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 every where.
When did you start taking photographs?
I got my first pentax camera when I was 8, and so it began.
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.
- Can’t tell you – as the water is warm the waves are plentiful and I would like to keep it that way.
- Tallows in Byron – Beautiful stretch of beach with stunning headlands and ocean life.
- Margaret river – the beaches are so raw and empty, water is warm and it’s a hot dry heat.
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 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.
Have you always surfed?
Yes since I was a teenager and I love it.
What’s the most romantic beach in Sydney (New South Wales)?
Tamarama – rocks
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.
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.
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 sting ray one morning at Bondi, that was pretty freaky.
If we had 24hrs in your home time, where would you take us?
The Aquabumps Gallery of course
Breaky at Blls
Pizza at Da Orazio
Coffee at Earth Food store
Stay at the QT Bondi
Icebergs for a swim