Shannon Glasson - Grew up in the beachside suburb of Cronulla!
Tell us a little about yourself, where are you based and how did you get into surf/ocean photography?
Growing up in the beachside suburb of Cronulla, it’s a natural progression to be drawn to the ocean. Surrounded by surf beaches and being born with talipes (severe foot condition where I was born with my feet backwards), swimming was my rehabilitation from the age of 3 months which meant that I could swim before I could walk. Which looking back today, I probably wouldn’t be shooting big waves if I wasn’t introduced the ocean at such a young age.
What fascinates you about photography?
My fascination with photography started with the freedom that being in the ocean brought. When I started swimming it was a form of rehabilitation and a gateway to forget about all the issues and physical limitations I had on land.
Your biggest inspiration?
Since I started shooting, I have been extremely fortunate to be mentored, inspired and pushed by some of the best Australia has to offer in regard to water photographers, cinematographers and surfers. Most people don’t get to a run with professionals so early on. Having met Warren Keelan when I was 14 having had a mentor like Warren from such a young age has defiantly had a huge impact on where I am today. I can now call Warren a close friend. See below some of my favourites.
@warrenkeelan @sa_rips @russellordphoto @thurstonphoto @chris.whitey
What is your all-time favourite image and why?
My favourite image at the moment in my collection would have to be Polar Express. The images tells a story about that day, a patch of reef off the side of a cliff in the middle of a boating channel feeling like something was lurking around. Checking the image when I got out all I could see was a polar bear head, hence the naming of polar express.
What have been some of your toughest challenges you face when shooting surf photography?
Some of the challenges I have faced over the years being a water photographer are varied and probably surprising to some. Getting in and out of the water can always be tricky as I have minimal movement in my ankles from the Talipes I was born with. Plus, I’m usually wearing flippers which requires further concentration and skill. On occasion, I’ve put myself in the wrong spot and ended up on the inside of a wave, or on the reef/ rocks, which doesn’t end well. But that’s all part of the game right?
How often do you travel - your favourite place to take photos?
In Cronulla, we are pretty lucky to have some incredible waves. There’s always somewhere that will break in any swell direction. I still take the time to travel down the south coast of NSW when there is swell around or just a getaway trip.
What would you say is your most significant achievement to date?
My most significant achievement over the years would have to be having Phil Roberts (Surf Artist - East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame and PipeMasters Trophy artist) be inspired to paint one of my images he recreated on the 2016 Maui Pro trophy board shaped by Gerry Lopez and won by Tyler Wright. Later that year Phil approached me for an exhibition over in California. Having had my work displayed with Sachi Cunningham, Courtney Conlogue, Sage Erickson, as well as other incredible artists, was a dream come true. Also randomly, an American rapper Lil Wayne repost my article from the New York Post which was very humbling.
What have you been working on recently?
I’ve been working on a few small projects recently including, one of which includes planning more exhibitions of my work in the states which is really exciting. I have been shooting some very windy days, trying new things with my photography and just enjoying being in the water.
What equipment do you shoot with currently?
I’m currently using a Canon 7d MkII, Canon 50mm 1.4, canon 70-200 2.8, and a fisheye. All of this gear is kept dry in my Salty Surf housing. Over the past couple of years, I’ve used various housings with each one I always felt something missing. With my salty, it was completely custom made which made everything very easy, compact and lighter.
If you could only take one camera and lens on your next job, what will be your go to set up to get the job done?
My go to set up would be Canon 7dmkii, Canon 50mm 1.4 and my Salty Surf Housing with a 50mm port.
I find the Canon 50mm 1.4 has a wide aperture allowing me to shoot everything from abstracts, portraits, nature and surf.
Your dream project?
In the near future, I would love to do a trip to Tahiti and the surrounding islands. Clearwater, heavy waves, amazing culture there’s so much to love about the Tahitian islands. Down the track my goal is to continue shooting and travelling fulltime, one day looking to open a gallery.
Where can we follow your work?