- What was your first introduction to photography?
I started off filming my mates surfing/bodyboarding but I soon found myself getting more excited about frame grabs than the video so I decided I wanted to take stills instead. I was most likely washing dishes at a restaurant at the time so as soon as I saved up enough I sold my video camera to buy a digital setup with a housing.
- Do you remember your first photo that inspired you to continue this trigger happy existence?
Off the top of my head, No. Although I do have a pretty bad memory. Good thing I take photos huh?
- A lot of the images you've chosen are shot on film. Digital is so easy and cheap! Why the film preference?
You said it yourself. It's so easy and cheap. I think there's a few reasons why I prefer film.
Digital I find is so lost in a sea of over edited photographs on the internet.
The process of editing I find painful spending hours on the computer deleting files and editing where as film you weigh the shot up more and think about it. I once lost a heap of raws off a hard drive so it's nice to hold something tangible. I love the grain and the imperfections film gives and there's no feeling like getting rolls back from the lab and seeing stuff you forgot you shot.
Bottom line I just have twice as much fun shooting film and thats why I take photographs and always will. Because I enjoy it.
- Now I know for a fact that you have shot some pretty extraordinary body boarding images, this seems a very reflective collection. Is this more Ryan than your other work?
Thanks Keith. I still like bodyboarding but living on the Sunshine Coast where the waves struggle to get over 3/4ft it seems stupid to ride a bodyboard or shoot it. I'm lucky I live 15 minutes away from probably one of the best point breaks in the world. I figure I might aswell make the most of that. I guess as I grow older and change so do my interests. I think photography can be like a fashion sometimes the way shots and styles change. Working as a picture framer has opened me up to the artistic side of photography more. Treating it like an art and planning images more so than just shooting whatever.
- What destinations has your photography taken you too?
And where else would you like to shoot?
I've been to Hawaii, Samoa and pretty much all around Australia a few times. So not that many places but I think there is so much to see in our own country. Some of the best waves in the world are here and I think a lot of people don't realise that. They're always heading overseas before even travelling interstate.
I would love to go shoot anywhere I haven't been. I get excited about going to new places not knowing what to expect.
- What other creative outlets do you have???
'Do everything, excel at nothing.' Since I heard this quote I've tried to keep it simple and focus myself towards photography although I like to think picture framing can be quite creative at times.
- What projects are you working on or would like to start?
I've got a few exhibitions in mind that I am planning for next year. A lot of it is still in my head but I know what I want to do. I just need to find the right space.
- People or Landscapes?
For me it's people. Although I've always loved a good landscape.
- Now I've met you a couple of times working in different framing studios. It must be great to have the skill to take your images all the way through to a hanging art piece. When did you start framing and are you still doing that now?
I love it. It's an art in itself and I love thinking of how I'm going to frame something before I've printed it or even photographed it. It definitely helps the look of the overall piece. I've been doing it now for maybe 4 years and first started by lending a hand stretching some canvas prints I had done.
- You've had quite a few images published, has this afforded you a new life of riches and excess??
I wish. It can help fund a few minor things but usually your lucky to make your money back on a trip.
That's not why I do it though and never has been. I've always just been stoked to see my work in print and have something to share with people. The money is kinda just like a bonus.
- Social media and photography. What are your feelings? Have you been able to make it work for you?
I think social media for marketing is a must. You can be an amazing artist yet if you can't market yourself it's going to make it hard to sell your work. I guess it's about finding that balance between the two. For me it definitly helps but I'm not the best at the whole social media thing. It kinda annoys me at times. I would much rather see a photograph in print than online.
- What equipment are you shooting with these days?
And what is your go to piece of gear?
I have a digital body, a couple of 35mm slr's, mostly canon. A Nikon FM2 which I love and would recommend for anyone to get. They are like a brick and so simple. A polaroid, a contax 35mm point and shoot, and my newest; a hasselblad. At the moment my go to would be my hasselblad. I love the square format and it's just so fun to shoot with the waist level finder.
- Which photographers inspire you? (Please attach any websites)
I really love the way this is shot
And this is just amazing about where we live
- Outside of photography where do you find inspiration?
I definitely get inspiration from other artists on the sunshine coast (painters)
I work with a couple whether it's to do with framing or photographing. Also my girlfriend is a painter so it's cool thinking of ideas and working together with her.
- To The Island - Welcome to Surfing in NZ
What other outlets do you have for creativity outside photography?
I guess business is something of a creative outlet. In this type business you've got to be creative to come up with different ways to keep an income flowing and keep people interested in what you've got to offer. Whether that be creating a promotion, working on a project, collaborating or something as simple as designing a business card. It's all creation and you're investing your creativity into it.
How did Sprout come to be? -
Sprout Daily was a creation of a friend of mine, Barnaby Eggerton- Warbuton. He worked overseas for almost 10years in Hong Kong and New York and when he settled back in Manly, he between jobs started sending out daily photos of Manly to try and lure his mates to come and visit. He had connections with some technology guys and they set up a basic platform to allow him to send the emails and it grew from there. I got involved a year or so after that and we took it in turns shooting, just for fun. At the end of 2009 we put on an exhibition at a friends hair salon and 300 people turned up - it was crazy with people flowing out into the streets. After that we decided to give it a shot as something a little more serious.
