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Gopro killed the surf photographer

Posted: 16 July 2013 - 12:39pm

This subject has been on my mind for a very long time. Before I start this post I want to make sure it’s clear that I am by no means a veteran surf photographer and my love for photography and in particular “surf photography” came to fruition from seeing all those fantastic shots that graced the covers of the surf mags that others had put before me.

I’ve been shooting body boarding, surfing, ocean art and wave photography for almost 5 years now. Most recently I’ve noticed the increase of “surf photographers” on the Gold Coast. Many people started surf photography to capture their mates surfing or even to escape the crowds of the infamous Gold Coast hustle. Now I’ve started to notice that surf photography on the Gold Coast is in fact saturated with “surf photographers”. My instagram feed is filled with people who are “photographers” and once you click on their feed or Facebook page you soon realise they’re just shooting with a gopro. No photographic skill involved, just point and shoot.  Now don’t get me wrong, the gopros seem like an incredible camera, especially for HD video. I have several gopro shooters I follow on instagram from the likes of Robbie Crawford and Dan Bennington who in my opinion are at the top of their game and the skill comes into being at the right spot at the right time, both of which have it locked down. The quality and style of these two are what other “gopro surf photographers” should be aiming for.

Unfortunately because of this craze it ruins things for the guys that are truly about taking a great picture and trying to make a living out of surf photography. Let me paint a picture for you, you head out to your local surf break or find a spot that is secluded from the crowds. Within minutes you have 5 guys with their gopros getting in your way, getting in your shot. Only to find out they also have an Instagram feed with mediocre images with another 5 go pro users in their pictures. It is honestly getting on my nerves. As with surf etiquette there is a “surf photographers” etiquette that is being overlooked.

 I personally like to do things like this:

  • When you enter the line up with you camera and see other photographers out there, say g’day to them, have a chat and also find out if there is a specific direction or person they’re shooting. If they do tell you what they’re doing, then make sure you say to them “ok not a problem I will make sure I’m not in your way when xyz is coming down the line or “make sure you shout out if I’m going to be in your shot and I will duck” this simple gesture will get you in their good books to start off with. I do this every time I see another surf photographer in the water.
  • If you’re shooting a spot that you are aware will be pumping the next day – don’t just put the photos up on Facebook and tell everyone where it is and when it was. Wait a day or two, wait a week in fact. This will make sure that spot x isn’t crowded and will give you a chance to head back there for more shots with less people the following day.
  • If you do manage to get a shot of something spectacular and you seem to think the other photographer also got the shot. Ask the photographer if they will be submitting any images to mags etc. If they say yes then I would recommend holding off on putting the images up online. This works both ways. And if you do introduce yourself to the photographer who is nearby then you should find out their FB page and pm them if it’s ok to put the shots up. I know you are thinking, “”I don’t give a fuck if they’re shooting whilst I am”. But without some decency the magazine we have loved since we first became infatuated with the surf culture and art, will soon be long gone.

Now I know not everyone will do things like this, but I’m hoping it give the new breed of surf photographers some direction.

Like I said at the beginning, gopros can take some incredible images and “surf photographers etiquette” should get you thinking about your approach in the next session. At a recent shot out at Froggies on the Gold Coast I counted 7 people shooting water with a gopro.

Now there is a whole other side to this phenomenon with photography and social media and how it’s destroying the photographic industry but I’ll leave that for a future post and these guys touched on the subject recently.

Remember you can follow me on Facebook, instagram and twitter. #jonwrightphoto and purchase my ocean art work on canvas and metallic prints HERE.


Gold Coast images gallery and cafe

Posted: 12 July 2013 - 3:17pm


The past week my Facebook followers and twitter fans would’ve noticed some photos of mine popping up that “Gold coast images gallery and café” have been sharing. Gold Coast images gallery and café are working together to bring you fresh photographs and display amazing ocean art from the Gold Coast Australia.

These giclee prints and fine art photos have been displayed on both metallic paper and also canvas. The quality is amazing and they look incredible on large canvas. Make sure you head on over to their Facebook page where they’re currently giving away a 150x100cm stretched canvas of “glass paradise” an image I had taken along the beach of Surfers Paradise Gold Coast.


Gold coast images gallery and café also do a great coffee and some nice takeaway food. I encourage you to head on down to Broadbeach and purchase a coffee and browse through the artist’s work, including mine. The address is 7/2723 Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach, Queensland, Australia 4218

You can purchase the canvas prints and metallic photographs from them or you can head on over to my store and buy art online too.

Framed art looks incredible with the metallic prints and you can also purchase panoramic photographs from them. Check out my updated online store which includes many of the wall art photographs that are displayed at the gallery.


