ANDY OWEN - Fiji Experience Q&A
Can you tell me a little about yourself and how you got into photography?
Andy Owen: I am a 50yrs old, commercial skipper and diver, spent the last 22yrs working in the film and television game working as a performer and rigger. Always enjoyed watching Jaque Cousteau and David Attenborough in black and white and then into colour on the TV was always mesmerised looking through the National Geographic and daydreamed of being a photographer for them. As a young teenager, I worked for a 1hr Fuji film photo processing store where the owner let me have film and processing for free as long as I worked for him, after school and on weekends. This allowed me to get to the beach and ocean to experiment with my 2nd hand Pentax K2 and a 500mm I purchased at the local pawn store. I tried shooting my mates with varying degrees of success.
What attracts you to photography in general? And more specifically, surf/ocean photography?
Capturing and manipulating the light on subjects and recording of moments in time such as family or sporting events or just the beauty of the world around us is what attracts me to photography. The ocean has played a major roll in my life, providing a living, working on, in, or under her. She has fed me and she has provided me with some of the great moments in my life playing in the waves and with the wildlife. She is truly one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen and the more I get to know her the more wonderful she becomes. So photographing her seems to be a very natural part of my relationship with her.
How was your stay at Matanavusi Eco Resort?
My stay at the Matanavusi Eco Resort was a fantastic experience, Fiji being rich in culture and tradition was all there on show with a Lovu where food is cooked in the ground and the cava ceremony was all part of the experience at Matanavusi Eco Resort. The Fijian people are a great race, always smiling laughing or singing. Friendliest people on the planet. These great people are all part of the staff and keep the place running and look after you as if you were part of the tribe, nothing is ever a problem for them. Hosts Brian and Donna, an Aussie couple made us all feel right at home. This resort is home to them, they built and have run it in Fiji for past 20yrs, obviously doing everything right to cater for the broadest range of traveller. With all the modern day creature comforts in one of the worlds most beautiful surroundings.
How was the Vagabond workshop, fav moments and what was the one thing that helped you improve the most?
The Vagabond workshop was money well spent taking my photography to that next level, with being surrounded by an extremely picturesque environment, a couple of extremely talented and professional athletes to shoot, under the mentorship of one of the worlds greatest surf photographers, it’s what wet dreams are made of!
Favourite moments:- Being there every day, Body Bashing Frigates, Listening to Ash sing on the boat, being in around such a great bunch of creative people! The thing that helped me the most was having the ability to ask the great man about how I should go about shooting for the day, where if I was left to my own devices I would try something and wonder what I did wrong which has been my M/O. Talking with Russ and saying I might try this or that he would give you an understanding of the result before getting out there, so this helped me focus on the task instead of trying 5 different things that might or might not work. All those little 1% things that take a lifetime to learn by yourself.
What is the most adventurous thing you did at the workshop that has taken you out of your comfort zone?
I usually like to shoot what is going on around me, so trying to direct people was what got me out of my comfort zone. The most adventurous thing would have been playing touch football against the Fijians on the cow paddock they called a field, so much fun and so much appreciation for how good they are!
What was it like working with incredible surfers, Chippa Wilson and Asher Wales?
It was an absolute pleasure to work with two incredibly gifted athletes and entertainers, 100% professional. A credit to themselves!
Where is your next big adventure?
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Interested in staying at the stunning Matanivusi Eco Resort: Click here for further information