- Alone Time. Hey, you can still find time to yourself even in Manly
- Green Eye - North Narrabeen.
How many years have you been doing Sprout? and does it consume you five days a week?
I met Barnaby in 2008 and shortly after we started alternative shooting the daily's. These days it definitely consumes the lions share of my week but there's still time to work on other photographic work and projects.
Are you originally from the 'Big Smoke'? and what is it about Manly that allows you to give your life to photographing it?
Ha - I actually grew up on the Gold Coast but I moved to Sydney in 2001 to start a job at Macquarie University. I moved straight into a place in Manly. I loved Manly but hated the commute out to North Ryde where my job was. So I quit the job after and year and just started working at a Board Store in Manly. Manly's a pretty unique place, it's connected to Sydney but it really is like a little village and the people that live here, and have lived here for a long time, really love the place. That's the community side that I love and even if it was just that I think I'd still love Manly. But add to that community side ,a place with the physical beauty of any National Park in this country and that's Manly. The ocean, Fairy Bower, harbour beaches, bushland of North Head, one of the most beautiful buildings in Sydney (St. Patricks Seminary) - see what I'm talking about. The place is amazing!
- Ulai - This is one of the boatmen from Namotu. He's a legend and he's got the biggest smile in Fiji.
Do you get holidays? -
I definitely like to put my camera down every now and then just to stop thinking about composition and capturing so I guess that's a holiday from the camera. But this year I've been working in Fiji, Tahiti, New Zealand so I don't know if I really need a holiday.
Shooting daily do you find it difficult to be creative with your photos when there is pressure to get the shot?
Yeah I definitely find that I create limitations as to what I think I can do and therefore it becomes difficult to be "creative" and do something different. You know, you think the surf's small like yesterday, I've only got 2 lens to work with today, the lights bad - but the reality is that I'm most creative when I have a clear and free mind. It's got nothing to do with external factors. There's an infinite numbers of pictures that can be made between the 3 k's of beach and ocean I walk every day.
- The Early Boat, Namotu Island, Fiji
- Floating Carnation. A local legend Bruce was farewelled and had his ashes scattered this morning. I just love the delicate nature of this carnation floating half submerged and what it means.
Do you need to do any other work to supplement, doing Sprout?
Oh yeah for sure. I'd love to be selling more prints to create more income but I think I'd still be doing other work.
What is your preferred subject matter? Your site would suggest surf, but is there a path that you'd like to take yourself down, away from the ocean?
Yeah I would say community firstly and secondly adventure. Sprout is hopefully as much about community as it is about surf and that'll be the direction I'd like to take Sprout. As for adventure, I love the idea of going some place that not only I haven't been but not too many people have been. More of that to come hopefully.
- Flaming Sky. Probably the most amazing sunrise I've seen while shoot Sprout Daily - the whole sky looked like a fire!
- Fin Free in New York, Derek Hynd. This was the swell before Hurricane Sandy destroyed this stretch of coastline. Couldn't believe we were surfing perfect 200m lefts 1 hour from the centre of Manhattan
- Hynd Sight, Brooklyn Bridge NY, 2012. This was about 1am and Derek and I were walking home to mid-town. We were an hour in with 2 hours to go - things were getting a little crazy
How long on average do you think a daily post would take you, from rise to hitting send?
Probably about 3-4 hours.
What equipment are you shooting with?
I'm shooting with a Nikon D4 and a range of Nikon Lenses. My favourite right now is a 50mm f/1.4. Good for in the water, portraits and just walking around.
What would you say to other photographers thinking of going down the daily blog/photo path?
I guess you've got to be clear as to why you want to do it. The daily blog for me has been a training ground more than anything and I guess that's been the reward. I think that my best work, both in terms of Sprout Daily and personal work, is ahead of me.
- Manly Mornings
You've done a few trips overseas in the past 18 months, give us a run down of highlights, fave destination, your low moments and place/s your not rushing back too?
I love New Zealand and New York right now. New York City because I feel like an adventurer there. I mean you've got to be to discover surf in a city that's so NOT surfing. And New Zealand is just so beautiful and the people are super cool. They just get on with stuff, with minimum fuss.
Where outside manly would you like to travel to next?
Europe. Anywhere in Europe; from Iceland to Spain or East to Russia.
What lens do you use the most? And what lens would you love to have in your kit?
Right now I'm loving the 50mm f1.4. As for something I'd like, I'm going to go discover that tomorrow at The Digital Show in Melbourne.
- Welcome to Asbury Park, New Jersey. (Home of Bruce Springsteen) - I just like this image, that's NJ beach culture right there!
What is your take on Instagram? Does getting 'likes' effect your social wellbeing?
