Gopro killed the surf photographer

July 16, 2013

This subject has been on my mind for a very long time. Before I start this post I want to make sure it’s clear that I am by no means a veteran surf photographer and my love for photography and in particular “surf photography” came to fruition from seeing all those fantastic shots that graced the covers of the surf mags that others had put before me.

I’ve been shooting body boarding, surfing, ocean art and wave photography for almost 5 years now. Most recently I’ve noticed the increase of “surf photographers” on the Gold Coast. Many people started surf photography to capture their mates surfing or even to escape the crowds of the infamous Gold Coast hustle. Now I’ve started to notice that surf photography on the Gold Coast is in fact saturated with “surf photographers”. My instagram feed is filled with people who are “photographers” and once you click on their feed or Facebook page you soon realise they’re just shooting with a gopro. No photographic skill involved, just point and shoot.  Now don’t get me wrong, the gopros seem like an incredible camera, especially for HD video. I have several gopro shooters I follow on instagram from the likes of Robbie Crawford and Dan Bennington who in my opinion are at the top of their game and the skill comes into being at the right spot at the right time, both of which have it locked down. The quality and style of these two are what other “gopro surf photographers” should be aiming for.

Unfortunately because of this craze it ruins things for the guys that are truly about taking a great picture and trying to make a living out of surf photography. Let me paint a picture for you, you head out to your local surf break or find a spot that is secluded from the crowds. Within minutes you have 5 guys with their gopros getting in your way, getting in your shot. Only to find out they also have an Instagram feed with mediocre images with another 5 go pro users in their pictures. It is honestly getting on my nerves. As with surf etiquette there is a “surf photographers” etiquette that is being overlooked.

 I personally like to do things like this:

  • When you enter the line up with you camera and see other photographers out there, say g’day to them, have a chat and also find out if there is a specific direction or person they’re shooting. If they do tell you what they’re doing, then make sure you say to them “ok not a problem I will make sure I’m not in your way when xyz is coming down the line or “make sure you shout out if I’m going to be in your shot and I will duck” this simple gesture will get you in their good books to start off with. I do this every time I see another surf photographer in the water.
  • If you’re shooting a spot that you are aware will be pumping the next day – don’t just put the photos up on Facebook and tell everyone where it is and when it was. Wait a day or two, wait a week in fact. This will make sure that spot x isn’t crowded and will give you a chance to head back there for more shots with less people the following day.
  • If you do manage to get a shot of something spectacular and you seem to think the other photographer also got the shot. Ask the photographer if they will be submitting any images to mags etc. If they say yes then I would recommend holding off on putting the images up online. This works both ways. And if you do introduce yourself to the photographer who is nearby then you should find out their FB page and pm them if it’s ok to put the shots up. I know you are thinking, “”I don’t give a fuck if they’re shooting whilst I am”. But without some decency the magazine we have loved since we first became infatuated with the surf culture and art, will soon be long gone.

Now I know not everyone will do things like this, but I’m hoping it give the new breed of surf photographers some direction.

Like I said at the beginning, gopros can take some incredible images and “surf photographers etiquette” should get you thinking about your approach in the next session. At a recent shot out at Froggies on the Gold Coast I counted 7 people shooting water with a gopro.

Now there is a whole other side to this phenomenon with photography and social media and how it’s destroying the photographic industry but I’ll leave that for a future post and these guys touched on the subject recently.

Remember you can follow me on Facebook, instagram and twitter. #jonwrightphoto and purchase my ocean art work on canvas and metallic prints HERE.

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Materials & size/price guide

Premium acrylic face mount

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Our mounting system is also a beautiful in design itself, with no visible mounting brackets the photograph looks like it is floating off the wall. This is achieved by using the Z-bar hanging system which is screwed into the wall and the acrylic locked into place.

Premium acrylic face mount 4.5mm thick - Whitehaven beach, Hill inlet QLD Australia,

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What's the difference between a "stretched canvas" and a "rolled canvas" you ask? The stretched canvas is ready to hang on your wall, expertly wrapped and finished with a beautiful backing and gallery hanging wire. The rolled canvas comes in a canister and is best suited for overseas transit or for a special project you might have in mind.
Canvas materials

Stretched canvas (ready to hang)

Three piece stretched canvas

Our three piece stretched canvas (also called triptych) is a popular option of the interior designers. Using the rule of thirds the canvas is broken into three pieces giving it a fresh look with a difference. 

Picture framing and metallic prints

Our Photo prints are printed on high quality 250gsm Metallic Pearl paper. Then mounted on acid free foam core & complemented with colour coordinated acid free mat board. Custom cut timber frame is then added along with glass. Professionally finished on the back with a tape seal & plastic coated hanging wire.
For our large framed metallic prints please note no mat board is fitted due to the size of the photograph, instead the photograph is printed with a coloured boarder of your choice (standard is white) allowing for similar affect to the mat board.

Standard black frame/white mat with "the Devil's tooth"

Standard black frame with Q1 fine art metallic print

Raw shadow box frame with Black and White green turtle


Size Metallic (print only) Metallic print (including b/w frame Metallic print (including Beach frame) Canvas rolled Canvas stretched Acrylic sheer mount
3:2 ratio
45x30 $85 $350.00 $400.00 $80.00 $120.00  
60x40 $110 $400.00 $450.00 $150 $190.00  
75x50 $130 $420.00 $480.00 $180 $250.00 $480.00
100x66 $170 $520.00 $560.00 $290 $450.00 $660.00
120x75 $190 $700.00 $780.00 $400 $470.00  
150x100 $230 $1,001.00 $1,200.00 $480 $590.00 $1,180.00
150x66       $440 $560.00  
1:1 Ratio
15x15         $80  
30x30         $120 $250
40x40         $160 $320
50x50         $180 $400
60x60         $290 $540
75x75         $400 $740
100x100         $440 $1,200



Framed photographic artwork size guide

For photographic framed artwork we have provided you with an overall size guide based on the print size you choose. Example a print sized 80x53cm will be framed in an overall size frame of 99x71cm (approx) this is the size that will fill your wall space. Example below.

Framed print size guide
Ratio 3:2  
PRINT SIZE (CM) Approximate total framed size(CM)
50x33 66x49
60x40 76x56
75x50 94x69
80x53 99x71
100x66 120x86
120x80 140x100
150x100 158x108
Ratio 2:1  
PRINT SIZE (CM) Approximate total framed size (CM)
50x25 66x41
60x30 76x46
75x37.5 93x55.5
80x40 98x58
100x50 120x70
120x60 140x80
150x75 158x83
Ratio 3:1  
PRINT SIZE (CM) Approximate total framed size (CM)
60x20 76x36
75x25 91x41
80x27 96x43
100x34 118x52
120x40 138x58
150x50 158x58


Custom print and frame sizes are available on request; please contact me directly at HERE to discuss your options. Please include the photo you want printed and framed as well as dimensions of the photograph and frame as well as specific type of framing colour/materials you would like used.

Surf art and landscape photography range consists of framed metallic prints, stretched giclee' canvas wall-mounts ready to hang or rolled canvas which are best for overseas customers.

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Once payment has been received your purchase will then be placed in the queue for printing. Our products are of the highest quality and we like to make sure the quality is exactly what we promised. Once your purchase has been completed we carefully wrap your product up ready for our couriers to deliver straight to your door. This usually can take in between 5-10 business days depending on where you live.

Please note that if paying by direct deposit or credit card your purchase will only start to be placed in the queue once money has received. This can take anywhere from 24 hours to 48 hours.


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