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JACK O'GRADY

Posted on June 18 2018

Feature 01 

Jack O'Grady 

We caught up with Jack, a local photographer whose passion for travel and the ocean have led him to capture these 5 images. 

We asked a few questions about each image and discussed the stories behind them and what they meant to him. 

 

Name: Desert dreaming

Location: Red Bluff, WA 

MC - Give us a rundown on what is happening in this scene and or a quick paragraph if it had a backstory behind it (ie long mission, big day, crazy conditions?) At what point did you decide that you were going to take this photo then and there. 

JACK - It was day three with no waves in the desert, southerly winds hammered the coastline and mental clarity was at an all-time low. We decided to grab the radio and go find something to do. We started at our campsite in the far left of the image and before I knew it we were walking the cliff line around the top of the bluff. I find you can’t plan to go out and take an image like this, That day was totally spontaneous in every aspect, driven from total boredom. That's why I love this image so much.

 

 

Name: Bright side of the cliff

Location: Castle mountain resort, Canada

Rider: Ryker Brennan

MC - Alright first question, what happened before/after this photo was taken?

JACK - Well we set out to go shoot some cliff drops. We had the perfect cliff in mind, but after some time searching we realised we were in the wrong spot. I pointed out this cliff that was way bigger than what we originally planned. We packed some snow onto the top of it.  My mate Ryker proceeded to psych himself up to drop it. I was waiting there with my camera ready and the sun popped out from behind the clouds, perfectly lighting up the cliff. Natures way of telling him to send it.

Well, he dropped about 25 feet and then disappeared into a big cloud of snow, I had no idea if he had landed it or lost is skis and splattered onto the ground. He appeared from behind the cloud and was frothing out, he stomped it.

MC - How do you compare the snow to shooting in the ocean? Which do you prefer and why?

JACK - Shooting in the ocean is unpredictable and there for more challenging but so much more rewarding for me.  You rely on so many factors to come together and when they do you better hope you're in the right spot with the right equipment to capture the best split second of the wave. The only shit thing is if I'm behind a lens I cant score waves myself.

I really love shooting in the snow, having the option to put my camera in my backpack and still participate in the sport is a huge part of it. Choosing a set feature to base your shot around and being able to go back hit that feature 5 or 6 times with a rider gives you more creative options.

I currently have a serious love affair with both states.  I grew up on the coast and have been riding waves since I can remember but I have recently scored myself a job as a backcountry photographer at a ski resort over in Canada and I'm really getting into it. If I had to choose one it would have to be surf photography but only just. 



 

Name: fire & freedom

Location: Leighton beach, Perth

Rider: Jack Medland

MC - What does this photo represent to you (e.g childhood memories, after school fun, freedom etc....)

JACK -  I grew up in Fremantle and until I had my license my dad would have to drive me up to coast until the waves were big enough to surf. So whenever the waves were pumping the first beach we checked would be Leighton. I have some good childhood memories driving home from school along to coast, seeing its offshore and pumping.  Ditching my homework and surfing till it was so dark my dad would start flicking his headlight at me to come in. I took this image about a month ago on a very smokey yet glassy afternoon. Personally, I love when Perth is covered in smoke as it makes it even better when combined with light easterly winds and fun metro waves.  A surf photographers dream haha.

MC - Would you say that the rider’s style is just as important as the person behind the lenses to make that photo? Thoughts? Maybe a quick mention of the rider as well

JACK - Jack Medland, the rider in this image is by far the most stylish rider I have ever shot. Sometimes I'll drive up to Trigg or Scarborough and shoot some water photos if the condition is nice.   I love the practice but I literally never get good shots. This afternoon was made easy with his effortless style and so the credit should really go to him.

 

 

Name: Autumn in Vancouver

Location: Stanley Park, Vancouver

MC - What drove you to take this photo? What set up did you use to capture this scene?

JACK - So last year on my way through Canada to my ski resort I was working at for the winter, we had a small stopover in Vancouver.   It’s such an amazing city surrounded by mountains and ocean.  We decided to do a big walk around the city and through Stanley Park, so obviously to rough along my cannon AE-1 loaded with some 35mm Fiji film. 

MC - Give us a rundown of the events that took place before this photo 

JACK -  After sampling our fair share of the local delicacy we were lost in Stanley Park and got really hungry.  we were heading back toward the city and I accidentally opened up the back of my camera just before taking this shot. I completely forgot this happened until 4 months later when I got this roll of film developed. Whenever I go traveling and come back to Perth getting my film developed is always so exciting, you never know what you will find. 

 

 

Name: Monuments

Location: Gnaraloo

Rider: Jake Edwards

MC - Explain the atmosphere before and after this photo? (e.g. was it pumping all day) (Was this the first of many more to come?) (Was there a lot of hype before getting in the water or more nerves?)

JACK - This is by far the scariest swim I have ever done, this place is just heavy. 

We had been checking this spot hoping to score it for so long and this morning it was big and finally working properly. There was a heap of boys up on the cliff watching and every time a big set came in they would start going crazy, yelling and whistling.

The atmosphere was electric, I really wanted to get out there and swim it.   I was super nervous because I had only swum with my water housing a hand full of times before.  Basically, it’s surrounded by cliffs and you scale down the cliff then out over the rock shelf, through a huge current then you're out there.

To get back in you have to wash yourself over the rocks at the end section of the wave. Out there I was ducking under 12-foot faces that would break right on my head to get in the right spot. I had never really pushed myself in the ocean like that before and this session gave me a lot of confidence.

I got out there and within 30mins the wind came in.  I still managed to get some cool shots but I'm not content.   I'm heading back up this year with plans to take this place on again. Stay tuned.

 

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