We caught up with internationally acclaimed surf photographer Rod Owen after his exhibition in support of Surfaid Sumba at the Australian Open of Surf.
BH: Hey Rod, awesome to see your Hurley exhibition in support of Surfaid Sumba. How did the partnership come about and is Sumba personally significant to you?
RO: Thanks guys, hope you enjoyed the show and images it turned out to be a really amazing night. The partnership came up through Hurley. They suggested the idea of an art show in conjunction with the Australian Open of Surf and I thought what better way to showcase some of my best work and also give back to some communities in Sumba who are really doing it tough at the same time. Sumba and remote Indonesia is personally significant after spending quite a lot of time there over the past 10 years. . So anything myself the guys at Surfaid Sumba and H2O can do is to help make life easier for the Sumbanese is just so rewarding.
BH:You’ve shot images of the best surfers in some of the world’s most perfect surf destinations. If you could manifest your dream session with any three surfers (living or not) where would you be – and who with?
RO: Oh god, that’s a tough one, so many good options!
I love South Australia, so It would probably be down there on a wave I cant mention here, on a 6-8 foot flawless day, on a left that just reels forever. Sharky as hell, but that’s half the thrill!
Surfers, is such a hard decision, but Id have to say…
Mark Richards – growing up and seeing him surf everyday at my local was amazing and never getting the chance to properly shoot him in great waves still bugs me to this day.
Kelly Slater – the greatest that will ever be in the sport of surfing. Watching him at pipe this year on some of those crazy bottoms turns was possibly the best display of heavy wave surfing I’ve ever seen. it was phenomenal. The “GOAT” (greatest of all time) would be a pleasure to shoot in such waves.
Rob Machado – super smooth, amazing surfer who I think would be blown away by the waves down there. On a long reeling left, he would have a ball!
BH: As a photographer, what keeps you motivated?
RO: The possibility of new waves keeps me motivated to keep perusing surf photography. These days with so many trying the surf photography gig, you just have to be different and try new things to make a go of it, unless you are tied in with a company or the pros. But for me even .
BH: How can people get involved with supporting Surfaid Sumba?