Lake Moogerah panorama photograph.

Posted: 3 July 2013 - 9:55pm

This was taken on the 01/01/2013 at Lake Moogerah just west of Brisbane CBD. This was the first time I ventured out this way and was a little lost with my location. The flies were killing me on a particular route I went, so I back tracked and went towards the entrance. The sun was probably 10 minutes away from setting so I made a quick decision and ventured down to the banks whilst dodging cow pooh.

Three shot pano – This is a three shot pano, each individual image was taken one after the other. The three shots are edited in lightroom and then exported as a jpeg file. From there all three shots are open in photoshop cs6 and then automated photomerge will produce the blend for you. It doesn’t stop there though, if you’re a perfectionist like myself, you will want to go over the whole image and make sure there are nice clean lines (although photoshop does a great job).

Camera equipment used

Canon 5DmkIII – ISO 50 – F16 – 30second exposure on each image.

Canon 17-40mm @35mm

Lee filter holder kit with 2 filters on there, (can’t remember exact filters but I think it was a Daryl Benson 4 stop reverse ND and maybe a 0.6 ND grad soft.)

Canvas giclee, metallic prints and also framed metallic prints are for sale. Head on over to my store and click store.


I also sell downloadable wallpapers for your desktop computers. Wallpapers are $3.00 each and I have many different varieties. Surf wallpapers, landscape photography wallpaper and ocean art wallpaper.

Any more questions shoot them through to me on Facebook, twitter or contact myself through email.


Capture magazines - Australia’s top emerging photographers 2013

Posted: 22 May 2013 - 12:39pm


If you have been fortunate enough to get your hands on a copy of the most recent issue of Capture magazine, you would’ve noticed one of my photos (exit wave) is on the cover of the lift out. Australia’s Top emerging photographers is a competition run by the guys and gals at Capture mag. I first got wind of this magazine a little over a year ago now, when a fellow photographer (Trent Mitchell) had won the overall award. So I marked it down in my diary to stay alert and enter in the following year.

The competition is based on a body of work of 6 images, they also look into your website, a description of who you are and what you do. This is all taken into consideration when the judges select the finalist. I entered into the landscape category, the portrait category and also the sport category. Luckily enough I was able to take out second place in the sports photographer section.

One of the comments the judges said “One thing I have to say to up and coming sport photographers is to go out of their comfort zone and shoot more than one sport” I sat and thought about it for a while and totally agree with them. Maybe it’s not directed at me personally but I certainly believe I should be shooting more than just surfing and bodybuilding.

Looking forward to showing you guys a completely different side to my sport photography in the next 6 months. 

The winners are:


Overall winner - Ben Mcrae

Documentary/photojournalism - Winner - David Maurice Smith, Runner up - Ed Giles

Advertising - Winner - Stuart MIller, Runner up - Rachel Brown

Portrait - Winner - Ryan Fitzgerald, Runner up - Ben McRae

Editorial/Fashion - Winner - Alexandrena Parker, Runner up - Phillip Papadis

Student- Winner - Jana Mare', Runner up - Bryan Sun

Sport - Winner - Jaimi Chisholm, Runner up - Jon Wright

Landscape - Winner - Ben McRae, Runner up - Jerome Berbigier


Currumbin Alley Sunset – Jon Wright photo

Posted: 4 April 2013 - 6:19pm


Dark and gloomy morning filled with shades of grey, clouds resembling smoke from a bushfire or a chimney on a cold winters night. The sun began to shine through and light was seen for miles, the perfect combination of elements for the seasonal photographer. Time passed and people’s lives slowly withered away one step at a time, one push of a “like” button and one tweet to an unknown fan. What are you here for?

The Easter weekend crowd filled the car parks from far and wide like the Easter bunny fills the hare he wishes to mate with. Pests, crowding the shores of the Gold coast and it would seem impossible to compose a photograph without a rabbit popping up in the scene. Kids running, parents screaming, where is the isolation on the Gold coast? Getaway said it was…………….. This was supposed to be a get away, but the only term to use this is whilst the sunsets before my eyes. Within 10 minutes my Currumbin Sunset will disappear and so will the crowds.


The reflections in the alley mimic that of most photographers, each trying to capture a unique view, capture that shot that will make people stop and stare. From top, to the bottom, as photographers we are all chasing that magic photo. Suddenly, the crowds separated as if Moses himself was standing in front of me, separating the crowds that would other wise ruin a photo.


This is what we have been waiting for. That special moment, that time to shine through the crowds and onto the land where we mark our territory. The horizon in the distance, we can see the light, oh so close but will we ever reach the edge? This is it, peace in a world over populated with technology, I sit, staring through my viewfinder and realise what I am witnessing……………………………………….