Earlier this year my girl and i decided to pack my little car up and drive north for the Winter. Our destination was one that had been fresh in our minds for many years, Byron Bay.
Byron is a place that holds a special spot in our hearts for many reasons, the main one being the late passing of Jonno Howell, a friend who I shared many moments of my teen and early twenties with. Times of exploration, travel, laughter, waves and non stop good times that will stay with me forever. I feel by being up here I’m also living on with him and enjoying the lifestyle and friendships he created. Everywhere I go up here I’m reminded of Jonno. I’m currently surrounded by dozens of his polaroid photos, framed photos and a surfboard which is etched in kind words of love and praise from his friends. Each time I walk down to the beach at Suffolk I can spot him out there riding all those empty waves.
In the time I’ve been here I haven’t done a whole lot, but at the same time I’m doing so much. Days spent working around the elements, which I think coming from Tassie has taught me. Just because its raining and you had the milk blown out of your cup of tea doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go outside and explore.
Shooting photos during the last swell
I found myself deep behind some sand dunes amongst some thick foliage, all while trying to keep the ocean in sight and not let any pearlers go by without me capturing them. Home a day later I found two ticks that had managed to bury there way into my skin, as uncomfortable as they were and with some handy removal skills from the girl the nasty parasites were gone. I had to laugh it off though as I remembered that the other photographers stretched along the beach were nowhere near the bushes but I’m pretty sure that they all had the exact same photos be it a meter apart from the next guy!
Thanks to a couple of my friends, Stu Debnam and house mate Alasdair Shurman
I’ve been able to get my hands on some amazing camera gear which has opened up a whole can of worms in my brain with trying to shoot some ocean landscapes. Something i know would make Jonno happy. While I’m thanking people I should thank Mother Nature (or is it you Jonno?) for supplying some memorable and straight up amazing waves since I’ve been here. I have honestly spent more time in the water riding waves, taking photos and overloading on vitamin D in the last few months then I have the last 3 years which i can’t be more grateful for.
This time up here will be coming to an end in the next few months and when it is time to pack my little car up and drive it south for summer I know i will have done what I set out to do, smile and continue on doing the things my friend loved to do.Checkout Geoff’s blog for more words and photographic creativity – thegeoffswan.tumblr.com