Dominic Meler

Dominic Meler

Tell us a little about yourself and how you got into photography?

My name is Dom and I live in the Sutherland Shire in Sydney’s south. Married with two boys, I work as a graphic designer full time and jump in the ocean with my camera whenever I get the chance.

I started photography about two years ago purely as a hobby, shooting mainly early in the morning to learn about manual shooting and to learn about the changing light, but I got a little bored of that fairly quickly to be honest, not that I was killing it, probably the opposite, but the creative side of me needed a little more of a challenge. After maybe six months or so, I got the itch to jump into the ocean and try my hand at shooting in the water. My first attempt was absolute rubbish, but I was hooked. From there it's pretty much been an obsession. I go out every weekend and on weekdays when I can.

What excites you about getting out there escaping & creating?

It used to be about trying to get “the shot”, but it’s now more about the ability to create for the sake of creating – also to have downtime and just be in the moment. I’ve been hit by surfboards, my camera housing, smashed by waves but I always leave smiling because you just never know, regardless of conditions, exactly what each session will deliver and that's probably the best thing about it.
I guess the main thing that makes me excited is being able to get in without any expectations. Either that I’ve placed on myself or that anyone has placed on me. I go in where I think is good or I might arrange to meet up with someone in the water at a particular spot, but it’s always easy going and natural.

What fascinates you about the ocean?

I like the fact that your senses are heightened when you’re in there, especially the times when you’re out there on your own. It’s calming, soothing and can alter your mood (but can also be dangerous as hell!) A lot of people talk about the healing nature of the ocean and I’ve found that to be very true. It has balanced me out in a way that is hard to describe, and it’s given me a great deal of confidence and positivity in other areas of my life. My wife likes to say it has created the “new Dom”.

At the risk of sounding a little cliché, I think it’s because you have that time in the water to let your mind wander, let go of any issues you have and just float. I’ve spoken to so many people whose stories are the same, where they’ve felt broken, and one of the only places they feel whole is in the water.
From a photography and surfing point of view – and this has been said before but, the ocean will give you something different every time you head in, it always keeps you guessing and that’s part of the fascination and appeal for me.

How was the Vagabond workshop at Cronulla Beach earlier this year, fav moments and what was the experience like sharing the ocean with likeminded people and also getting to hang out with and learning from Shannon Glasson?

That was a great day! I learnt a lot from Shannon and really stepped out of my comfort zone, swimming out in rips and rough water, but every moment was worth it. Something that also challenged me about that day was hanging out with the other people. One of the things that drew me to ocean photography was that I could do it on my own, but I realised that day how much I could learn from just being with like minded people. It also showed me just how important it is to keep learning & not take those opportunities for granted.

If there was one destination you could travel to and photograph where would it be?

Both of my parents are born and bred in Italy, so that would have to be the number one destination for me to take the camera and waterhousing. In particular, I’d choose Tuscany where there is a great little surf scene. To do the type of photography I do here in Oz over there, and in a place that is very special to me would be a dream come true. It’ll happen, just not sure exactly when. I’ve been over many times but not since I picked up my housing so I’m itching to make it happen…

Where Can we follow your work?

Instagram - dominic_meler
Web Gallery -

1 comment

  • Mark Bradley : August 07, 2019

    Love your work and your enthusiasm
    You are a complete gentleman of the oceans respect

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