Coops takes the Western Australian wilderness to heart
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 15 March, 2015 - Western Australia’s Matt Cooper is a family man and a mortgage broker with a bad case of being office bound. His treatment for this condition is everything water: Surfing, kiting, scuba diving, boating and water skiing. “I need to be near the ocean...I just can't stand being away from that fresh sea air for too long. I love being in the water shooting…”
Where are you from and what you shoot with?
I'm from Perth, Western Australia. Not too much surf here but I'm only a hop, skip and jump from Margaret River and a bunch of other big wave locations. I shoot with Canon cameras and lenses and have historically used Aquatech water housings...although might be looking for a change up after spending time with Art Brewer last year in Bali.
How did surf photography start for you?
I had pretty much had enough of wearing a suit and sitting in an office all day long. I love my surfing and photography so I thought I'd try to combine the two.
Share with us something that most people don’t know about surf photography.
It's pretty expensive to get into...you need a small mortgage for long lenses and water housings. It's also a very competitive industry. If you find the right "clients" though, you can score fully expensed trips to the north of Spain and be eating tapas and swilling sangria. There are pros and cons!
Tell us about that one time you almost died, on a surf trip or in the water.
There is a wave (about four kms offshore) down near Margaret River called Cow Bombie. It needs a massive swell and the right tides/winds to get it working. I'm pretty good mates with a pro kite boarder here in Perth who wanted to be the first person to kite it. From memory, the swell was about 6.5 metres and was closing out the bay where we had to launch the jet ski. Long story short, we all got out there but the wind dropped so I had to pilot the ski back through the bay with three guys, a sled, two boards and a bunch of camera and video gear, following between two massive waves. It was pretty hairy.
Name one image you saw that changed the way you approach photography.
I'm not sure that I can name one image, but I have been inspired greatly by Art Brewer's and Eugene Tan's work. I'm always thinking of different angles to capture an image. Art has also taught me beauty of using a 50mm lens in the water. I used to always shoot wide angle, mostly because I like being in where the action is but the 50mm produces images that are really pleasing to the eye.
Check Coop's Facebook page here