Australian pioneers of surf photography celebrated in new book – Australian Photography

27 September 2021

John “Oggy” Ogden, the prolific writer and photographer known for his work for Tracks throughout the 70s and 80s has a new book, Waterproof – Australian Surf Photography Since 1858.

Russell Bierke, 2016. © Leroy Bellet
Russell Bierke, 2016. © Leroy Bellet

Distributed by Cyclops Productions, Waterproof features the work of Australia’s leading surf photographers, and explores the history of surf photography from the first known photograph of the Australian surf zone, through to the 20th century boom in surfing and the contemporary scene.

Featured photographers include Richard Daintree, Frank Hurley, Harold Cazneaux, Jack Eden, Bob Weeks, John Witzig, Peter Crawford, Ted Grambeau, Joli, Bill Morris, Sean Davey, Tim McKenna, Russell Ord, ‘Rich’ Richards, Stuart Gibson, Leroy Bellet, and Ray Collins, among dozens more.

Teahupo’o’s ‘Code Red’ swell of 2011. © Tim McKenna
Teahupo’o’s ‘Code Red’ swell of 2011. © Tim McKenna

The anthology focuses on those leading Australian photographers who have been drawn to capture the surf zone in all its moods, from playful moments to times of terror. The surf zone, where the ocean meets the shore, is the in-between place where silent swells become surf, exploding onto shallow reefs or cascading gently onto golden beaches.

As the publishers write, Waterproof is dedicated to those who record the moods of the ocean and the peculiarities of its dance with the shore. While there are plenty of images between these covers that portray surf culture and its celebrities, Waterproof aims to acknowledge and celebrate the photographers first and foremost. 

Bobby Brown, 1964. © Jack Eden, Surfabout Collection
Bobby Brown, 1964. © Jack Eden, Surfabout Collection

The book retails for $79.95, and you can preorder a copy now via publisher Cyclops. 

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