A Moment with Eugene Tan, Sydney

Eugene Tan is one of Australia’s most revered photographers and has a gallery called Aquabumps in Sydney. We had a moment with him to talk all things photography and Australia…

How do you capture the perfect moment?

It’s all about being in the right place at the right time, as my style is documenting beautiful moments around beach life as they happen. I’ve been shooting at sunrise for 16 years – so the rich morning light always helps if there is a cracker sunrise. Sometimes the best shots happen when you least expect them – recently we were in Italy and the sun was setting off the Amalfi coast. I got my wife to jump in the water at the beach club where we were having a drink and the light reflecting off the water and beneath the water was magic – the shots came out great.

I work with natural elements so I look for warm light, clear water, packed beaches and carry my camera everywhere.

Sometimes the best shots happen when you least expect them.

When did you start taking photographs?

I got my first pentax camera when I was 8, and so it began.

Is there anything that you really want to photograph that you haven’t yet?

The summer in Rio – packed beaches from a chopper. I’m heading over in Feb this year.


What’s your favourite coastal region of Australia? Can you name your top 3 beaches?

I love the mid-north coast – the long empty beaches and empty waves.

  1. Can’t tell you – as the water is warm the waves are plentiful and I would like to keep it that way.
  2. Tallows in Byron – Beautiful stretch of beach with stunning headlands and ocean life.
  3. Margaret river – the beaches are so raw and empty, water is warm and it’s a hot dry heat.

Where’s the best place in Australia to see the sunrise?

You can’t beat Bondi – seeing I shoot it most of the year round it’s pretty beautiful.

Tell us about some of the amazing wildlife you’ve seen on the job…

I’ve been chased out of the water by a huge stingray one morning at Bondi, that was pretty freaky.


What is your favourite beach in Sydney (New South Wales)?

Bondi – I shoot it the majority of the year when I’m here. It has pretty consistent waves and I live and work right near it.

What’s the most romantic beach in Sydney (New South Wales)?

Tamarama – rocks

Have you always surfed?

Yes since I was a teenager and I love it.

What do you never go to the beach without (apart from your camera or surfboard)?

My boys Jet and Spike and my wife Deb – they love it as much as me.


If we had 24hrs in your hometown, where would you take us?

The Aquabumps Gallery, of course

Brekky at Bills

Pizza at Da Orazio

Coffee at Earth Food store

Stay at the QT Bondi

Icebergs for a swim