Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Years

Happy New Years from Hawaii, with love. Here is how I spent my last day of 2011. Can't complain!    

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Filtrate Sponsor Love

Filtrate Sunglasses shoot. Picture courtesy of Dave Gregerson.

I'm sitting outside Starbucks poaching their free internet. It's pretty windy out here, I always think of Hawaii as being warm but it's actually a lot colder here now than back home in Australia. It sure feels good to be back on the islands though. It's the little things I've missed, like the abundance of amazing fresh fish, the palm trees and of course the waves.

I've come to Starbucks for a coffee and to write a quick little post welcoming my latest product sponsor, Filtrate Eyewear. I usually have a bad run with sunnies. I always end up either sitting on them or leaving them somewhere, so I was super stoked when Filtrate hooked me up with a nice supply of their lovely polarised sunglasses, and I've been doing a really good job of not losing any of em! Check out all of their styles at and also at

Here are some pics using Filtrate Sunglasses from a recent shoot I did in Hawaii with my photographer Dave Gregerson. I really love these sunglasses, especially the red ones in the picture above!

Picture courtesy of Dave Gregerson

Filtrate's Green Tea Sunglasses in "choc". Picture courtesy of Dave Gregerson. 

Picture courtesy of Dave Gregerson

Monday, December 26, 2011

America: Five SCARIEST Things

Kauai Style Truck

No. 1).
Driving on the wrong (right) side of the road. It scares the pants off me. Especially late at night when I try to turn a corner. I also look the wrong way when crossing the road, and often find myself almost getting run over by cyclists when I automatically move to the left. Scary stuff!

No. 2).
The self flushing toilet. I encounter these machines in many places, such as airports and restaurants. Every time I stand up and they flush, it makes me jump a mile. Plus sometimes they flush while you are still sitting on them. Not good.

No. 3).
Any kind of reality television. MTV, Teen Mom, The Kardashians, ANYTHING Housewives related (New York, New Jersey, definitely the most scary reality t.v. out there). If you don't think this stuff is scary, then you've got problems.

Teen Mom 2 in all its Glory

No. 4).
Giant American trucks (For my Aussies, truck means Ute - same thing). They make them big, fat and wide here. Especially the lifted ones. Lifting is where you raise the body of the truck above the axel. In American culture, your social status can often depend on the size of your truck. If you need a ladder to get into your truck, then you've taken things a bit too far.

The Lift. 

No. 5).
Costco (warehouse style grocery store). They have a deal where for $1.50 you get a hotdog and an UNLIMTED soda. That is just plain scary.


Presents under our Christmas tree on Kauai

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Cameras for Dummies

Me and my 7D in Hawaii. Photograph courtesy of Dave Gregerson
Buying my first real camera was a very very daunting experience. I spent this year at film school, which sort of prepared me, but the reality of camera ownership was a bit overwhelming. I, in my usual chaotic disorganised fashion, only got my camera a few weeks before flying out to Hawaii for work. Future note to self, buy your equipment WELL in advance. I remember taking the camera out of the box for the first time and wanting to crawl in a hole and cry. It was so big, there were so many buttons!

My camera and I had a few initial hiccups working together here on Hawaii. I pressed a few wrong buttons, it got upset. I somehow set the shutter so it would take around 20 seconds to take a picture, then it would be all neon and fuzzy. I stayed up until 1am crying trying to read the manual and fix it before I gave up and went to sleep.

But now as my 10 day work stint on Oahu comes to a close I look at my camera with lots of love. It's so big and shiny and the buttons (there are still so many!) aren't quite as scary... I'ts sitting here with me now, and I have to say it's about the best purchase I've ever made.

