• Behind the lens with Ed Sloane:

    Being able to see what makes the world interesting, inspiring, beautiful, and freezing it in time is what motivates most photographers.

    24-year-old lens-men Ed Sloane began his career the same way most photographers do, as a hobby.

    His early days of surfing and body boarding brought him to see the ocean in different perspectives.

    Ed was recently featured in a video with Sony Ericsson as part of Xperia Studio titled "Going Deeper", View vid below interview.

    I got to have a little Q&A time with Ed to get a little glimpse of his perspective behind the lens. Check it out along with pics of his work...

    Where exactly in Australia are you from?

    I'm from Victoria in the SE of the country, not far from Bells Beach. It's a lot colder than the rest of Australia but has its own unique charm. Down here we sit on the edge of the Southern Ocean and are subject to frequent icy bursts from Antarctica in winter and heatwaves from the inland of the continent in summer. It's a really dynamic climate.

    At what age did you start surfing?

    I started with a bodyboard at age 5 but started surfing when I was about 12, I think.

    When did your interest in photography happen?

    I came into photography much later than I did surfing, but it was surfing that drew me in. I've only been shooting two years and I don't think I'd have taken it up like I did without the interest being channeled through surfing. Coming into it with a bit more maturity has been somewhat advantageous though...I've been able to get a handle on the technical side a lot quicker than if I was younger and I've got a strong knowledge of the ocean, which has helped.

    photo courtesy of Ed Sloane

    Where are your favorite stomping grounds?

    To be honest, there are so many spots throughout Australia it's hard to have favorites. Each spot is unique and they all have their own moments. I have a soft spot for Bells when it's working though; there is something special about seeing southern ocean ground swell stacked to the horizon.

    Favorite place to surf?

    The beach breaks around my home. They're not often epic, but when they are working they can rival anywhere.

    Favorite surfer?

    Well, I see the top guys each year during the Rip Curl Pro at Bells and this year I've thought Chris Davidson's surfing stood out. Bells is a hard wave to surf well and I was really impressed by his power and flow out there.

    photo courtesy of Ed Sloane

    Absolute favorite subjects to shoot?

    In terms of people, the best subjects to me are the ones doing things a little differently and with whom I develop a quick rapport. That enables a level of comfort and I can kind of slide into the background a bit more, which is how I prefer to be. Anyone who is exciting to watch surf, whether it be shortboarding, longboarding etc...

    Besides people, the absolute best thing for me is shooting empty waves. I often feel like waves with great artistic merit are ruined by people sliding all over them, and so I spend a lot of time focusing on the un-ridden ones, which is always worthwhile.

    photo courtesy of Ed Sloane

    What is your favorite photo you ever took?

    I shot an image of a wave about to break that was taken late in the evening at a shallow depth of field that I've always loved. It comes back to the artistic merit in empty waves. This shot has a beautiful feel to me and certainly would not have worked with someone trying to ride it. I really enjoy shooting with wide apertures,particularly late in the evening or early in the morning, and this shot kind of sums that up.
    (Ed's fav. shot of his below)

    photo courtesy of Ed Sloane

    Favorite photo someone else took?

    I can't go past an image by a very talented Australian surf photographer, Shane Smith. To me it really drives home that surf photographers are often shooting moments that will never ever take place again. You can repeat any photo taken in a studio, but in surf photography its blink and you miss it forever. This shot really highlights that, it's also worth checking out some of Fredo's other work at www.salteyre.com
    (Favorite photo by Shane Smith)

    What inspires you?

    I'd have to say driving. That sounds kind of strange, but spending a lot of time driving around the countryside gives your mind lots of time to wander and I seem to get a lot of ideas and inspiration from that. Music helps too.

    Who inspires you?

    I'm particularly inspired by surf photographers who are doing things differently at the risk of missing some shots altogether. Getting nice-looking shots in the ocean takes a bit of experience, but once you know what you're doing it's really just a matter of being there. It's all too easy to play it safe in the channel with along lens. I'm inspired when I see a shot that is so obviously risky to get that the whole shoot may have come undone. To me, those are the guys who are taking things further.

    photo courtesy of Ed Sloane

    How did the video come to be, with Sony?

    Like a lot of things it started through a friend of a friend. I know a filmmaker who was working with Cyrus Sutton when he was over here earlier in the year. Cyrus is another filmmaker who runs www.korduroy.tv/ and he actually put me in touch with Sony. I loved the idea of Xperia Studio particularly because incorporating the phones gave mobility to all the regular swell and wind forecasting I usually do at home.

    Who are the surfers in the video?

    I have a number of people I shoot with regularly like the guys in the video. Shyama Buttonshaw and Todd Rosewall are both exciting junior riders who live at Bells and are always suggesting new ideas for an interesting photo. The scenes from the Ed's office clip are of Shyama, who is always playing around. That clip is a good example of what happens when he's out by himself just mucking around.

    photo courtesy of Ed Sloane

    Who shot the video?

    Well, right before Cyrus and Sony got in touch, Ed Saltau, a friend who has a background in natural history film making in New Zealand ,had discussed the idea of doing a short film on my surf photography. He is a dedicated bodyboarder so he had a pretty good idea of what he was after. However, the opportunity to be a part of Xperia Studio was timely and exciting as it added a new dimension to what we'd both mapped out.

    He is still working on his film that will be out later this year. We've started blogging about Xperia Studio and the film at www.oneonethousandth.com.au, so you can check out what he's planning there.

    Quite an amazing young talent for having only 2 years of professional shooting and way down to earth to boot. Keep an eye out for this guy he will most definitely be making the rounds. To keep tabs on Ed and his latest adventures click HERE. And as promised Sony Ericsson vid "Going Deeper" is featured below:

    Channels: SurfStyleOutdoor

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