Russell Ord 2003
Blood and Guts, Shipsterns, Spooky’s and Pipeline are names that conjure up titles of horror movies rather than four spectacular Australian surf breaks that will be featured at the opening of the ‘Centenary of Australian Surfing Photography Exhibition’ at Yamba.
After 18 months planning and research for the exhibition, 100 professional and amateur surfing photographs from every state and decade from 1911 showcases a diverse range of skill, content and creativity while at all times showing some technical merit.
The 100 photographs exemplify the legacy of Osric Notley, the first person accredited with taking Australia’s first surfing photograph back in the summer season of 1911/12 at Main Beach Yamba in Northern NSW.
Priceless gems at the exhibition include the cover photos from two 1962 surfing bibles of the day, the first Surfing World and Surf About Magazines.
Female surfer Isabel Letham and friends with the Duke swim at Freshwater in Sydney in 1915 is an absolute rare find as to are Ma and Pa Bendall from the Sunshine Coast.
A number of the masters of the lens in their era have contributed their favourite masterpieces including John Witzig’s ‘Headless McTavish’, Alby Falzon’s Bobby Brown at Angourie, Jack McCoy at Gnaraloo Station and Christo Reid at Wanna Beach, South Australia.
Some surf photographers look like they simply have a death wish when they paddle out at Cyclops in SA and Shipsterns in Tasmania with two massive waves caught on camera in 2006 and 2003 and submitted by Russell Ord and Sean Davey.
South coast photographer Dave Milnes has generously contributed a previously unpublished photo of surfing legend Bobby Brown taken at Port Kembla.
Angourie veterans Albert Fox and John Batcheldor relieve their 1963 road trip to Bryon Bay from Warilla captured on a box Brownie while surfing at Blood and Guts (Belongil).
Like the turn of the century in 1900 there was a massive shift in photographic equipment enabling photography to be picked up by the masses, not unlike today. An example of this new technology comes in the form of 11 year old, Pheonix Short who submitted an image he took of himself with his ‘Go Pro’.
Some of the international surf names Andy Irons, Layne Beachley and Kelly Slater are also immortalized in the exhibition.
We may have also inadvertently found Australia’s first female surf photographer? A Yamba woman Sharmian Maxwell, instead of lying on the beach in her polka dot bikini was out and about with her father’s camera snapping Angourie in 1964.
A vintage display of retro camera gear will also be feature of the exhibition.
The exhibition goes for two months at the Yamba Museum 3rd December to 3rd February 2012.
Entry fee is $5 (Children Fee), funds raised go to the disability surfers and Yamba Museum who will be gifted the collection at the end of the exhibition.
No photographs are for sale as the exhibition as it becomes a permanent collection for the community of Yamba, the birthplace of Australian Surfing Photography.
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