Art Reviews & News
Deb Morris has found a whole new hidden world to investigate, what’s more, one right at her doorstep, that of the micro or mini wave. Deb endeavours to capture those moments the naked eye misses, trying to provide an alternative look to the average wave shots of today. Daily Deb peruses the local beaches in search of waves from 3 cm to epic proportion to capture that perfect moment.
Being a surfer girl originally from a Bondi, Deb has taken her passions for photography and surf culture making it her career. Now residing at Angourie on the far North NSW Coast.
Deb filled SurfSister in on some of the finer points...
How did you find yourself following Pete Simmonds around Surf camps?
I've never been a shy girl, and back then chicks with a SLR’s hanging around comps was fairly rare. At a Maroubra heat with Ross Clarke Jones Pete began to give me tips on photography but particularly surfing photography, they were words that inspired me to begin capturing local surfers which I would sell my images to through-out beach in the Eastern suburbs at $5.00 a pop which ultimately lead to more equipment and world travels for 5 years.
Tell us more about your surfing days started on coolites & "morey" boards ?
Bondi during the 70’s and 80’s was still developing its female surfing population, so like most girls who hung on the beach it was either watch the others surf or join in. I think everyone including the boys started on coolites back then, you would be guaranteed that even with a bad wipeout you would remain unscathed from possible gashes. For me though ‘morey’s”or better known now as bogey boards took my fancy.
What do you mean being surrounded by surf culture? In what way?
“Surf culture” and Bondi came hand in hand, we had groups that ‘”hung” at different locations along the beach, The Rock crew, the south crew, 2nd rampers and for me it was 3rd ramp. Our makeup was zinc cream, clothes consisted of bikinis and fluro singlets, surfboards or similar were always in tow and the local milkbar “Bates”provided us with the nutrition we needed imbetween surfs.
During this time we produced some great names of surfing from Horan, Mercer to the Webber brothers to some the present Bondi rescue boys, sponsorship was really just taking off which allowed for many of the crews to endeavour to turn their passion into a career, some succeed some did’nt.
Holidays were always surf based whether it be a roadie down the south coast or weeks spent exploring the waves in Bali. I feel lucky growing up in a time when surfing was truly evolving, single fins multiplied and became twin fins then ultimately tri fin, rails started to change, women were making a stronger presence in the line ups and all this allowed for great opportunities to shape our lives around surfing.
Can you share with us a little about Angourie, the breaks and culture?
I feel fairly blessed growing up in one surfing mecca to finally be residing in another- Angourie, its surrounds are a haven for scenic beauty, wildlife and simply some of Australia’s best breaks. Its Surfing culture has been immortalised by films such as Morning of the Earth, some of the countries best shapers and surfers have risen from this area, its infamous for its point break yet offers many alternative breaks to avoid any holiday crowds. Excitement is always heightened when big swells hit the coast but here it is taken to another level, the top carpark is abuzz with murmur of spectating crowds, a multitude of ages beckoning the waves, I love the atmosphere when the swell pumping.
What equipment do you shot with now days?
For the past decade I have been a Nikon girl, nowadays having a variety of bodies and lens. Unlike most water photographers of today I don’t use water housing which makes getting my images a little challenging (some would say very risky) but allows for an element of excitement at the same time, it adds to the whole experience I think and for me to get the results I seek for my WAVEART images.
How have you developed you practice over the last few years?
There is a lot of similarity to surfing, conditions play a huge part in where I go to seek out micro waves, swell size, winds and weather are the first thing I check out each morning. Flexibility in movement to ensure I can bend, twist and turn when needed, getting deep into a micro sometimes requires some unusual moves! Capturing those moments we just do not see with the naked eye is what I aim for now thus creating my own style.
The old saying that your first 10,000 photos are your worst”is pretty true, so after a lot of trial and error I have found the angles, beach breaks and conditions that give me the best results.
What are you working on now?
I am continuing to grow my portfolio of WAVEART images with over 1000 to date. There is plan of an exhibition late in 2013 in Sydney. I have great aspirations to open a gallery housing my images and sometime in the near future to have my works published as a book. Since last year my images have begun to be noticed within the publishing world and to date I have had some wonderful publications print my images. In recent times my work has become for sale directly in the States with plans for my works to be displayed in Californian galleries.
To contact DebM