Ben Osborne – Young, Free, Alright!
The Rad and Creative Youth of Australian Surfing
Presented by Arnette
Gallery and captions by Ben Osborne
Interview by Darcy Turner
This is Ben Osborne, Internet. You might recognise his last name from the Line-up of the day he shot from, like, yesterday. But he ain’t no one-shot- wonder. He’s even got an Instagram account! So we followed his trail and ended up enthralled by his serene pixels of longboard grace. Then we teleported to the Sunshine Coast and sat down with the talented lensman for our latest Young, Free, Alright!
CW: Hey man, whatcha been up to?
BO: Oh not much just working and trying to get to the beach as much as I can.
What’s your home break up there?
I’ve got Noosa and Sunshine Beach.
What is something you can tell people about your hometown that they wouldn’t know already?
Oh, it’s kinda hard with Noosa, especially since it’s known for longboarding. Most people don't know that Noosa actually gets pretty good most of the year if you know where to look. People turn around when they see First Point half a foot but I’ve had other spots fun when everyone else has gone home.
How long have you been shooting for and what got you started?
I’d say it’d be getting close to three years now, and I started off pretty much just being out in the water and seeing all these empties rolling through, seeing people getting pitted and chucking huge turns in front of me. I just wanted to be able to capture it all because it’s actually pretty gnarly. I used to bodyboard and it gave me the opportunity to see empties the way other people don't get to and I wanted to capture it in my own way.
What are you looking to say with your photos?
I’m pretty much in love with the ocean, I just want people that live inland or don't get to the beach as much to look at my photos and appreciate it as much as I do.
So, what’s longboard culture in Noosa like?
Everyone in Noosa owns a longboard. Some of the talent here is just insane and especially with shapers like Thomas Bexon right here, you have a lot of talent coming through 'cause they have quality boards to ride.
Are there many differences between shooting longboarders and short boarders?
When I shoot longboarding I try and make it as arty as I can because the way I look at it, longboarding is an art. The way people dance along a board, cross-stepping and looking casual, standing on the nose. Where as short boarding is more fitting in as many turns as you can and flying as high as you can.
What was your first camera?
It was a 550D I think…
What kind of set up do use today?
Today I’ve got a 5D mark III, with Aquatech housing and I either use my 50mm 1.4 or my 24-70mm 2.4 or 2.8 what ever it is. It works well for me. Lovin’ it!
Tell us about the perfect day in the life of Ben Osborne?
Wake up and go surf Sunshine with no-one out, perfect offshore waves 4-6ft. Come in, have a coffee, chill out with friends, check the surf later on in the arvo, surf till dark, come home and edit photos.
When there is no swell on down there what can you be found doing?
Pretty much anything, but going through old photos – I do that a lot, because the amount of times I overlook stuff it’s crazy, I go back and go, “How’d I miss that?” If not skating around with friends, having a good time.
What’s your favourite time of the day to shoot?
Definitely afternoons at Noosa, just the way the light hits the water, and you can get some nice silhouettes. I’ve seen the sky do some pretty mental stuff here, I’ve seen it go completely purple, completely orange, go golden, go red… it’s always different.
With photo sharing sites like Instagram and Tumblr, and just how popular photography is today, do you find it hard to make a name for yourself?
To be honest, I really do. Like you said, there are so many ways to get your photos out there especially with Instagram and like Go-Pros, you can take a photo, have it on your phone and then a couple of seconds after that you can have it on Instagram. Everything is moving way too fast. But you can see the people that really try their best.
Trying to make your photos different so you stand out must be important
Since there are so many guys taking photos around the Sunshine Coast, you look at your work, look at theirs and try and think how you can make stuff better and different to theirs. Woody Gooch is a perfect example of that, he tries different angles and goes the extra mile. The thing with him and Dane Peterson especially, they’re both local guys, and their stock is so different to everyone else’s. I try to see what they’re doing and incorporate that into my stuff.
Who’s your favourite Instagrammer?
Morgan Maassen, he’s been my favourite photog. since I started. Definitely him.
Who inspires you outside of surfing?
Guys like Chris Burkard and Pearce Leal who don't just do surf stuff, they also do travel stuff and make it better. You can tell their stuff is theirs. It’s something I want to do, develop a certain style so people can tell it’s my stuff.
What is a line-up you never get tired of shooting?
The points when they’re pumping, there is so much talent on the points and you can walk up and down the beach and get different angles – never ending.
Do you have any dreams or long-term goals that you want to achieve from your photography?
I definitely want to travel more; Tahiti and Tonga and places like that. And do as much shooting with big waves as I can.
What do you love about the ocean?
The best thing is that it’s always changing, no two waves are the same, whenever you go out your always going to get something different.
Plan for the rest of the day…
Finish work go grab some food, and see if there is any surf about.
Tag #youngfreealright and join the rad and creative youth of Australian surfing
A little over a year ago Coastalwatch and Arnette launched Young, Free, Alright! a series showcasing the inspired young community rising in Australian surfing – introducing talented new faces doing rad stuff every fortnight. Now, we want you to join us and be Young, Free, Alright! Just hashtag the fruit of your work on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter with #youngfreealright and we’ll be all over you like a bad op-shop jacket at a Year 12 Formal. Our favourite photo or video each fortnight wins a pack of goodness from Arnette.
On top of that you could find yourself getting props as the next Young, Free, Alright! feature profile like Ben here.
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