Conducting a video interview with Roxy team rider Vanina Walsh

For those of you interested in camera gear, I have a Canon 7D. It's a great multi purpose camera, it takes great stills and has really good HD video too. For accessories I have a Hoya CPL and a Marumi UV filter, but I think my most valuable accesory purchase was a Rode shotgun mic. I got it from here:
and it was $140 well spent. I also bought a couple of 16GB memory cards, I have found it's much better to get the bigger size ones, that way when you are doing a full day of shooting you don't have to worry about constantly changing cards. An extra battery is also absolutely essential, as is a good tripod. I made the mistake of buying a really flimsy tripod, and will be spending the extra money now for a good quality one. When a tripod isn't solid you're shots are wobbly.

I want to say a BIG thank you to all the people who have helped me with my camera, from figuring out buttons and settings to deciding what gear to buy. You guys know who you are (especially Dave, Fiona and Brendon)! Big mahalos and aloha from Hawaii,  I can't wait to share all my new video projects soon! xox

Putting my camera to good use, Waimea Bay at sunset

Shooting Pipeline has to be one of the most fun things in world (for me anyway!)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Day with Vanina

Vanina SUPing at one of her local breaks on Oahu

My photographer Dave Gregerson and I were sent on assignment to shoot and spend some time with teen surfer Vanina Walsh for the next issue of WSSM (Women's Surf Style Magazine). Vanina is a total cutie, an all round water baby, and she's just been signed as a professional Roxy team rider. What makes Vanina so unique though is her talent for not only one specific area of surfing, but her ability to excel at just about everything! She short-boards, longboards, standup paddle boards, skateboards, paints and even sews, all while still working on her high school education from home!

Vanina cruising her local streets. Photograph courtesy of Dave Gregerson (

When meeting with a surfer for an interview I'm always a bit nervous. Vanina met up with us on the West side of Oahu for a surf shoot, accompanied by her parents, and they instantly made me feel at ease. The whole family was super friendly and even invited Dave and I into their home for a lifestyle shoot.

I'm looking forward to telling Vanina's story in full, it's a pretty incredible one. Without giving away too much I'll share with you that she spent her first 10 years of life living in Arizona trying to practice surfing in her swimming pool! Now that is dedication!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Return to the Islands

This blog has been in need of some serious loving. It's been neglected like my pile of dirty laundry which keeps growing (hey it's tough living out of a bag sometimes). I found myself in an absolute crazy whirlwind getting ready for this trip, and it hasn't let off now I'm here.
For those of you just tuning in, here is on the beautiful North Shore of Oahu, famous in the winter for it's pumping waves and pro surf scene. The stuff you read in the surf magazines, it's all here. There is so much I want to write about, but sleepiness is wining me over, so I'll leave you with a few photos from my latest work purchase, a new Canon 7D, along with a promise to share with you a more in depth look into the North Shore surfing world.

Dave the fashionista. Protecting camera gear from the elements becomes an art form.

The girls out at Rocky's go hard.

Filtrate sunnies shoot. Photo courtesy of Dave Gregerson. 

A Haliewa sunset. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011


It's the law of the surf. When you can't go it's guaranteed to be good. I'm post nose surgery - out of the water for two weeks, and like clockwork the swell is rising and the winds switching offshore. I'd just like to clarify this was a nose surgery of the non cosmetic variety. Purely for functional reasons. I keep telling everyone I'm getting my boobs done next, double D's.

So I can't surf but I figured I'd pop down to the beach today anyway and go for a splash and a gentle walk. The sticky Australian summer heat is finally back and it felt pretty good to bust out the bikini and sunscreen. I went and sat down at the dog beach at Leighton in Freo. A while ago they built an artificial reef a little distance offshore, and I can honestly say I have never seen it really going. Today it was kind of doing its thing, the winds were howling offshore but there were definitely some fun looking rights rolling through.

It's T minus 5 days until my return to the surfing world. When I'm out of the water for a while I always dream of the first duckdive. Not the first wave. Just that first leap in and pushing under, feeling the cold rush of water.

They say when life gives you lemons make lemonade, but I make lemon meringue pie. I have been embracing my landlocked domesticated side. I baked this creation for Dad's birthday this afternoon, even using fresh eggs from our friend's farm.
Travel bum turning Martha Stewart homemaker? Not likely.

