Photo career started to defend his claims of 'best ever'
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 2 January, 2016 - Ben Differding hails from Australia’s hub of cool. No, not urban Sydney central but the coffee-fueled art house cinema-laden southern city of Melbourne. In DIY fashion he began his surf photography pursuits with disposable cameras and built it up from there. Since then he’s always in the water, even when sharks are about. A few years ago he and a mate encountered a bronze whaler. His mate didn’t fare to well. Read on.
Where are you from and what you shoot with.
Melbourne, Australia. Canon EOS DSLR setup with SPL water housings and ports.
How did surf photography start for you?
I tended to exaggerate telling stories a bit when I was younger, so my mates were constantly sceptical of my claims of how big and how good the surf was. To justify the really solid days I began taking disposable water proof 35mm film cameras out with me. Some of the shots were half-decent and things took off from there
Share with us something that most people don’t know about surf photography.
Surf photographers dont tend to sleep very much.
Tell us about that one time you almost died, on a surf trip or in the water.
The heaviest thing Ive seen in the water only happened late last year. As ironic as it sounds, it was the only time that I didn't have my camera with me. Swimming in two-foot surf, in the middle of the day, in waist deep water, a 7-foot bronze whaler brushed past me and attacked a mate surfing (paddling) ten feet away. He literally used his board to fend the shark off in a 10-second wrestle. Under my phone contacts he’s now saved as Matador.
Name one image you saw that changed the way you approach photography.
.30 Bullet Piercing an Apple (1964) by Harold Eugene Edgerton.