Vagabond Tahiti Adventure 2019 - Dan Hayward
Can you tell us a little about yourself and how you got into photography?
My name is Dan Hayward and I’m a 40 year old Police Dog Handler and photographer from Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. Ive always been interested in photography but bought my first DSLR about 5 years ago because I was keen to capture lightning. From there photography became an escape from the stresses of my chosen profession and my mother suffering from a stroke. Ive surfed since I was really young and am also a fan of the competitive sport , so the water photography came naturally. A few lower leg injuries kept my off a surfboard for a while and that’s when I really got hooked.
What fascinates you about the ocean?? And more specifically, ocean photography?
The ocean is my happy place, my comfort zone… where I am required to keep my wits about me the entire time and where my busted body feels least pain. Whether Im shooting empty waves or surfers 99% of the time I’m in the water. I feel a part of it as opposed to a spectator and that’s where the best angles and light generally are. Each wave is different, some waves are dangerous and that is so much more interesting and exciting to me than standing on the shore.
How was the Vagabond workshop at Tahiti, fav moments and what was the experience like sharing the ocean with like-minded people and also getting to hang out with and learning from Domenic Mosqueira & Russell Ord??
The workshop was epic, there is no way I would have swam out into big Teahupo’o without the knowledge I had gained from Russ and Dom and without them by my side. Nothing was too much hassle for them, they were always up for something even when the weather or conditions were imperfect. They were always stoked and that stoke was infectious. I learnt a lot from the both, about gear, about post processing and about watermanship. And when the cameras and computers were away, I learnt a lot about life from them both too. Honestly couldn’t have asked for better hosts. Favourite moment… has to be the big day. Once in a life time awesomeness. But honestly the whole week was great, I can honestly say that spending a week with a great group of guys with a common niche interest was a really good mental break for me. Im sure Ive made lifelong friends too.
What is the most adventurous thing you did at the workshop that has taken you out of your comfort zone?
Without sounding like too much of a dick, Im pretty confident in the water, but that place, Teahupo’o is just on a different planet. On the big day I shot big Teahupo’o from the water with a 35mm lens. I remember shooting and diving under Matahi’s wave and then the biggest wave I’ve ever seen popped up. Kirahuu dropped out of the lip on his bodyboard and got the craziest tube of the day and that I’ve ever seen. I dove under that wave and popped up, I remember saying to myself… ’That just paid for the trip.’ Not monetarily , just in that it was one of the best things I’d ever experienced. And yeah, without sticking close by Dom and Russ, wouldn’t have happened.
How was your stay at Vanira Lodge?
Rooms were great, food was all time and the location couldn’t have been better. Our room had uninterrupted views of the ocean from a nice high vantage point.
Where is your next big adventure?
Im not real sure, I was thinking Pipe at the end of the year. Now I’m thinking maybe Gnaraloo with Russ and Vagabond could be a possibility .
Where can we follow your work? (Website / Social)
My main social site is instagram …I give it a bit of a hammering as the boys would attest. @Dancanphoto is my page. Thats Also the name of my website, dancanphoto.com I also have a facebook page Dan Hayward Photography that I post to on occasion.