Monday, October 3, 2011

A Tuesday Surf Check

5:30am Tuesday surf check.

Waves: Ankle biters

Winds: Pretty nice

Chill Factor: Not too bad, but I'm in a 4'3

Crowd Factor: School holidays, what do you reckon? Grom infestation!

My Need for a Coffee: Desperate.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Office.

Expressions of office oppression...

Surf bum turned temporary 8-5 office worker, here is my take on office life - created with pens, post-its and photocopiers.


Clean your spoons.

There is nothing quite like the awkward elevator silence... little office sardines.

Monday, August 29, 2011

A Mini Movie

Don't let the term "mini" fool you. It doesn't mean any less time and work went into making this little creation. Time spent in the editing labs goes by a different speed. You whittle hours away like microseconds - headphones on, eyes intently glued on the screen.

I had little intention of trying to film during my visit to Indonesia. I figured my $130 waterproof camera wouldn't really cut it. Most of this footage was taken randomly, some of it because I thought I was pressing the "take photo" button when really I was hitting video by accident! The surf footage came about because I hit my head surfing and had to come in and sit down. Seeing the peacful sunset and the most perfect, long barreling lefts rolling through I knew I had to try and capture it.

So here it is, the Youtube link to my mini Indo surf film.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Indo Journal: Lombok

I won’t tell too much about Lombok. Some things are best discovered yourself.

It took roughly six hours on the ferry to get there, and we arrived in darkness. The contrast to time spent in the more crowded regions of Bali was instantly felt. We drove through sleepy little villages with their eerie prayer calls wailing out across the warm evening air.

Our destination was still hours away so a food stop in a village was attempted, several times. Finally a small roadside kitchen was discovered. Perhaps we were starving, but the noodle soup and bowl of hardboiled eggs was an absolute treat, with the friendliness and good humor of the locals being but an added bonus.

Accommodation was basic, but so perfectly peaceful. Rooms are comfortable and a local squat style toilet is shared by us and our host family. Breakfasts of banana pancakes overlooking morning swell lines are something I’m still thinking of.

And the wave. Friendly on a high tide, good vibes in the water, sharing waves with the playful local groms. But on low tide she changes. Morphs. Takes on a whole new form. Water drains and the reef bares its teeth. Boards are grabbed, wax anxiously applied and afternoon plans forgotten. She peels, races, teases. Long lefts winding down past the exposed reef, past the posts, past the tree.

When you’re tired, the suns gone down, or she’s sent you packing like an angry housewife, leave the wave and retire to a good viewpoint. We spend our evenings sharing quiet meals and cold Bintangs.

Now I’m back in the office and my head is filled with Indo dreaming.

COMING SOON: Indo Dreaming - a mini surf film... so WATCH THIS SPACE

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Indo Part 1: Kuta and Scooters

Sorry mother. You made me promise two things when I left for Indonesia, and in my first day I broke them both. One – don't ride on a scooter, and two – don't go to any night clubs.

I have never been one for the “short vacation” style of travel but with university wrapped up and winter sneaking on in like the cold unfriendly creature it is, I decided to head for the warmer waters of Bali for two weeks. True to my usual travel form I have gone alone and with no idea what I'm doing. I figured I would meet some other surfers on the flight over, I mean it's Perth to Bali right? No such luck though, it was all families and couples heading over for their annual 3 day Kuta vacations! I don't usually go to the most touristy areas but as I stood outside the airport sweating trying to juggle my surfboards I found myself uttering those two dreaded words to the taxi driver... “Kuta, please”.

For those of you unfamiliar with Bali, Kuta is a town right near the main airport and is the hub of tourist activity. Situated next to a nice stretch of beach it's home to many hotels, bars, nightclubs and a whole load of obnoxiously drunken Australian tourists. I figured I'd spend one night here, find my feet and figure out where to go next. Finding accommodation was my first issue. It was hot, I was sweaty and the streets are narrow and filled with crazy scooter drivers and erratic traffic. Lugging my boards around was no fun so I went into the first budget accommodation I could find.

