture?
In most of my earlier work you would find most photographs with a human subject present, but as of late I have found myself continually photographing waves without anyone interacting with them. It allows the wave to break how it should, without any interruptions.



What is you experience with the surf culture in Australia?
Historically, Australian surf culture has a reputation for being fairly sexist and racist, but in my personal experience it’s come a long way. Now it’s as common for people to surf as it is to play soccer or football. When I was a kid from the ages of five to ten, every Saturday in the summer I would take part in ‘Nippers’, which is basically junior life saving that teaches kids to be able to swim and be safe in the changing conditions of the ocean.



Are you actively involved in sustainability and environmentalism?
At the moment I am not but I do try and contribute with simple things such as picking rubbish up on the coastline. Garbage plays a terrible role in harming the environment; a lot of wild life are being killed because of the increasing amount of pollution.
There is currently a campaign running in Australia and the rest of the world called ‘Take 3’, asking everyone who visits the beach to simply pick up three pieces of trash when leaving, if everyone did this it would make an amazing difference for looking after the environment.



How does Sydney and Australia at large deal with environmental issues?
Honestly, I think Australia does not do enough to deal with environmental issues. Our country is lagging behind the rest of the world in terms of climate change, which scientists think Australia will be one of the countries most affected by.
The Great Barrier Reef, a world heritage area that is also the largest living structure on the planet, is in grave danger due to the threat of a coal terminal which is set to dig up millions of tonnes of sea floor for hundreds of ships which inevitably means a higher chance of oil spills.

Website – www.cammcfarlane.com
Email – hello@cammcfarlane.com
Instagram – @cam_mcfarlane_photo
Facebook – Cameron McFarlane Photography







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