Clearly the ocean is home for local photographer Ash Murray… The clarity and depth of his images is awe inspiring and his work has taken him on some amazing journeys …
Hi Ash. How long has photography been a passion of yours, and what motivated you to get started?
I have memories of catching waves on my surfmat, when I was as young as four or five years old. I came through the surf club movement as a nipper and learned the basics of the ocean. I began bodyboarding at around 11 years of age, when I would surf before and after school as often as I could. I was an original member of the Port Macquarie Bodyboard Club, competitively surfing up and down the east coast of Australia.
I won the Australian Cadet Title at age 13, along with two NSW State Titles. The ultimate was to have a cover shot on Riptide magazine, a goal I achieved on a couple of occasions, with the most memorable being in Hawaii at Pipeline.
Share with us your first experience with photography …
I became interested in the epic photos being produced by the well-known photographers. I bought a second hand film camera from one of the surf photographers, a Canon EOS5, and started shooting the local Port Macquarie surfers. I soon progressed to a newer model EOS and used to borrow a Canon 300 mm 2.8 telephoto lens.
What are your influences – both creatively and for life in general?
My interests in ocean photography grew to both under and above the water. While spearfishing on a few occasions, I was drawn to how beautiful things looked under the surface and the magical colours from different angles from the sun and light coming down from above – something I just had to start capturing on camera to show others. This led me to start experimenting with water camera housing equipment.
I met Dave Kelly, who was a pioneer in surfing photography and camera water housing. I started working with Dave, experimenting and trialling new water housing equipment ideas. I have recently moved back to Port Macquarie, after 20 years. I have a new appreciation of the beautiful coastline the Mid North Coast has to offer.
It’s clear that you have a love of the ocean; what is it that captivates you?
The ocean astounds me. I am on the beach whenever I can be, always with my camera at hand. We are blessed to have the ocean to enjoy; every day I can return to the same beach and capture something different. We are fortunate to have so many beaches to choose from to enjoy. I get a lot of enjoyment out of people coming up to me while shooting, asking what type of photos I shoot, allowing me to discuss the beauty of our ocean and to capture it in photos. I am always challenging myself to capture the ultimate and unique water shot.
Do you have a favourite photography accessory, other than your camera?
What have been some of your most memorable moments captured?
I was stoked to have a double page spread in Surfing Life magazine for the hottest 100 surfers.
Having my photo holding my camera and housing ready to enter the water at Newcastle’s Nobbies Beach hung with Newcastle’s best all time surfers and champions in the Newcastle Art Gallery.
To someone starting out in photography, what are three pieces of advice you would offer?
Learn as much as you can about your equipment.Keep experimenting with your equipment. Enjoy what you do.
Readers can find and view my works:
Facebook Ash Murray photos.