“Chempaka Losmen”, the sign read out the front. The first thing the guy at the desk tried to tell me was “minimum three night stay”. No thank you I said and went to leave. “Wait!” he tells me. “We only have one room with no bathroom.” He takes me to the room, it's dingy, dirty and FULL of a whole swarm of bugs. No thank you I tell him and go to leave.

“Wait!” he yells after me yet again. “ I have one other room!” This one is a little better (not by much) and I figure it's only for one night. I didn't realize at the time but I am the only person staying here, which is never a good thing. It has been alright though, all my stuff is still here and I don't have bed bugs. I'm still no good at using the squat style toilet in the bathroom though. Apparently co-ordination and leg muscles are two things I'm missing.

Now mum, I know I promised you I wouldn't ride on a scooter. Traffic here is crazy and my travel insurance doesn't cover scooter mishaps. But I met up with a friend of a friend from Hawaii who is stuck in Kuta waiting for his lost surfboards to be delivered by the airline and he has a scooter. We went to go find surf, him driving, me on the back and both of us holding surfboards. It was pretty fun, dodging and weaving through all the traffic and people, trying to hold onto my board without it sticking out and hitting something or someone. We did ride through a huge swarm of bugs on the way back though, that was not so much fun. I'm pretty sure I swallowed a few.

And mum, I know I said I wouldn't go nightclubbing here either. But I was curious. I was only going to pop in and see them for a few minutes. It was everything I expected, giant neon five story music blasting packed out drunken tourist dancing craziness.

It's day two of my trip and I'm sitting having a coffee waiting for my friend to wake up. Today we plan to get the five hour ferry over to the neighboring island of Lombok and hopefully score some good surf. I know it has only been one day, and I know I'm only in Kuta, but so far I really really love Indonesia. The local food is amazing, the people are friendly, the water is warm there is a certain Asian third world chaotic charm to the place. And I promise again mother, and I mean it this time, no more scooters.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Courtney Wins in West OZ

I usually cover surf events in Hawaii so it was a treat to watch one in my local area. The Margaret River Telstra Drug Aware Pro is now a six star event and runs every year in early April in Western Australia. I worked with Courtney Conlogue last winter in Hawaii so I was cheering for her as she surfed her way to the final of the event. My AAA press pass was great. It got me everywhere except into the VIP tent with the free food and booze (darn it!). I ended up paying $8.50 for a powerade and a tiny piece of cake.

The women's semi finals saw Sage Erickson defeat local favorite Felicity Palmateer and Courtney Conlogue take down Australian Rebecca Woods. I was sitting on the beach taking photos as Courtney paddled in from her heat. She was super excited as she walked up the beach. She stopped in front of me, looked kinda confused and said,
"Ooooh I left my extra board out there!"
Here's a photo of her moment of realization! She paddled all the way back out to pick it up and then got the jet ski to drop her back to shore.

The women's final ran in less than ideal conditions. It was really small. For a good 10 minutes of the heat the girls just sat out there. It looked like a lake. However both competitors rose to the challenge, running neck and neck up until the end when Courtney sealed the deal posting a 5.7 to add on to her earlier strong score of 7.

The girls were all smiles on the podium, both complimentary of each other in their speeches.
"Winning the Margaret River event was amazing.", Courtney told me.
"I was able to have a chance to share a final with Sage Erickson, who I competed against a lot at home in NSSA before we were on the WQS. This being the second 6 star event of the year, I am off to a pretty good start and I am now looking forward to Bells.".

Congratulations Courtney and good luck at Bells! Full story coming soon to the WSSM website.
Pictures Below:
1). WA local Felicity Palmateer in the semis
2). The cheque
3). Sage Erickson heads for the podium
4). Courtney Conlogue in the final