Nikonos and The Ocean by Chad Hampson
My passion for surfing photography ignited at the age of 13. I was gifted a copy of Phil Gallagher’s DLUX, from 2003. The next week I subscribed to Tracks and Surfing Life magazine, followed by purchasing the original 28mm film GoPro. I was hooked, the pure stoke both in and out of the water was surreal.
Since a young age I’ve had my personal struggles with anxiety and depression, and found being in the moment with photography quite meditative. The mindfulness through the lens was addictive and peaceful.
Ever since shooting and developing my own film throughout high school, I’ve always found it far more rewarding than digital. Shooting film in the ocean and getting the feedback from images captured is what honestly makes me stoked and keeps that creative flare burning. It may sound cliché but underwater film photography gives me complete mental clarity. Behind the lens it’s impossible to think about anything negative...it maintains my sanity.
Growing up in Brisbane most of my life, I moved to Coolangatta 5 years ago to chase the coastal lifestyle. The surf breaks when firing are a mecca for both surfing and photography. To be able to shoot, surf, and work all within a day is beyond rewarding and exhilarating.
Film is life.