Women Love Tech recently interviewed Stu Gibson, the winner of the 2019 Nikon Surf Photo, to learn about how he started in surf photography, his best moments and locations as well as top tips.
How did you get into surf photography?
From a young age, I’ve always had an interest in the surf and shooting surf photos. For a little while I tested out video when my friends starting surfing at Shipstern Bluff, a famous big wave surfing spot on the southeastern coast of Tasmania. However, the quality of video wasn’t nearly as good as still, so I quickly switched back to 35mm and have loved stills ever since.
What has been the greatest or most exciting location you’ve shot at?
Shipstern Bluff in Tasmania will always be my favourite place to shoot because it’s home and so raw. The most exciting and scary place I’ve ever shot at has been the surf in Hawaii and Mexico, its incredible.
What’s been the best surfing moment you’ve captured?
The first time I scored a front cover still sits up there with my fave moments captured. This was a water photo of Dustin Hollick at Shipsterns Bluff and ended up as the cover of the 200th edition of ASL (Australia’s Surfing Life). This was much like my winning image in the Nikon Surf Photo of the Year Awards, but it was 15 years ago and the last bit of light for the day. I swam in after the sun went down and started the 1hr slog back in the boat.
How often are you travelling around the world to capture the best surf shots?
It varies a lot, but I generally spend about 5 to 6 months per year away from home. In the past few years, I’ve focused more on capturing the best of the Australian surf and I’m loving spending more time at home.
What are the big/best surf events or trips that you have coming up?
This summer has been spent at home. I’ll be heading to Mexico for my next overseas trip, then a fair bit of time in Fiji after that.
What did it feel like to win the Nikon Surf Photo of the Year Award?
It felt amazing to win. I first won this competition about 10 years ago, so to take it out again was pretty special for me. My winning shot was of Mikey Brennan, so it was epic to win with a friend. I think the awards are an incredible opportunity to shine the spotlight on surfing photography and it’s great that Nikon and Surfing Australia continue to support our work.
You can check out Stu Gibson’s website here.