Photographer Dean Dampney was kind enough to share with us a few of his favourite images and some moments of his time. His black and white photos are rich in spirit and each tells a story that touches upon something of surfing’s essence. Enjoy the interview and discover more about Dean in the links below.
HEY DEAN, HOW AND WHERE ARE YOU TODAY?
Hi Geniya, I’m really well. Myself and my wife Naomi, and our three boys (plus Albe the brown dog) all live on the South Coast of New South Wales in Australia. We’re currently living on a bush block ‘off the grid’ in a place called Termeil (this is where I am now), but will soon be back to living at our place just behind the sand dunes at a place called Lake Tabourie.
HAVE YOU HAD ANY GOOD SESSIONS LATELY?
Surf Sessions? Yep absolutely. We’re between seasons at the moment and Spring is usually down the bottom of the best seasons for swell here, but having said that we’ve had a couple of 8’+ swell pulses from the south this last month along with a really decent variety of B+ conditions in general. Most swells have been slightly short, or if grunty associated with mediocre winds, or short lived and not quite at the perfect tides, but these are comments of a spoilt surfer, and even these not quite there days have been super fun. We also start to get a couple of north swells around this time that can light up some of the little nooks and crannies or even the beachies with the right banks.
IF YOU HAD NEVER DISCOVERED THE OCEAN WHAT WOULD DEAN DAMPNEY BE DOING NOW?
Oh man, well….something active and something creatively fulfilling. And in nature. I’d say rock climbing and mountain biking.
WHO IN THE PHOTOGRAPHY WORLD INSPIRES YOU?
You know how there’s hundreds of thousands, actually millions of people shooting these days. And the standard is through the roof. I’m most inspired by the people who are shooting things that are really personal and obviously passionate experiences for them. The photographers I’m most inspired by tend not to be surf photographers as such, but there are a few exceptions. Number one, Jon Frank, and two even though he doesn’t shoot much that I see, Andrew Kidman (a man of many talents!). I like the work of Art Brewer and Steve Sherman for their portrait work, and Chris Burkard for his Surf Scapes raises the bar. Above all though I’m influenced by the great documentary photographers – that list list extensive.
WHAT’S THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE IN BEING A SURF PHOTOGRAPHER?
I think for the guys that actually are the real deal, real life ‘Surf Photographers’, I think the challenges would be: making money, maintaining a family balance, and getting your own share of waves. For me, although I’ve done a number of paid assignments in the past for surfing magazines, I really just snap a frame here and there when the moment strikes. I don’t forfeit any of the above things mentioned. I’m a Documentary Photographer and usually have my camera with me. I rarely let my camera dictate my path. It’s the opposite, I simply am living my life and snapping a couple of hopefully poignant frames along the way.
FAVOURITE PIECE OF CAMERA GEAR?
BEYOND PHOTOGRAPHY, WHAT ARE YOUR OTHER PASSIONS?
My family. Surfing. Skating. Yoga. Well Being.
THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR TIME… HOW CAN PEOPLE CONNECT WITH YOU TO FIND OUT MORE?
Thank you! OK, here’s the current site list:
Personal Work: http://www.rollingthroughwindows.com
Alternative Surf Blog (contributions welcome): http://www.submerge.com.au (this site has been relatively inactive, but as our youngest kid gets older, with some encouragement I’ll start investing more time to this).