I love Instagram personally - Love trolling through people's photos. Professionally I'm not really sure yet, I mean I guess you get to be seen by more people so that's a good thing. As far as Likes go, I don't really care that much. I know what I like. I think followers are probably more important because it's kind of like a mini commitment; it's someone saying "Yeah I like you're stuff, I like what you're doing, I'm going to come along for the ride".
Would you still like to be doing Sprout five years from now? If so how do you see it evolving?
Yeah that'd be cool. -As far as evolution goes I'm not too sure I've stumbled on the formula yet. I'll keep you posted
- This was Supermoon Sunday in 2012. I hung around to watch the biggest full moon rise from the water. There we heaps of guys still surfing and plenty of light
Photographers that inspire you?
Chris Burkard, David Maurice Smith, Andrew Quilty, Trent Mitchell,Vlad Sokhin, Pete Longworth, Krystal Wright, Jeremy Koreski. Visually I've always loved the work of Peter Lik.
Humans that inspire you?
It's probably a similar list to those people mentioned above plus an addition of Sarah Kearney. Everyone above is doing their thing and that's what inspires me.
What would you be doing if you weren't taking photos?
- Surfing. I'm pretty much always shooting these days when I would have been surfing.
- Mentawaii sunrise: this was shot a pretty novel wave with a really shifty peak that showed glimpses of perfection.
- Jack_lynch_heels: Earlier this year i hung out in byron for a while shooting with Jack we scored this fun session down past Belongil with no one around except a few nude yoga enthusiasts.
- Jake1: We scored some great waves over the Noosa festival this year this shot of Jake monkley at 1/20th of a second i believe at the boiling pot.
- Kirra point mid week only a hand full of guys scoring a few years ago.
- loui: Gold coast artist loui gervais at work he's got a unreal location ontop of Dbah, living the dream
- ellis: This morning i was meant to meet up with Professional bodyboarder Ryan hardy for a shoot but that had to get side lined until the next day. I was in the midst of a brutal tropical sickness but i wanted to make the most of the swell so i shot for about 30 minutes shaking and sweating on the black sand while Ellis scored a few of these.
- JULIAN: Always good to get to watch Julian surf while he's home he surfs this place better then most.
- Mudjimba Island: This was shot with Nikon f100, Tmax400 late afternoon at Mudjimba all the groms were frothing out for the next morning.
- Main_byron: This was during a failed van trip down the coast we got stuck in Byron when our car died which turned out being a very good thing.
- Keramas: Shot with Canon ae-1 tmax-400 while in indonesia for a wedding shoot last year this was before the warung was demolished by big swells.
- The running man: I named this shot the running man after the infamous 80's dance for obvious reasons.
- Tom: I shot this with a canon ae-1 that Tom's dad gave me three years ago he had used it to document Tom's up bringing and now i get to use it to document our travels. This was at Falls creek at the Summit with a face full of powder! Great day this.
- Ziggy: Ziggy is a very different kind of human he puts it down to being home schooled. It's good to see a young guy placing more importance in having greater experiences other then focusing on getting more stuff he always seems to be on the move playing his music and surfing.
- Mitch a: I've been shooting with Mitch for a long time now he's got such a smooth style, nothing's forced
- Pipe: This is a shot of Brazillian hell man Stephan prado during my first real pipe swell of this season it's pretty hard to beat the light at sunset on the Northshore.
- Pelicans: Nikon FE 2 Fuji Velvia.
These Pelicans were sitting next to a few fisherman cleaning their catch.
When the fisherman pretended to throw them a fish, all the Pelicans launched into the air with their mouths open hoping to catch a meal.
- Paperbark: Canon Eos 1V, Fuji Velvia 50 Polariser.
Yin Yang Lake Mckenzie.
- Blaze of LIght: Canon EOS 5D Mk2
An archetypal shot of the small saplings on the forest floor bathed in a blaze of light reaching down through the canopy.
- Sumo: Canon EOS 5D Mk2
Despite their size, I have to say these guys are serious athletes. If you go to Japan you should check them out.
- Phewa Tal Nepal: Canon EOS 1V
Pokhora at the base of the Himalayas in Nepal lies beside a beautiful fresh water lake known as Phewa Tal. Strongly recommend going to see Nepal as well.
- Angophoras: Canon EOS 5D Mk2
Fraser had a wildfire on the 2nd October 2011. I spent the next 6 months documenting the regeneration of the forest.
The colours of all the plants were more intense than I have ever seen. Especially the Angophoras. After a rainy day, the colour of these two went crazy.
- Paperbark: Canon Eos 1V, Fuji Velvia 50 Polariser
Always loved this Paperbark tree at Lake McKenzie and the way it curves into the sky.
- Sleep: Canon EOS 1V Fuji Velvia 100
Got to get it when you can.
- Tap Root: Canon EOS 1V fuji Velvia 100
This is the tap root of a tree on one of the sand blows. During big storms, rain and wind makes patterns from the different minerals in the sand.
- Varanasi: Canon EOS 1V Fuji Velvia 100
At some point in their lives, I recommend everyone to go to India to see what life is like on another planet.